Adolescents can be foolish. Should they go to jail for it?

According to a story in the AJC, two middle schools students in Houston County allegedly engaged in oral sex in a classroom while a substitute teacher and other students were present.

Initially, they were being charged with sodomy and disruption of a public school and being held at the Crisp Youth Detention Center. But cooler minds prevailed and we are now reporting that the sodomy charges have been dropped and one of the pair has been released.

According to the latest AJC story:

Houston County Sheriff’s Lt. Randall Banks said the eighth-grade students admitted during a Houston County Juvenile Court hearing Monday to public indecency and disruption of public school.

Banks said all other charges, including sodomy and violation of probation against the male, were dismissed as part of an agreement reached between the district attorney’s office and lawyers representing the students.

I think these kids are stupid. I think they are immature. I think they are terrible examples.

I just don’t think they are serious criminals.

I fell into a long conversation Saturday with a group of parents about how bad behaviors that once earned kids lectures, rebukes and groundings are now police matters. Several had had their teenage boys in court over minor issues that would not have escalated to a criminal level a generation ago. But zero tolerance is now in full bloom.

I think that criminalizing adolescent stupidity is going to fill jails and courtrooms with unnecessary cases.

I have straight-arrow brothers, but a couple had a childhood/teenage experiences that today would have landed them in the clinker. Instead, the police brought them home and told my parents who handled the punishment and set my brothers back on the right track. My brothers went on to become highly productive and law-abiding citizens who win Yard of the Month, coach soccer and clean up after their pets.

(I was never brought home by the police, although I did have a nutty neighbor push me down and take my book bag, which I had put on the public sidewalk in front of her house while I tied my shoe. I was about 11. She maintained that part of the bag was on her lawn. The police returned my book bag to me, told me that the lady was crazy and suggested I walk to school on the other side of the street. I did.)

As we learn more about the teenage brain, we are discovering that teens are wired to make impulsive and bad decisions.Their brains don’t fully develop until their early 20s, which explains a lot about the crazy stuff that teens do.

The oversexed middle schoolers trying on adult behaviors in public setting deserve punishment. Suspend them. Transfer them to other classes or an alternative program. Get them counseling about appropriate behaviors and common decency.

But criminal charges seem extreme.

What do you think? I would ask that we not focus on the sex part of this. My issue is that kids make bad decisions based on a flawed thought process that they will outgrow, if we let them and don’t resort to locking them up for these errors of judgment.

(Also, I am not talking about 15-year-olds who commit armed robbery. Their thinking is clearly flawed, but it’s also potentially deadly and demands strong responses.)

52 comments Add your comment

GA Teacher

December 15th, 2009
6:18 am

As a teacher who has had students engage in sex on campus (not in my presence, however) I can see both sides of the issue. The difference is that a generation or two ago, the parents WOULD handle it. Now, many parents do not handle it and I doubt that 8th graders with involved responsible parents would have sex in front of class full of children and a teacher. Also, the only way to legally ensure that kids who need “alternative placements” in school do not come back to the regular school for a while in my district is to ensure they are criminally charged. Otherwise, momma files a suit and the school must take Johnny back. I agree it is sad, but it is a result of ineffective parents and bureaucratic nonsense.

OvenBaked

December 15th, 2009
7:01 am

Adolescents do stupid stuff. This has always been the case, still is the case, and forever will be the case. All these old cronies should not forget that they were teens once before and probably were not caught or someone had mercy on them. There seems to be a growing trend with present day adults wanting children to be more than the children they are. They need to go back and watch The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Sixteen Candles, and the like. Teen angst is real it is not imaginary. Giving them criminal records will not take that away. Oft times it will just exacerbate the issue. This is not centralized to socioeconomic class either. Adolescents is adolescents. It is a part of the human condition. What does vary is the degree to which it manifests given that no two individuals are alike.

Meme

December 15th, 2009
7:46 am

Jail? I don’t think so. Alternative school? Oh, yes!

