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Students Arrested for Throwing Water Balloons after School

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by Dr. Boyce Watkins

Seven students were involved in an after school prank that may end up staying on their record for the rest of their lives.   The teens in North Carolina were arrested and charged with a misdemeanor for throwing water balloons.  A parent was also arrested for trying to find out what was going on.

Wake County Public School System spokeswoman Renee McCoy said “all indications” were that only water was used, so you have to wonder at what point does a little water become some kind of dangerous weapon.

Six of the teens were charged with disorderly conduct, another has been charged with assault and battery for hitting a security guard with a water balloon.

Kevin Hines, the parent who was arrested, told WBT News 13 that he was threatened with a stun gun when he drove up to the school to find out what was happening.  He was concerned that officers were acting in an aggressive fashion, and tried to get inside the school to investigate.  He says that he was charged with second-degree trespassing for trying to get in the building to check on his child.  Another parent filed a complaint with the Raleigh Police Department after he says that officers slammed him to the ground.

“How he was taken down was the most disturbing because they took him down by his neck and slammed him,” Hines said to WRAL.com.

The boys were teens, aged 16 and 17, and from what I know, they were all black males.  Being black and male is typically enough to lead authorities to conclude that your life isn’t worth protecting.   Black males have become food for the prison industrial complex, a capitalist machine that makes record profits each year by finding ways to put us back into slavery.   This isn’t an exaggeration:  The 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution plainly states that if you are convicted of a felony, then slavery is no longer illegal.

There is a way that authorities tend to interpret black male behavior that doesn’t apply to nearly any other ethnic group.  Black men strike fear into many whites who seem to forget that we are human as well.  I recall being in a long line to register for classes when I was a student at The University of Kentucky.   After waiting in line for two hours, I found out that I couldn’t register for classes because I owed money for a library book that I’d just paid for.  The error in the system infuriated me and I protested to the person at the desk that they must have made a mistake.

After pleading my case as clearly as I could, I remember looking up and seeing over a dozen white people staring a hole in me, like I was an enraged animal at the zoo.  At that moment, I began to really notice that the way the world sees me as a black man is not the way I see myself.

Part of the reason I took issue with the racist commercial released last month by Mountain Dew is because these false perceptions of black men as being violent, sub-human animals unworthy of emotional empathy exists all throughout America.  It happens when we go look for jobs and are denied even when we have all of the qualifications.  It happens when we go in front of a judge who gives us twice as much time as the white kid who committed the same crime.   This form of racism destroys lives every day, and it must be confronted on a systematic level (and not just by telling hard-working Morehouse graduates to stop making excuses).

After this investigation is complete, the situation must be rectified.  If officers are found to have overreacted, they should be punished as much as the young men and parents who were threatened and arrested themselves.  This kind of behavior should not be tolerated, and the residents of Raleigh should stand up to this embarrassing form of racial oppression.

We can’t allow our children to be put back into slavery, for the criminal justice system is doing just that.  There is nothing violent about  a water balloon.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the author of the lecture series, “The 8 Principles of Black Male Empowerment.”  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

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50 comments

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  3. The thing is if you really know and appreciate that there were laws passed forbidding us to learn to read you would go to school learn as much as you can and go straight home.You would study until you look like a book and I am not condoning in any way shape or form what happened.We are different No One had to go through what out ancestors had to go though for us.WE MUST ALWAYS THINK AFRICAN.

  4. I blame AA adults for not doing a better job as parents and mentors. If this happened at school where were the teachers and principal? Why was the police called for such a childish prank?

  5. Remember, skittles and ice tea wasn’t a weapon either, yet Trayvon Martin was tagged as looking suspicious.

  6. Truly my brothers and sisters, we must understand that we are living in a “Matrix” that wants to enslave any and everyone it can. Black people are easy pIckens cuz they have continued to carry out an age old stigma that was placed on us since we have arrived to this country. We must teach our children especially our sons how to deal in this system. This system, “Matrix” will NEVER be in favor of us. We are in the land of our oppressor.

  7. I am confused. Just two days ago Martha Stewart showed the national television audience how to make frozen water balloons and remarked how fun itwould be for the children to use them to throw at each other at the party once they thawed out. The television never provided a disclaimer for danger or assault or parental guidance. The national station is NBC.

