Saturday, May 07, 2011
UMD fake ID incident poses question: why would a "good kid" do this?
A University of Maryland student, said to be a straight-A student on scholarship, now 20, has been indicted for making bogus Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania driver’s licenses in his dorm room, and charging up to $175 a card. NBCWashington has a story here.
The operation required the acquisition of various kinds of equipment for printing holograms and for encoding.
An obvious question, from the viewpoint of a (former) substitute teacher, is, why would a “good kid” do this? (I must add, there is an indictment, but not a conviction yet.) It’s disturbing. Maybe there is a viewpoint that “no one is harmed” and it’s “beating the system.” There have been stings and arrests in the past of fake ID rings in the District.
When I was substitute teaching, in fact, I saw persons whom I knew to be less than 18 (not just 21) on two occasions in bars – I knew the ages because I could see the birthdates on the class rosters that I checked during assignments. I did tell one establishment after the fact about the incident on a subsequent day. I did not tell the school systems.
In one of my screenplays, the possibility that a kid could print his own fake-id (and implicate someone else for participating, however tangentially) figures into the “plot.”
An episode of the WB series “Everwood” showed the teenage piano character Ephram (Gregory Smith) getting a fake ID and then getting into trouble in a bar.
There have occurred very rare, but horrific and tragic, cases of “good kids” doing even much worse, such as Philip Markoff with Craigslist (Movies blog Jan. 3).