This really is the only logical endpoint in a state so obsessed with sex crimes that we banished sex offenders to live under a bridge and unleashed prosecutors onto sexting teens: A teacher sees two 12-year-old students smooching in gym class and tells the school's principal, who then reports the kids to local police as having committed a "possible sex crime."
The criminal kissing went down last week in Fort Myers, on the Gulf Coast, a hotbed of Puritanism in America these days apparently.
Deputies were called Wednesday to Orange River Elementary School, the Naples Daily News reports, after assistant principal Margaret Ann Haring called to report a "possible sex crime."
When the cops showed up to investigate, they learned the "crime" was that a teacher had seen two students "debating who liked who more" and then kissing in the middle of gym class.
The cops played along when a Daily News reporter called to ask about the report.
"This incident is more of a simple assault, though by definition there would have to be a victim," Sgt. Stephanie Eller, a spokeswoman for the Lee County Sheriff's Department, tells the paper.
To be fair to the teacher and principal, the rules adopted by districts statewide have gotten so strict about reporting any potential impropriety that they might have felt they had no choice but to call the cops on the kissers.
The Florida Department of Children and Families requires schools to report any suspected abuse, a rule that means DCF "encourage[s]" this kind of ridiculous call, a spokeswoman tells the Naples paper.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
"As a teacher, they obviously felt that this was something they wanted to report, and we encourage that," DCF spokeswoman Terri Durdaller says.
Bear in mind, this is an agency that has failed foster kids so spectacularly over so many years -- most recently in the horrific Barahona case -- that it's almost impossible to take them seriously on the subject of responding to reports of abuse.
But it's good to know they have their radar up for kids kissing in gym class.