Stop Snitching: Scarsdale Edition

The New York Times picks up

local blog news

that Scarsdale High School has gotten nowhere in its investigation into a brawl at a party that sent two teenagers to the hospital, because

no one will say anything about what happened


The median income in Scarsdale is

three times the national average

. Times writer Peter Applebome notes how the current situation recalls the widely deplored ”

anti-snitch culture of the urban poor

,” which in some respects it does. The local blog commentators are odd mirror image of the people lamenting the ghetto ways and broken family values of the American underclass:

complete lack of responsible parenting and accountibility

The parents who are adopting the code of silence are teaching their children that disrespect is OK, that their wrong-doings have no consequences and that the rules don’t apply to them.

what should we expect these kids to do but this sort of thing? you can run around and punish whomever you like, but next year some other kids will do the same thing…you just can’t treat human beings this way and expect them not to go over the edge.

It simply is a matter that parents have failed their children, again.

[W]e are raising hooligans that do not have accountability. It starts at home and it is apparent that parents are not setting the proper example.

There is at least one notable difference between Scarsdale’s code of silence and the ghetto’s, though. Applebome quotes the principal’s letter to the parents:

“The school has therefore been placed in the uncomfortable position of having to report that, despite our thorough investigation, an unacceptable breach of civil behavior will go unresolved.”

If some teens around or below the poverty line beat up somebody badly enough to send the victim to the hospital, nobody calls it a “breach of civil behavior.” It’s called a

criminal offense

. And the investigation—when someone cares enough about the victim to investigate—isn’t done by the school system. It’s done by the police.

So: in the ghetto, people don’t answer cops’ questions. In Scarsdale, they don’t even let the cops ask.