Philosopher

December 15th, 2009
7:57 am

Maureen, Parents NEED to understand this difference in a teenage brain. They see kids who are large and to whom they have lectured for years and they expect them to make decisions like an adult. NO- these kids still need parental guidance! Teenagers have hormone-induced insanity! We still have a responsibility to be alert and aware of what our kids are doing at this age. In addiition, teenagers do not have a sense of mortality..it is not there! If we truly understand what is inside a teenager’s brain, we will NOT hand them a sports car and be proud. We will NOT send them off in a car with a group of other teenagers and believe they will not get into trouble. We will NOT believe them every time they tell us they are going to spend the night at a friend’s houe,etc.,etc,.etc. And if we are there for our kids, they will be less likely to engage in behaviors requiring this kind of debate. While a teenager is in jail, he/she will grow up, as is normal, but what is learned inside the jail and what is lost by being convicted of being a criminal, will destroy a life…is that the right way to treat stupidity? I tell you what we need..we need basic child development taught everywhere possible…along with parenting/parental responsibilty classes!

jim d

December 15th, 2009
8:26 am

Let me just throw this thought out there for consideration.

1)sometimes a reality check is needed to bring these youngsters into check.

2) juvinile records are generally sealed

3)some of the courts have some pretty innovative methods of gaining youngsters attention –including a day at the local lock up where they get to listen to hardened criminals telling them what life on the inside is really like. (I’ve seen this one work very well)

Teacherlady

December 15th, 2009
8:44 am

If 2 adults had committed this act in public, it would be a crime. Just because they are underage does not make it some sort of accident based on poor decision making abilities. They should be made an example of- FOR SURE! Also, despite the view of the substitute being blocked, you can’t tell me that no one else in the room noticed what was going on!

Uncle Commode

December 15th, 2009
9:02 am

“The report said it occurred while the substitute teacher was at the front of the room with her view was blocked.”

HUH? Please brush-up on your writing skills. THEN worry about others.

Jennifer

December 15th, 2009
9:15 am

I think that you would be astounded if you knew the extent of the juvenile complaints and arrests taking place in Georgia (metro and rural) for minor, non violent, non drug school based offenses that should never rise to the inside of a courtroom.

You would also be blown away to learn that there is no, I mean no monitoring of this data at the state DOE level. I have personally witnessed the juvenile complaint and arrest process used as a tactic that would blow even the most conservative reader out of the water.

Imagine the craziness of the oral sex incident. This was enough of a violation to send a young girl and young man to a YDC facility. (where I can imagine they saw or were forced into much, much worse sexual exposure). And yet, this offense did not rise to the level of a Unsafe School violation for the school in question. Did the result of this violation strike the right balance when you look at adult and student responsibilities ? I don’t think so.

Proponents will argue that this process affects a small percentage of students. I am quite sure that in some of our districts you will see a one to one relationship between students sent to a tribunal (regardless of the severity of the issue) and associated court charges. That being said – a student is now commonly punished three times for a school rule violation: (1) Suspension from school (2) Separation from school to an alternative school (3) court charges. And we wonder why we have a drop out problem.

Data is available independently through the courts, but it is hard to get your hands on – but when you do……your eyes are going to widen up just a little. Promise.

@teacherlady

December 15th, 2009
9:15 am

And I suppose you’ve never acted a fool at that age?

Teacherlady

December 15th, 2009
9:22 am

Actually I didn’t… my parents taught me about self respect.

@teacherlady

December 15th, 2009
9:28 am

it’s really troubling to me as a parent to constantly see teachers stating they want examples made out of children. All children are not perfect. I don’t know specifics about this case that Mo posted, but I do know that children’s brains develop far differently than conventional wisdom thought. Did you know that male brains don’t quit growing until approximately 23 to 25? I only know this because I did have to appear in court with my son. God help the children if educators can’t understand human brain development.

FOR SURE!

December 15th, 2009
9:31 am

Thank you teacher lady for being a shining example for all of us. We will all try to lead lives better now.

P.S. When you are in front of a classroom full of children, please refrain from using such foolish slang as “For Sure”. I am trying desperately to teach my children proper English.

Tony

December 15th, 2009
9:34 am

Sex in the classroom a minor offense? You folks have to be kidding! There is nothing minor about this perverse action in a classroom. Things like this are on the increase for multiple reasons and it is a shame that these two students engaged in such lewd behavior in a public setting. Yes. These two should have been charged with a crime and sent to jail.

