If you ever doubted that your actions have consequences,
Ever doubted that you should strive for the best,
Ever doubted that a good work ethic is important,
Ever doubted that good grades matter or
Ever doubted that God is merciful and full of grace,
Then listen to this.
About 3 weeks ago my youngest daughter got into a fight in school. Yes, you read it correctly! She got into a fight at school with another girl. (My little baby was not only fighting BUT caught a juvenile charge…SMH) This fight resulted in her getting a citation. YES, a criminal citation. See here in Texas a fight in school is a criminal offense “Public Fighting”. It can also be classified as “Assault” depending on who started the fight and the circumstances surrounding the fight. So baby girl got a charge of “Public Fighting”. This crime and resulting citation carries a fine and other consequences, such as a court appearance, criminal record, probation, community service, or even a trial in some cases. A third party who jumped into the fight was charged with “Assault”!
So the little one got a ticket/citation and a $289 fine! AND had to go to court. You KNOW I got to praying! Number one: I was not the person fighting so why am I paying a fine! Number 2: I DO NOT have $289 to spare! Number three: Check out numbers 1 & 2! So anyway I had to go to court with the little Diva. Oh yea and if the parent does not appear in court with the child than the parent can be fined up to $500 and be held in contempt of court! Now isn’t that some BS!!! Like I was the one out there fighting!! So anyway…
We get to court for a 3′ o clock docket and I am totally calm (but prepared to let the judge know that this child has a job and is going to pay her on fine!). We sat in court and watched all the other juvenile offenders approach the bench, plead their cases and get their judgments handed down to them. The whole time I am thinking, God I hope this girl is learning her lesson. Just watching the hoard of youth going back and forth (and some quite young) was sad and ridiculous. But even worse was hearing that the majority of the youth in there were repeat offenders. Kids were in there for excessive tardies, truancy, fighting, destroying school property and a bunch of other stuff.
*Special Note: Interesting to me is a statistic that was forming in my head. Our area of Arlington, Texas is predominately Mexican, a very close second in population numbers is the Asians (mostly Vietnamese) but the numbers of Blacks and Whites is low. The youth in the court were mostly Mexican with a few Blacks and Whites But there was NOT ONE ASIAN in the room! Now you can take that information any way you want to…*
One 15 year old girl, who plead “Not Guilty” to her charge was being told the rules and prerequisites for her trial. She said she would be representing herself (WHAT THE HELL!) and the interpreter and the court clerk were trying to impress upon her the seriousness of what was going on and the girl seemed clueless. SMH, wow, I’m thinking these kids are losing their minds! The girl who went right before the Diva did had been there three times already! The girl had to pay a fine for public fighting ($289), pay for an anger management class ($150), pay a down payment to the court on the spot ($20), had to to community service AND was on probation! A grand total of $459!!! The judge was clearly mad at her because we heard the judge say, “Did you not learn ANYTHING the first two times”? (I later found out that this was the girl who my daughter had fought).
So, it is finally the Diva’s turn. We get before the judge and the judge has my daughter’s record pulled up on her computer. She asked her how did she plead and the Diva said “Guilty”. The judge said OK. Looking at your record I see this is your first time in court, your first time in trouble. Do you work? The Diva said, “Yes”. The judge adjusted herself and said, “You are 16 and have a job? I don’t see that too often!” The judge continued with, Good, you appear to be a well behaved young lady, never been in trouble, according to the school records your grades are good and you work. That all is working in your favor! Since you work I see no reason why your Mom should have to pay your fine, so You can pay it, but because of your history I am going to reduce your fine to $66 and give you 30 days to pay it. I am also giving you 18 hours of community service and this will not go on your record if you complete you hours by the date noted on your papers. Lastly, you appear to be a well raised, intelligent young lady and I expect that I will not see you in my court again!
Oooo, tell me that God did not show up and show out!
Lesson Learned…All actions have a consequence! What you do in life can count in your favor or count against you! The choices you make today WILL matter tomorrow! CHOOSE wisely and ACT accordingly!