Should Basic Law Be Taught At New England High Schools? [Opinion]
Over the years, I have often wished that I was born in the 1990s or early 2000s, because of the many opportunities that are now available for women. Then, I will come across something written by a younger person on social media and realize the disparity between the school subjects that are taught in high schools today as opposed to 25 years ago. It makes me eternally grateful for the amazing education I received, with a wide variety of required courses and electives, including U.S. government and civics. Why is basic law not taught in high school? I think it should be a required course. Let me say this before I get messages of hate from social justice warriors who want to burn my house down: I have the ultimate respect for teachers. It is not the teachers' fault since they usually have to follow a set curriculum, nor is it the fault of the students who were not taught about basic laws and the rights of American citizens. However, lack of knowledge could get someone into legal trouble, and ignorance is not bliss when it involves the law.
With that said, there seems to be a lack of common sense among some people, when it comes to why the police cannot arrest every single person who allegedly does something wrong. If you know why, then I am not talking to you. Stop reading this now. For people who don't understand, let's use a popular television show to ascertain who is not aware of these three things about the law. Anyone who religiously watches "Law and Order" should know (1) a person is innocent until proven guilty; (2) it is the burden of the prosecutor to provide evidence; and (3) both the victim of the crime and the alleged lawbreaker have rights. There is no Judge Dredd to act as police, judge, jury and prosecutor. Instead, we have a wonderful concept called due process.
Case in point: The South Portland Police Department are being asked repeatedly throughout a Facebook thread why charges are not being filed against a woman who, in SPPD's words, "shared with social media that she and her children had been accosted in the parking lot of a South Portland store this past weekend by a male who grabbed her shopping cart and fled only when a store employee intervened." (See the full post below.) Her Facebook post went viral locally with many concerned parents sharing it to warn other parents. The SPPD investigated the alleged crime and found it to be untrue. The police also mention they found the "original poster" who admitted "they had made up the entire story." The SPPD said the woman, whose name they did not reveal (See #3 above.), will not be charged because "attempting to prove the elements of that crime, in this instance, would not result in a successful prosecution." Those are the exact words that the SPPD used. It is easy to understand why they will not arrest and charge her based on common sense or even a little bit of understanding about the law, right?
Many of the commenters do not seem to comprehend the meaning of "attempting to prove the elements of the crime." The woman did not file a police report, as per the post below. Thus, it would be difficult to charge her for filing a false report based on a Facebook post, which they cannot prove that she even wrote. The woman could, for example, claim that someone hijacked her account and wrote it.
Aside: By the way, I am amused and troubled (mostly troubled) by the man who wants all the people (concerned parents) who shared the woman's post to be charged with a crime. Seriously?! This is fodder for another article about why it is that people love witch hunts.
Thank you, South Portland Police officers, for the fine work you do.