@teacherlady

December 15th, 2009
9:36 am

here’s another caveat to consider – not only does human brain development continue in males to age 23 to 25 but if they (gasp) have developmental delays.. well there’s going to be a far different rate of development… or (gasp) a brain injury then you have another caveat. Or if the kids are acting out because (gasp) needs are not being met at home. When are educators going to show some compassion?

Teacherlady

December 15th, 2009
9:41 am

Good thing for you guys that I don’t teach English… I teach sex education. Also, I can’t help but find it amusing that someone is offended that I somehow made it through middle school without having a boy’s “appendage” in my mouth while in the back of a classroom. Hope your children are blessed with as much self respect as I was. Happy Holidays!

Maureen Downey

December 15th, 2009
9:53 am

Sorry, somehow part of that sentence was deleted in editing the piece for length: “The report said it occurred while the substitute teacher was at the front of the room with other students and her view was blocked.”

Tony

December 15th, 2009
10:01 am

“When are educators going to show some compassion?”

Educators show compassion everyday. There are times when “compassion” is not appropriate because it will only extend the problem. Setting and maintaining high expectations for academic performance, character development, and personal excellence require us take actions against behaviors that are counter to the goals we have set.

An earlier entry stated that sometimes we have to get the student’s attention. Compassion has its place, but too much of it sends the wrong message.

@ Tony

December 15th, 2009
10:04 am

I would have to agree with your post, but criminalizing EVERYTHING is not the answer either.

Joy in Teaching

December 15th, 2009
10:19 am

Tony didn’t say that everything needed to be criminalized. He merely stated that kids having sex in a classrom is NOT a minor offense.

I teach middle school. Similar things have happened at my school and it was a MAJOR disruption.

Jennifer

December 15th, 2009
10:19 am

Tony -
Do you really think that going to a YDC works ? If so, you have not met any kid who has been admitted. You should challenge yourself to start thinking about what resources are best to change behavior – at the lowest punitive level available. No poster ever said the kids shouldn’t get consequences – but they should not be in a YDC facility.

high school teacher

December 15th, 2009
10:19 am

Okay, so what punishment, if any, should be rendered for oral sex in front of others in a classroom? I am amazed that so many think that “kids will be kids,” that oral sex in the classroom is no big deal, and that there should be no consequences. Wow.

high school teacher

December 15th, 2009
10:27 am

Let me clarify:

I do not condone oral sex or any sexual activity outside of marriage regardless of age. I am one of those stone age moralists. I do NOT think that students who participate in these activities should be criminalized. They have a right to make those choices.
HOWEVER, exposing oneself in public is a crime, and that includes students in a classroom who decide to engage in oral sex. This is not a morality issue, but a law issue. You can rest assured that if I were in public with my children, and witnessed this type of behavior, I would call the police. Why is this situation any different?

Tony

December 15th, 2009
10:33 am

12 Year Old Raped at School – Another example of why behaviors like this should not be taken lightly.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,580242,00.html?test=latestnews

Jennifer – When it comes to behavior as egregious as sex in the classroom, schools must act to protect the safety of all the other students. That means, in cases like this, removal from the school setting. You noticed that the boy in this case was already on probation, right?

Schools are not the place for thugs, sexual deviants, or drug dealers.

Tonya

December 15th, 2009
11:00 am

Okay, so teachers aren’t compassionate because they want kids punished for performing a lewd act in the classroom? Seriously? My son is HFA and even he would know that this is unacceptable behavior. Right and wrong must be instilled early, no matter what the age. Obviously these kids missed that memo. Whatever happened to going to the back of the school? Everyone expects kids to do stupid things, but this goes beyond that bar.

FCM

December 15th, 2009
12:03 pm

I agree with other posters. Too many parents are wrapped up in being themselves to parent. Being a parent means being unselfish about your own wants and desires at times. As a single parent it is tough to put some aspects of your life on hold to raise kids, but it is important. The kid didn’t ask to be here and the kid didn’t ask for a single parent (regardless of why the parent is single).