  8. So here what we do, start a series of water ballon parties @ the park or where ever. (just make sure it is clearly displayed) Let these stuck up people know that those youngsters were having fun. only one that may be in trouble is the one that hit the officer with a balloon. I sure that may have been a accident. (Remember People have to put others down to make themselves feel important or some type of worth.) You know what type of lifestyle some folk must have had if they never had a water ballon fight. Next the girls have pillow fights will be a misdemeanor.

  9. LAWYER-UP!!!!… There seems to be a problem to fight frivolous petty charges.., The problem seems to be not enough lawsuits
    get filed…

  10. Being black at 53 years old and a native of Los Angeles, Ca I have yet to experience blatent racism however, I once had a boss who I knew was intimidated by me and the educational success of my children.He asked me if I had children. I replied I have 3 daughters. So in turn I asked if he had any to which his reply was yes I have 2 daughters and a son. Turns out our kids were the same ages with the oldest being 1st yr colleges grads.His Daughter was a graduate of Cal state Stanislaus. My daughter graduated from USC and was headed to medical school. sensing his intimidation, I asked what were the plans of his second daughter he said she had been accepted to several Cal states and the University of Florida.I was itching for his question and sure enough his highly anticipated question arrived. What about yours? I very nonchalantly said oh she’s been accepted to Brown, Rutgers,Vassar, Princeton, Dartmouth, Columbia, UCLA & Cal Berkeley.The look on his face was PRICELESS! Shortly after that conversation mysteriously the quality of my work began to decline in his opinion. During a meeting called by myself to discuss the quality of my work, he was quite friendly and accommodating and it wasn’t long before he asked what school my daughter decided on. When I told him she had chosen Cal Berkeley, he looked as though he didn’t believe me. but still he asked why Cal ? my reply was she wasn’t particularly fond of the adverse weather.Now here’s the killer. I was given a letter of reprimand and told I needed to increase my productivity. Later that month I was voted employee of the year. Go figure. Ironically he was demoted due to low productivity then eventually was let go. Sorry for the long story, but I get so much joy out of telling this story.

    • May God continue to bless you and your family!!

    • Wow, that is quite a story, thank you for sharing. So typical of some of those who are white supremacists in the work place. They do not enjoy our successes. Now if you had said that your daughter is auditioning for a music video, and your son works at the local car wash, your work would have not been questioned. It’s the same old story, with different players… Congratulations to you on raising the next generation of leaders!!!

  11. Had this been white kids, this incident may have been ‘frowned upon’ at the very most. The parents were arrested for doing what they were supposed to do and that’s garbage. White people do stupid things out of their unwarranted fear of black people. They are afraid of anyone that has a darker skin color than their own. Its sad but funny at the same time. Pretty soon, it will be a crime to be black, educated, and successful. Go to school and get your degrees before being black and intelligent is illegal.

  12. unfortunately, in our country, freedom is not free. The rules that should apply to all American citizens the same way, fair and without bias, of course does not. Black people are judged by a set of rules specifically written for them. You may not read them in any law books, but nevertheless, thy do exist. Otherwise, the system would not be able to perpetrate such injustices on the black race. Our people are singled out, treated unfairly, all the time in the United States of America. For White Americans this is normal. I dare say it is because they view us as less than human and therefore do not deserve fair treatment. It is truly ashamed that black children are penalized for being children. I am sure if the same incident occurred and the children were white, I would not be writing this, because they would have done nothing wrong. I feel for the children and parents who were subjected to such harsh and unfair treatment. It is a travesty that in the year 2013 that black people still have to fight for rights that should be a given. Freedom is free for some but not for all. Now, the question becomes what can we do, as American citizens, to stop the injustices perpetrated on black people? Change the way the laws are written lobby for equal and fair treatment under the protection of the law. I do not know. But I do know this we have to do something now, or loose all our young black children to the system.

  13. A 5 yr olds temper tantrum becomes disorderly conduct.

    School fights become riot and gang assault.

    A kindergartener kissing a teacher or hugging a classmate becomes sexual assault.

    Water balloons become weapons.

    Parents become trespassers in schools they pay for and their children attend.

