New law, same consequences

Misinterpretation of Missouri law causes unnecessary outrage

Griffin Rites Staff

Cartoon by Alyssa Magrone
Adolescents’ outrage over the reinforced law regarding school fights is immature and they are blowing the situation out of proportion.

Starting in January, a law in Missouri was reinforced that suggests punishing adolescents with a felony if they partake in a fight on school property or transportation. Many feel this action is extreme, but in reality it is just holding the young citizens of the country accountable for their actions.

Some argue that adolescents’ brains, especially males, are less developed in the amygdala – the part of the brain responsible for intense emotions such as anger-which can support that teens are not in complete control of their actions. However, research shows that while there is difference in relative development between adults and teenagers, it is so insignificant that it would be absurd to blame violent actions on this physiological factor.

Parents are a main contributor to this worrywart of an issue. They are concerned that charging a young adult with felonies will cause them to funnel into the incarceration system and make them more prone to be convicted of future crimes.

However, if parents are as concerned as they like to claim, they would teach their children to control their actions and hold them to moral standards that would keep them out of trouble. If then the young adult acts out, there would be no defense as to why they should not be punished.

Another source that factors into the outburst of concern is social media. According to officials, the law has been around for a while, but the recent spread of news on the social spectrum has brought awareness to the issue. This would not be such a rampant controversial dialogue among people had they not relied on social media to be their main source of information in the first place.

While social media can be source of reliable news, it is most often a source of biased news.  An individual should make oneself aware of the laws held in our government, especially if they could potentially impact them personally. They can do so by escaping the black hole of social media and keeping updated on current events. If people had done so to begin with, this topic would not be as shocking.

Several students, after finding out about the new law via Facebook and other sources, are concerned for their peers. They are upset that the school(s) have not informed the students about this “new” law. This notion, if anything, is immature thinking. Ever since pre-school, children have been disciplined to act peacefully and to be respectful of others. As age increases, it only makes sense to increase the punishment. Before, kids would sit in time out. Now, they may sit behind bars.