Maureen you said ” Instead, the police brought them home and told my parents who handled the punishment and set my brothers back on the right track.” and that is just it. People asked why their kids couldn’t be more like me or my sib when we were growing up. Simple they weren’t my Dad and didn’t act like my Dad. To say I grew up in a strict household is understatement. It doesn’t mean I was not loved. It doesn’t mean they should not have allowed wiggle room. It does not meant they were not more strict than necessary. I am a productive part of society. I am responsible. I am still messed up from childhood. I think that is just how it goes.

On the other hand I was not doing the things these children were doing when I was in 8th grade. I think it was college before I did this particular act.

Clinton is part to blame. He told everyone, very convincingly, that this was not sex. He got a whole generation of youth to buy into that. I know one who admits that she did this in 8th grade (she is younger than me) and she will still tell you this is not sex. She also does not find it more intimate than intercourse. She says it is my age that has me disagree with her. I think it has to do with being brought up before or after the Lewinsky Debates.

KayTee

December 15th, 2009
12:06 pm

“What do you think? I would ask that we not focus on the sex part of this. My issue is that kids make bad decisions based on a flawed thought process…”

That’s a bit hard to do. This wasn’t a pep rally with two kids sneaking under the bleachers. This was in a classroom. Supposedly there was an adult in the room. Doing what exactly? And for how long? And this was oral sex? Unless a french kiss has been elevated to the ranks of oral sex (some say it should) there are some logistics involved here that simply cannot be ignored.

These events are not so much a problem with the kids as with the “adult”. The kids’ behavior is a symptom of a much more serious problem.

mystery poster

December 15th, 2009
12:30 pm

@FCM
Today’s middle school students are far too young to remember Monica Lewinsky.

Jennifer

December 15th, 2009
12:38 pm

No one disagrees that removal from the classroom was necessary. And mental health services are probably needed for the teens. The only issue at play here is the removal to a YDC where the odds of getting raped or beaten up increase significantly and the juvenile delinquency connection to the courts. Now the young girl will be on probation as well, she will be a target at school for misbehavior and one false move, she has violated her parole and will be back at the YDC. Stupid and unnecessary cycle.

mom3

December 15th, 2009
12:45 pm

The biggest problem here is that these ‘children’ haven’t been raised correctly. Is that the schools responsibility? No. Is that the courts responsibility? No. Most likely these kids come from broken homes where there is no adult supervision. Or, even worse, they observed this kind of behavior in their only family room with their ‘mother’ and her latest boyfriend. You cannot put the burden of raising these kids on the school system. This is why teachers don’t have time to teach. This is why our kids are falling behind in academics. These kids have no respect for themselves, or anyone else. It is not the schools place to teach them that. But, everytime you put another burden like that on the schools, you take more time away from teaching. This is why I gladly pay to send my kid to private school where the parents are present, caring and engageg in their kids lives.

You only sound like you are worried about the two involved in the crime. What about the other thirty kids in the classroom? Don’t they deserve a better environment than that? That is why these kids should be removed from the school system. If you don’t make an example of these two, than next week there will be more cases of this behavior in the school.

But, if they are not, no worry. The boy will most likely end up in the federal pen, and the girl will most likely be at home with her kids waiting for her baby-daddy to be released.

And we will support them for the rest of their lives as one collects her welfare check and the other will get three squares a day for the next 15-20 years.

Meme

December 15th, 2009
12:56 pm

I would bet that the sub’s view was blocked on purpose. We actually had 7th grade girls giving hand jobs on the bus on the way to a field trip activity. For years now, we have had boys on one bus and girls on another or girls on one side and boys on another. They don’t always make good choices and it has been going on for years.

Maureen Downey

December 15th, 2009
12:58 pm

KayTee, I agree that these kids did a disgusting thing and that they deserve punishment. I just don’t think the criminal courts should be the first option. I also agree that both these kids have deep problems and those problems require serious counseling.
Maureen

common sense

December 15th, 2009
1:06 pm

You can ask to not focus on the sex, but sex is what this incident is about, and it is also what the majority of adolescents, and young men into their 20’s, are about. Under zealot Republican leadership, Georgia has criminalized much of what amounts to poor moral judgements. When you have a 21-year old talk about consensual sex with an undercover cop ambiguous about her age, and finally stating, one time, that she “will be 16 in a month or two,” then you have law enforcement actively seeking kudos for catching a “sex offender.” The young man will go to jail and be forever prevented from living a productive life: he will be treated just as a child rapist would be treated. I have to point out that this type of conversation has taken place all throughout history, and will continue to take place when we are long gone, but now it is not just a lapse of judgement: it is a felony. Meanwhile, the real predators can’t be monitored, because law enforcement is too busy monitoring these low and no-risk offenders on the registry, which costs millions of dollars every year. Your legislature at work!

