Teachers, Traffic Tickets and Victim-less Crimes.

Written by Gregory Monte.

The “Stickler” Teacher

Do you know any teachers who are “sticklers” when it comes to discipline?

I am talking about those teachers who regularly write-up students for minor infractions like chewing gum, talking too much in class, horsing around in the hall-ways, etc.

I am the opposite of that kind of teacher.  After working 12+ years in my current district, I can count on two hands the total number of detentions and write-ups I have issued.

If you sense that I am being critical of the “stickler” teacher, you are correct.


Jerk Teachers and Jerk Cops

Which leads me to the inspiration for this blog post.

Last year, my son got a ticket for allegedly failing obey a stop sign – his first ticket ever.

Never mind that there was no one coming in any direction, the police officer who issued the ticket claimed that he didn’t come to a 100% complete stop before making a right onto a roadway.

Here is my point. 

I think that teachers who overuse (abuse?) the school disciplinary system with excessive detentions/write-ups are in some ways similar to police officers who regularly issue tickets rather than warnings for minor traffic infractions.

They don’t have to assert their authority, but they chose to do so anyway.

I call them Jerk Teachers and Jerk Cops.

When a student is chewing gum in school, is he breaking the rules?

Yes.

Is it really a big deal?

Not really.

Likewise, when a driver rolls through a stop sign on a road with no traffic, has he violated a statute?

Certainly.

But was anyone harmed by this action?

Certainly not.

So, in situations like this, why don’t police officers and teachers just issue a warning – especially if it is a first offense?


Stop Complaining – It’s Only a $25.00 Fine.

Incidentally, in my research I found a case where the appellant argued that the ticket cost was so much that it should be considered excessive considering the crime committed.  I think he referenced the 8th Amendment to the Constitution which talks about cruel and unusual punishment.

You know what the judge said?

The fine for a stop sign violation is only $25 so too bad.

And this judge is actually correct.

The fine is only $25.00

But then you add in $10 for EMS, a $45 surcharge, $39.20 in “costs,” and then some other court cost which adds an additional $22.

Pretty soon the ticket just set you back about $150 – and that is before your insurance gets jacked up because you just got points on your license.

Victim-less Crimes: Legitimate Social Justice

I read about social justice warriors all of the time.  These are individuals who think that there is a justice for groups which is different than plain old individual justice – equality under the law.

Maybe it is time to redefine social justice.  How about fighting for justice for those prosecuted for victimless crimes?

Wouldn’t that be a benefit for society?

That sounds to me like REAL social justice.

Of course, libertarians have been discussing the issue of victimless crimes for a long time.

Victimless Crimes: No Concern of the State – This one is from 1974.

Victimless Crime Constitutes 86% of the Federal Prison Population

Victimless Crimes in New York

Rolling through a stop sign when there is no traffic in any direction is an obvious example of this idea.

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