Burping, doodling, food fights: Should students be arrested for minor misbehavior?

  • Some kids have trouble focusing on schoolwork simply because they are too young, according to recent research. istockphoto

    child, kid, classroom, adhd, attention problems, attention deficit, paper airplane, school, generic, stock, trouble makerWhen you were in school, did you ever get in a fight? Or sneak a cigarette in the bathroom? Or speak rudely to a teacher? Many of us did, but nowadays such behavior can get a student hauled off in handcuffs.

    In the wake of a string of school shootings in the 1990s, school districts around the country began implementing "zero tolerance" policies surrounding weapons, drugs and soon, more innocuous behavior like tobacco use, swearing, and truancy. With beefed up security and police presence on campus, instead of going to the principal's to receive detention, students are facing law enforcement officers when they misbehave.

    And, perhaps not surprisingly, reports in New York, Louisiana and Texas indicate that non-white students are more likely to be referred to the criminal justice system for school-based infractions than their white peers. In 2010, the New York Civil Liberties Union sued the NYPD for wrongful arrests, harassment, and excessive force in the city's public schools.

    Have things gone too far? We've collected some of the most absurd student arrests of the past few years. You be the judge.

  • Julia Dahl

    Julia Dahl writes about crime and justice for CBSNews.com