Successful learning requires peaceful surroundings. Disruptions of any kind not only impairs that peace but clouds the futures of our children. Of late, we see a spate of verbal assaults in Volusia County’s schools. To disturb the peace is irresponsible, to verbally threaten violent acts against children is absolutely wrong. Wrong even when those threats are made by other children. While most of these reported threats didn’t involve actual firearms or explosives, such threats are no joke.
Comes now Sheriff Mike Chitwood widely promoting his “zero tolerance policy” in response to these verbal threats. Children as young as 12 are arrested almost daily.
Volusia County reportedly leads the state in these schoolyard arrests. Why? Maybe it’s Chitwood’s idea to use jackboots to force peace. That idea doesn’t appear to work as these arrests continue, not abate. Chitwood even threatens parents with civil fees of $1,082 or even $10,000 whether a judge finds their child innocent or not. Think about it, innocent juvenile conduct being punished by Chitwood.
This show of jackboots is ironic considering his campaign pledge to work with the people of our communities to maintain peace. It appears he has forgotten that pledge.
The Libertarian Party of Volusia County believes Sheriff Mike Chitwood is going about this issue all wrong. Very wrong. These threats should be dealt with responsibly and effectively. We urge Sheriff Chitwood lead and work together with parents and School Board Members to peaceably defuse this spate of disruptions.