A. Barton Hinkle on Whether Teenagers Are Big Children—or Little Adults

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More and more children are being arrested and charged with criminal offenses for behavior that used to earn them detention—or less. Twelve-year-old Sarah Bustamantes was arrested at Fulmore Middle School in Austin, Texas, a while back because she sprayed perfume on herself after being told, "you smell." According to a study of the Texas educational system, more than 1,000 pupils have been hauled into court for offenses as minor as "making an unreasonable noise." You might think: Well, that's Texas for you; they're old-school down there. But, writes A. Barton Hinkle, it's the same story in many parts of the country. 

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