Hey parents, it’s time to have a talk with your kids. No, not that talk. And not that one, either.

This is the talk that parents of college students need to have when their kids come home from school this spring. Or, ideally, even before then.

Now that colleges and universities have finally begun to push back against the violence and chaos that has erupted on their campuses since the attacks on Israel on Oct. 7, it is time for parents to wake up and warn their kids that there might be serious and long-term consequences for their misbehavior.

The trend began quietly a couple of weeks ago when Vanderbilt decided to suspend more than two dozen demonstrators who occupied the president’s office. The students assaulted a security guard and shattered a window. Three of the demonstrators were also expelled. Then, this week, Columbia University began dismantling a pro-Palestinian encampment from the center of its campus. At least 100 students were arrested by the New York City Police Department, and many of those students were suspended. In-person classes were canceled on Monday.

The university’s president, Minouche Shafik, recently grilled about antisemitism on campus by members of Congress, explained that she had given the protesters a lot of chances to move on their own. She testified:

“The individuals who established the encampment violated a long list of rules and policies. … The university provided multiple notices of these violations … notifying students who remained in the encampment as of 9 p.m. that they would face suspension pending investigation. We also tried through a number of channels to engage with their concerns and offered to continue discussions if they agreed to disperse.”

Dozens of student protesters at Brown University were arrested, and a weeklong sit-in at Haverford College ended Wednesday with threats of disciplinary action. The University of Michigan says it is in the process of writing some new rules around speech and protest. According to the draft that has been released, “No Person without legal authority may prevent or impede the free flow of persons about campus, whether indoors or outdoors, including any pedestrian, bicycle, or vehicular traffic.” Students in violation of these policies will be subject to arrest.

It’s taken more than six months but at least a few universities are apparently getting serious about their jobs. Even Google decided to fire a number of employees who have been protesting the company’s work with Israel.

Now it’s time for parents to reinforce this message. Yes, even if you have a 20-something-year-old child who is behaving like, well, a child, you can speak up.

The first thing you might want to say is that getting arrested is no joke. Sure, in many places, these students will be released as soon as they are booked. But the arrest will go on their record. (It’s fascinating that at a time when young people seem to believe that police are regularly engaged in violent tactics against innocent individuals that these students seem to have no fear or compunction about provoking or even assaulting officers.)

The second thing parents might want to share is that being suspended or kicked out of college is a problem. It’s true that for some of these families, a semester’s worth of tuition is easily absorbed into the budget; for others, losing tens of thousands of dollars might actually be a big deal.

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Maybe it seems odd that students don’t already know these things. But a 30-year-old New York Times contributor recently tweeted that he didn’t know defacing public property was an “arrestable offense” Moreover, he complained, “I also can’t believe our tax dollars go to cops focusing on minor infractions.” Apparently, these things are just supposed to be ignored in favor of larger problems.

But the larger infractions, too, have largely gone unpunished. Protesters shut down the Golden Gate Bridge for five hours last week before they were arrested and then they were released without charges. College administrators and public officials need to follow through on the consequences of disruptive, illegal and violent behavior. But parents need to reinforce these messages. Respect for the law is important. Disrupting people’s daily lives — whether that means preventing them from getting to a job as a waitress or blocking an ambulance from getting to a hospital — is not a reasonable way to express disagreement.

Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic recently drew a contrast between protests of the 1960s and today: “Civil disobedience in a system where one is denied equal civil rights has at least one powerful moral justification that is lacking in the alternative case where you possess equal rights in relation to fellow citizens but are breaking the law to protest a policy because a democratic majority of them disagree with you.”

If you don’t like the policies of the United States or Israel, the answer is voting certain people out of office. That’s what grown-ups do. And if you’re just there to disrupt or harass because that’s what everyone else is doing, maybe it’s time for Mom and Dad to speak up, especially if they’re paying the tuition.

Naomi Schaefer Riley is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Deseret News contributor and the author of “No Way to Treat a Child: How the Foster Care System, Family Courts, and Racial Activists Are Wrecking Young Lives,” among other books.