mom3

December 15th, 2009
1:29 pm

Common Sense

So, how do you think this problem should be handled – if not in the court. Do you think it is the schools job to handle criminal behavior?
If it is a moral judgement – it should be handled in the house or in the church. But you can’t force a person to have a good family or go to church.

The government steps in when your behavior becomes detrimental to other people. Its not a perfect system, but I really don’t know how else you can handle it.

KayTee

December 15th, 2009
1:49 pm

Maureen,
Let me be explicit: the real problem is a failure to maintain discipline in the classroom. The specific act is just that–one specific act that is symptomatic of a fundamental underlying problem that is obfuscated by the prurient nature of “oral sex in the classroom”. These behaviors will continue until classroom discipline is enforced.

I am sure there are lots of folks who’ll attest to the impossibility of enforcing discipline given the current social/political/educational climate and most likely they are correct. But it seems unlikely that significant, meaningful education will take place as long as the “inmates are running the asylum”.

AlreadySheared

December 15th, 2009
1:55 pm

From “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story”

Dewey Cox: “Don’t you stand there and judge me like I’m some kind of criminal.”
Edith: “You are a criminal. This is illegal, Dewey.”
Dewey Cox: “What do you mean, it’s illegal?”
Edith: “It’s illegal to be married to two people at the same time, Dewey.”
Dewey Cox: “What about if you’re famous?”

James

December 15th, 2009
2:11 pm

@common sense – You really think it should be legal for 21 year olds to have sex with 15 year olds?

@Maureen – I think what @Jim D said makes perfect sense and I suspect what happened in this case is exactly what should have happened – call the police, throw the book at them, see a judge and get the charges reduced or dismissed entirely with an agreement that they are forced into some sort of counseling or other program. Maybe community service or something.

@teacherlady & Teacherlady – the two of you have almost exactly the same nick with the exception of an @. Really that’s confusing when people refer to you. It almost looks like your arguing with yourself.

majii

December 15th, 2009
2:25 pm

I think the major reason kids would do something like this is due to a lack of parental supervision and involvement in their kids’ lives. Respect for one’s self, others, and the community begins in the home. This is the way my siblings and I were reared, and I reared my daughter using the same principle. It seems that many parents expect teachers to take over the job of parenting their kids. I can’t recall the number of times I saw students dis-respect their parents during conferences. It is ludicrous to think that a child who doesn’t respect his/her own parents will listen to any other adult.

I think both of these kids need intensive counseling to determine why they thought this behavior was acceptable. They also need to understand why it is unacceptable in any setting. Individual counseling should be followed by family counseling focused on preventing this type of behavior in the future. As for punishment, I think that an alternative educational setting coupled with mandatory counseling should be the first step in any process.

According to update in today’s edition of the Sun, the young lady has been released to her parents. The young man is still in YDC because he was already on probation for some unrelated issue. I hope these kids get the help they need because this is a serious issue.

high school teacher

December 15th, 2009
2:29 pm

” This is why I gladly pay to send my kid to private school where the parents are present, caring and engageg in their kids lives.”

