SWAT team swoops down on dangerous Texan third-grader

The SE Texas Record May 15, 2010, 5:13pm

You won't see any wanted posters for Leighann Adair the next time you visit the post office. Nor will she be featured on an upcoming episode of America's Most Wanted.

That's because this notorious rule breaker has already been apprehended and punished.

John Walsh can rest easy. Eliot Ness need not turn over in his grave.

Leighann's heinous crime was possession of a piece of candy. A single, solitary Jolly Rancher.

Leighann is 10 years old, a third grader at Brazos Elementary in Orchard. Brazos was the scene of the crime. It was there, at lunchtime, that an eagle-eyed teacher spotted her with the illicit sweet. She nabbed the suspect and confiscated the contraband which a classmate had given her.

Leighann was summarily tried, convicted and sentenced to a week's detention.

Principal Jeanne Young and Superintendent Jack Ellis insist they were only doing their duty, complying with a state law against junk food in schools. "Whether or not I agree with the guidelines, we have to follow the rules," said Ellis.

Of course, the means used to enforce the policy are up to the school, and the law does not apply to food that children bring from home, so it appears that the principal and superintendent are both suffering from acute cases of priggishness.

But why does Texas even have such a law? You'd think parents and teachers could figure out what kids should or should not be eating in school. You'd think they'd have more important things to worry about, too.

Forget drugs, unwed pregnancy, violence and the inadequacy of instruction. The biggest problem in Texas schools is contraband candy!

Parents used to worry about kids taking candy from strangers. Now they have to worry about kids taking candy from classmates and being terrorized for it by teachers and administrators.

The more this kind of bureaucratic boorishness is tolerated, the more you're going to get. It's time to tell these thoughtless education busybodies to have a meeting, form a committee, then a subcommittee, write a comprehensive report to some task force, and prepare new guidelines that tell them to butt out of candy crime prevention.

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