Brickbats

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Florida's Golden Gate High School suspended student Austin Perkins for wearing a jacket and tie to school. School officials say he'd been warned that those clothes violated the school dress code.

The British government unveiled plans to issue fines on the spot to any teenagers who are not working, in school, or in a job training program. Children's Secretary Ed Balls reportedly called the move "the biggest educational reform in the last 50 years."

Police in Manchester, England, charged a 12-year-old boy with assault. His crime: throwing a cocktail sausage at an old man.

Discovery Canyon Campus Elementary School in Colorado Springs has banned tag. Assistant Principal Cindy Fesgen says students were complaining about being chased.

Deputies from the Crow Wing County, Minnesota, Sheriff's Department showed up at Jennifer Stiernagel's home one morning. Someone driving a silver Camry had robbed a bank earlier that day in nearby Garrison, and the cops noticed a silver Camry parked in Stiernagel's driveway. As she talked to one deputy in her front yard and her 2-year-old son watched from the deck, she saw another deputy walking up to her dogs, a basset hound and a terrier-Labrador mix. The hound began to bark. The Labrador began to growl. So the deputy shot and killed the Lab.

Inflation in Zimbabwe is running at around 8,000 percent. In response, President Robert Mugabe has banned increases in wages, prices, rents, and service charges. Anyone caught raising prices or salaries without government approval faces fines, up to six months in jail, or both.

Denise Berndsen lives in West Allis, Wisconsin, but it was a SWAT team from Milwaukee that knocked in the door to her apartment. After handcuffing everyone, including her 74-year-old father, pointing guns at them, and breaking furniture, the cops figured out the man they were looking for had been evicted about six weeks earlier. "They said, 'We're sorry. I guess you're just one more of his victims,'?" Berndsen told the press. "I said, no, we're your victims."

The coming of winter doesn't mean that Islamic police in Iran will end their crackdown on "immodest" clothing. "Tight trousers tucked inside long boots while wearing short overcoats are against Islamic codes," Tehran's police chief announced. He also warned women that wearing a hat instead of a scarf is un-Islamic.

Marvin Lopez went to the Orange County, Florida, courthouse to pay a traffic ticket. That's where he was arrested on an outstanding warrant for DUI and reckless driving. Lopez told authorities they had the wrong guy, and one jailer even remarked that he looked nothing like the person police wanted. But the sheriff's office never compared his fingerprints to those of the other Marvin Lopez, and Lopez spent 37 days in jail until a prosecutor realized during a pre-trial hearing that police had the wrong man.


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