I remember when using your spoon as a pudding catapult in the school cafeteria at worst earned you a trip to the principal's office. Possibly detention.
Now? It triggers a full-fledged police action, followed by arrest, booking, and eight hours in the pokey for the teen and pre-teen tater tot tossers.
The food fight here started the way such bouts do in school lunchrooms most anywhere: an apple was tossed, a cookie turned into a torpedo, and an orange plunked someone in the head. Within minutes, dozens of middle-school students had joined in the ruckus, and spattered adults were ducking for cover.
By the end of the day, 25 of the students, ages 11 to 15, had been rounded up, arrested, taken from school and put in jail. A spokesman for the Chicago police said the charges were reckless conduct, a misdemeanor…
"My children have to appear in court," Erica Russell, the mother of two eighth-grade girls who spent eight hours in jail, said Tuesday. "They were handcuffed, slammed in a wagon, had their mug shots taken and treated like real criminals."
"They're all scared," Ms. Russell said of the two dozen arrested students. "You never know how children will be impacted by that. I was all for some other kind of punishment, but not jail. Who hasn't had a food fight?"