    # a few of the things in the world created by yt for black people.

  14. I love my black people, but let’s not cry racism and use words like slavery when big ass kids who are only about a year from becoming an adult takes balloons full of water, draw their arms back and launch them at another person who isn’t playing games. Let’s not forget that they hit a person who was peacefully minding their own damn business. Whether it came from a fist or a balloon, it is still an assault. This is the stupid shit that puts our people in jails in the first place. If they were bold enough to hit adults in broad daylight with those water balloons, imagine what they’ve done to other teenagers that didn’t surface because we live in an era of not ‘Snitching.’

    • Really? That you could try to rationalize this is the reason these outrageous continue. Smh

    • John, I cannot believe what I am reading from you. If the white kids do it, it’s ok! but when black kids do it! It’s a shame! They are going into adult hood and should not be having fun. Well! Shame on you!!!!!! There is a deep unbalance between the black race and the white race, when it comes to being treated fair!!!! There is war that is going on in this so-call-land of freedom!!! It’s Called Racism!!!!!!You need to read what it is for yourself John!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. We need contact information and a mass community outcry. This is what they respond to. The young student in Florida just had charges dropped against her, for a failed science experiment that led to her arrest and explusion. The fight continues.

  16. Their are non so blind as those who will not see!!!

  17. We have created our own situation. Young sex crazy teens have babies they can’t afford, girls and babies end up in the system via welfare. Lack of education, no father in the home and coupled with drug abuse, we have truly become slaves again.

    Break the cycle or our children are doomed in America.

    I am so sick of seeing our children poor, dirty, hungry, uneducated and unable to speak English and acting ignorant all while gyrating to rap music and worrying about Kim and Kanye.

    • You speak as if the majority of our youth are uneducated and gyrate to rap music! Well I beg to differ with your assessment. The majority of our “Black Youth” are good and decent children. Our children are not having babies at a higher rate than other ethnic groups and we certainly are not receiving any more assistance from the government. Millions of “American Tax Dollars” are sent abroad in foreign aid. The majority of our children are as smart as any other child. The media will only show the negative side of our children 90% of the time. Speaking of dance it is our heritage. You need to read your history and watch the African channels since it appears you have the Internet.We are not headed for a police state, we live in a police state!!! It is only going to get worse. When an ultra conservative such as Pat Robinson speaks on this matter we all need to take heed. If “White America” is afraid what do you think is going to happen to “Black America”? That is why the “great divide” is being fostered upon the poor. Divide and conquer!! We have never been out of slavery. We went from hard rock slavery to freedom slavery. This was quoted to me by someone who is 100 years old.

    • My sentiments exactly. I was a young father but I went back to college and worked. Now I have two young adult daughters who have 4 year degrees and a grandson who is preparing for college. Things don’t have to be the way they are – not at the degree they are now – baffling statistics.

  18. if you are black ,no justice no peace.

  19. DAMN… ITS JUST SAD. FOR OUR YOUNG BLACK BOYS I HAVE A SON AN IM SCARED FOR HIM…

  20. Surealist chique

    Hands off our babies!!!!

  21. Gloria Y Fredericks

    Wake up Black America. Water balloons have become weapons of mass destruction. Dangerous weapons more dangerous than handguns and assault rifles. What are these law enforcement officers thinking? If this is not racism what is?

  22. I’m really getting fed up with America and or punk ass president. He ain’t no change at all.

  23. Hey if I was pulling this prank I would urinate in the balloons for maximum affect. When I was locked up and working in the CO’s mess we would say, this food is made with love and has special love sauce in it.

  24. RACISM, PURE AND SIMPLE!

    They’ve run amok with it.

  25. Theresa Revilak

    According to this site, the balloons were only filled with water. http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/05/19/high-school-students-arrested-for-throwing-water-balloons-at-school/

    If that’s the case, this is ridiculous, and I am sick and tired of hearing schools act ridiculously over the stupidest thing.

  26. the ballons where not only filled with water they were filled with urine semen and other things…the kids should not have been throwing things that is assult…school is not for pranks its designed to get an education…the way the cops slammed that child to the ground and stepped on his head was over board…the way they slammed both parents was over board but if it wasn’t for the actions of those kids none of this would have happend

    • @shawn- listen dumbazz, you’re acting as though you never pulled a prank as a kid?? I succently remember as high school freshmen some friends and I went on top of the school building during lunch and did the exeact same thing- tossed water baloons at some classmates. Two of my friends got caught and received a week of in-school detention. Caucasian kids perpetrate much worst and NEVER go to jail. As black people we only have two choices; 1. revamp these racist, low performing inner city schools OR 2. Start our own school system.

