HANDLING discipline problems in school may be an art rather than exact science. Unfortunately, Anne Arundel County's recent handling of two separate incidents produced an ugly portrait.
Late last month, county police issued a juvenile citation to a disruptive second-grader at Freetown Elementary in Glen Burnie. They charged him with criminal assault for behavior that, while inexcusable, warranted less than police intervention. Meanwhile, from Chesapeake High School in Pasadena came the story of an A-student who knew enough to earn a 3.8-grade point average, but not enough to stop intimidating a teacher whose lackluster recommendation may have kept him out of the National Honor Society.
In the Freetown incident, a second-grader pretended to urinate on a teachers' aide and shoved a teacher. He deserved to be reprimanded and his parents summoned. But why is the school system making such a case a police matter? The school system has psychologists and counselors on staff who should be able to remove an unruly student from the classroom, arrange a meeting with his parents and develop a plan to correct his behavior.