At least once a summer growing up, I went on a toilet-papering spree. I was far from some sort of hooligan (at least not yet)—these were adult-sanctioned outings, generally undertaken by one group of aunts and cousins against another group of aunts and cousins. We would wait until after dark, creep on to our target's front lawn, and gleefully wrap rolls of paper around trees and bushes and mailboxes. The point is, my mom and relatives saw toilet papering for what it was: a harmless prank.
Of course, we could also twirl our pencils menacingly in class and bring sunscreen on class field trips then. Those were different times. In these times, a harmless prank like toilet papering could get you a felony record, as one 15-year-old in Pittsburgh is finding out.
The unnamed teen is clearly an idiot: Not only did he film himself toilet papering the bathroom at a local elementary school, he posted the "Toilet Paper Madness" video—in which he can be both heard and seen—publicly to YouTube. He also seems like kind of a jerk.
But teen boys can be jerks. Most grow out of it. Maybe after being suspened for 10 days—which he was, in April—our teen toilet paper vandal would have thought twice before doing it again. Or maybe not. Who knows? But one of the most surefire ways to ensure a wayward/jerk kid doesn't grow out of it is to saddle that kid with a criminal record, and that's what this teen is now facing.
After school officials identified him in the YouTube video through his voice and shoes, "the police got involved," CBS Pittsburgh reports. The teen admitted everything. Now he's been charged with felony vandalism, criminal mischief, and disorderly conduct.
"Senseless act," Lt. Thomas Kolencik told CBS about the toilet papering. Sure. But more senseless than charging an already-disciplined teen with a felony for clogging school toilets?