    • So Shawn, why do our children have to be perfect stepford children not having any fun or being able to learn from their mistakes instead of being punished for every single mistake. That is simply not human nor should it be. Maybe you never had the joy of throwing water balloons in your childhood, so maybe you don’t understand.

      I guess the five year children (always black, never white) that get handcuffed and arrested for talking back to a teacher deserve that too.

      Maybe these targeted punishments add to the shortening of life due to stress and getting killed for buying skittles.

      This of course doesn’t excuse black on black crime, but that is a subject for another time and place.

      Shawn, don’t excuse the behavior of adults towards our children because the child isn’t perfect. Maybe the adults need to more perfect in their behavior.

  27. Have white children ever thrown water balloons? This is and has been a common practice by kids for decades. How ignorant can the police be? (That’s rhetorical.) Haven’t they ever watched children at play, even in the movies and on television? These white people must live in caves.

  28. Prissy Jackson

    We must unite and protest to perpetuity. Until we begin to love ourselves enough that we become angered and offended by being mistreated and disrespected just because of skin color or origin; conditions to-which we have absolutely no control, this kind of madness will continue. We must decided to end the madness…

  29. Not to throw off the “official report” but actually knowing that those balloons were reported to contain substances such as BLEACH, URINE, SEMEN as well as water. The students got what they deserved and the parent that “was trying to find out what was going on” took a swing a a police officer.

    • What was the source of information that leads you to believe the balloon were filled with something other than water? And we’re you ther to witness the parent actually taking a swing?

    • How do you know what happened? Were you there? If it were your child that got arrested would you feel the same way?

    • @Crimsonshade- look FOOL, how dare you start your line of bullsyhit by saying “not to throw off the official report” and then proceed to regurgiitate some asinine crap you probably heard on one of your racist anti-black websites. Disregarding the ‘official’ police report is excatly what you did dumbazz. Now come with another lie.

  30. keepbothbarrelesload

    WTF…More dumb shyt..we have to stop this. We have to start going after these ppl. IF WE DON’T IT’S ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE

  31. What happened to kids having fun with water balloons? A little bit out of line to throw one at a security guard, if anything the should have been suspended for a few days, not arrested. As for these police now a days, they don’t even need a reason they just react

  32. Before they take away your rights, the first thing they do is to describe you as a demon. That justify what they are going.

    Throwing a water balloon is wrong. The school system should had handle this. Example a few days off school or expell from the school.

    It is not about the balloon, it is getting the children acclimated to the prison system.

    • A security Officer was hit with a water balloon. That is battery and he will probably press charges. We need to protect our children in the same manner our grandparents protected us. No crime, no time! Avoid even the appearance of wrong doing. This is 2013 for everyone but black people. Very little has changed for blacks in the lat 30 years, same church, different pew. Our children can only survive if we teach them survival skills.

  33. I’ve been saying this like forever. A police state is here and now…Save the children!

    • You are so correct. Most do not want to hear the truth. There are a few that are so called wealthy and some seem to think the battle is over. They are going to sneak upon us just like the Germans did the Jewish People and it is going to be too late.

  34. This is only the tip of the iceberg as we move into the police state of the new world order! Pay close attention to all the government laws being put into place and the execution of those laws with law abiding citizens.

    Dr. Watkins, I find it interesting that frat and sorority houses are not fined or jailed for their childish pranks, so why are these children being harassed and their parents physically abused and arrested? There never has been or will be a level playing field. Keep sharing pertinent information such as this. You are appreciated.

    • You are so, so, so right, Tracey. And think about this. There are people running playing WAR with paintballs fired from guns! Paint, not water!!!

      • Obama Expands Militarization of Police

        Among items transfered to local law enforcement agencies have been assault rifles and grenade launchers, even Blackhawk helicopters and .50 caliber machine guns; In fiscal year 2011 alone, the Pentagon transferred almost $500 million worth of materials to domestic law enforcement – near double the previous year’s total – May 23, 13

        http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=10231.

      • @ Onaje, I forgot to add that when I was in the Army, we had many of these items of course secured in our armory, but now with these swat teams it reminds me of my BDUs; cavalier helmets; M-16/M-60/Glock; etc. The full out assault arrests that many local SWAT teams employ are what we used to call training exercises to prepare for war.

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