Kelly Zierdt, an 11-year-old girl from New Jersey, was arrested for writing her name in wet cement in front of her school. Now she has to go to court to defend herself against vandalism charges because her parents refused to pay the $250 fine or sign a document saying they would give their daughter a curfew and extra chores to do as punishment. “I feel like scared … because I have to go in front of a judge,” Kelly told My9 New, via the New York Post.
How’d it all happen?
“The police [officer] drove up and he was like, ‘All right, put these kids in the back of the car; we’re bringing them to headquarters,’ ” Kelly told the TV station. “And then me and my friends started crying our eyes out.”
Kelly’s father feels that being brought down to the station was punishment enough and refused to pay the fine or sign the waiver. Now the argument will be dragged out in court. Seems like a lot of unnecessary bureaucracy for something that could have been handled simply and efficiently under the old-school sit-com triumvirate of apology/fixing what you did wrong/learning a lesson admitted in internal monologue.
For example, Kelly should just apologize to the construction workers, repave that little square of sidewalk, and then write in her journal about how she learned not to write all over stuff. Look at all the good that did Opie!