Mom3, I hate to break it to you, but I guarantee that this type of behavior occurs with more frequency among the private school crowd. They just have sense enough to do it outside of school.

common sense

December 15th, 2009
3:01 pm

Education is the answer: sex education, values education, “appropriate behavior” education. You are right that many kids are not getting this at home, and, if the government is so willing to spend our money to criminalize, incarcerate, punish for life by putting on a registry that protects no one, I would rather my money be spent on prevention or rehabilitation.
Although I can understand legislation that says it is illegal for a 21-year-old to have sex with a 15-year-old (by the way, not too many years ago, it was legal, because in GA 15 was the legal age), but what about a 21-year-old who talks about consensual sex with someone portraying themselves as anywhere from 19 to “16 in a month or two,” and the 21-year-old never does anything about it? Aren’t we overcriminalizing to punish this young man with a felony, jail time, and sex offender registration? Registration means he can’t get a good job, can’t get decent housing, can’t attend his children’s school or sporting events (if he ever has any), and may even suffer vigilantiism. What if this young man was never in trouble before and lives a trouble-free life after? What is your son made this mistake? Would you agree with his lifetime punishment at the hands of our laws? Who, exactly is being protected?
Unfortunately, we live in an age when you have only to pick up a magazine to see the then 15-year-old Miley Cyrus cavorting with her 20-year old model boyfriend. If he discussed sex with her, should he be locked up and put on a registry for life as a threat to children? How about a misdemeanor, probation, and some educational course instead — doesn’t that make more sense?

common sense

December 15th, 2009
3:04 pm

By the way, my kids went to private school, and, yes, this behavior occurs there, too. Criminalizing it isn’t going to prevent it. Most kids that age aren’t even aware of the laws.
Quick: When did the legal age of consent in Georgia change from 15 to 16? Don’t know? I thought so!

Ole Guy

December 15th, 2009
3:50 pm

I don’t believe what I’m reading in some of these comments: more training, more education, more understanding, etc, etc…why not aim for world peace, good will among men, and additional training in the use of the potty chair? Maybe, just maybe, with all this thoughtful intervention, we can move hs graduation back to one’s 21st birthday. They won’t know shux, but hey, they’ll know it’s not a good thing to engage in “close order drill” in the classroom…and that’s just what we need in the highly competitive economy of the 21st Century…adults who are challenged with the mysteries of high-level arithmetic…adults who will probably think that the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor…adults who can’t form two cogent sentences in a row. But that’s ok, an unlimited education budget will ensure that all hs graduates are well-versed in social deportment.

Swat em on the six a few times and get their warmed-up rear ends back in class.

Current parent, former teacher

December 15th, 2009
3:56 pm

A lot of you, including Maureen, think these kids need “extensive counseling.” Well, if by counseling, you mean someone needs to sit down with them and talk about this incident and why it’s unacceptable, I agree. But if you’re going to lecture them on why this behavior is “lewd,” or “disgusting,” or any other adjective that describes a normal sex act in a negative way, I strongly disagree. DON’T GET ME WRONG! I’m not condoning what these two did at ALL. But since most schools in Georgia don’t have sex education that is worthwhile, teens are learning about sex on TV, in magazines, and from each other–unless they have parents who are comfortable talking about sex with them. I agree with Maureen that you don’t criminalize this incident. What I think needs to happen is the kids need to be suspended for two weeks.

And back to sex education…it must be comprehensive, start early, be age-appropriate, occur often, and emphasize the importance of waiting to have sex as well as all of the ways to protect themselves from pregnancy and disease . Nowhere in the posts has anyone mentioned the possibility that these two could be passing on dangerous STDs to each other. Georgia ranks 10th in the nation in teen pregnancies and is extremely high in STDs. Abstinence-only programs do not work. While all parents would like to be able to talk to their kids about sex, they are not always comfortable. But kids want to know what you think, your values, and your expectations. Talk to your kids and be sure they’re learning ALL of the facts of life!

FCM

December 15th, 2009
4:21 pm

I doubt today’s MS know Ms. Lewinsky. However, our societial conscience of what is acceptable, appropriate, and constitutes sex was reshaped due to that incident in much the same way The Pill shaped a generation’s attitude toward more traditional sex in the 60-70s. We cannot ignore that it is our failure to teach these children due to relaxing our own standards.

unbelievable!

December 15th, 2009
6:54 pm

I understand that the human brain isn’t fully developed until the early 20s, but that doesn’t excuse the behavior of an individual! Teenagers and young adults can’t get a “free pass” for every bad decision that they make. How old does one have to be to understand that SEX in PUBLIC is inappropriate?! How old does one have to be to be held accountable for their actions??

I find it scary to read some of the comments that seem to suggest that oral sex in the classroom is just a minor offense, like being tardy. How would you handle thise behavior in your OWN children?? Would you give your son a high-five or tell your daughter to go to the bathroom next time she wanted to “perform”?? Part of the problem is that children are not receiving appropriate parenting at home and they aren’t being taught how to be responsible. Our society teaches children and others to look for an excuse or a scapegoat for all of our poor decisions and mistakes, because it isn’t really our fault.

What about the substitute teacher in this situation? She was fired for this instance when it sounds like she was doing her job (helping other students in the front of the room). Should she be allowed to keep her job because of inattentional or perceptual blindness?? There have been studies and research on our ability to see something directly in front of us, but we are still held responsible for our actions.

Advances in psychology and neurological development should be used to help prevent or correct problems, not to excuse our obviously poor choices.

Toto: exposing the per*vert behind the curtain

December 15th, 2009
9:06 pm

Maureen
Where is your OUTRAGE?? You and the whole government school system are SICKO. Normal adolescents don’t behave that way unless they have been sexualized by media, bad parents, or government school pedophiles. Why don’t you curl up in front of the crucifix with your kids and read to them some of Kevin Jenning’s hand picked reading list books. REFLECTIONS OF A ROCKLOBSTER is sure to warm their hearts. Words cannot describe the level of depravity that is being unleashed on our kids. If you are not bringing up this topic to expose it, you are complicit.

http://biggovernment.com/2009/12/15/fistgate-viii-safe-schools-czar-jennings-org-promoted-book-detailing-gay-sex-between-first-graders/

Maureen Downey

December 15th, 2009
9:24 pm

Toto, I am not sure we can blame the schools for this. I might ask how many parents have cable? I have been stunned at the movies that young kids are either allowed to watch by their parents or are unsupervised long enough to watch some highly adult content. Most of the sexual victimization of children is by relatives and family friends.
Maureen

common sense

December 16th, 2009
8:22 am

I agree that society promotes and condones behavior that is confusing to young people, because the same society that promotes it can turn around and criminalize it. You don’t need cable to get an eyeful on TV: Have you ever watched “The Girls Next Door,” a show that highlights octegenarian Hugh Hefner with his 20-something girlfriends, who often expose themselves and talk about sleeping with him? Our own criminal justice system provides mixed messages: Why is it that Chris Brown, who beat Rihanna to a pulp, bashed her head against a car window, and threatened to beat her even more severely when they got home, is given 5 years probation, but a 21-year-old who talks about consensual sex with an undercover cop ambiguous about her age (and who never touched anyone, nor can the justice system prove he ever would have) is in prison and will be punished and restricted for the rest of his life on a registry to protect “children.” Statistics show that Chris Brown is much more likely to beat up a woman again (and maybe kill her this time) than this young man is to harm “children.” What is our society saying — Is it okay to beat up a woman but felonious for a 21-year-old to speak about sex with a woman turning 16 in a month or two?
Another point: I was a 15-year-old girl once, and I can honestly state that I mature enough to give consent to sex or not, and nowadays, 15-year-olds are much more aware than I ever was. I am not condoning sex at age 15, I am just saying that 15-year-olds are hardly children. I have a daughter, and, of course, I want to protect her from sexual predators. However, when she was almost 16, if she had entered consensual sexual relationship with a 21-year-old, I would have parented her appropriately, with talks, restrictions on her behavior, etc. I would not have expected the 21-year-old to be jailed and punished for the rest of his life as a threat to children. And just so you know, I am not a liberal, I just like to use common sense.

Toto: exposing the per*vert behind the curtain

December 16th, 2009
8:27 am

I take from your non-response to the documented Kevin Jennings scandal that you approve of this filth. Kevin Jennings is the Obama appointed “safe schools czar!” You still say government schools are innocent? Take a gander at this list- http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53859
And speaking of crucifixes, let’s add Catholic clergy to your list of “victimization of children by relatives and family friends.” Please don’t call yourself a journalist when “blog mistress” will do.

James

December 16th, 2009
2:46 pm

Sex between a 15 and 16 year old, or between a 15 and 17, or even 15 and 18 seems vastly different than sex between a 15 and 21 year old. A few states have codified that into law; Georgia is not one of them.

Also I think “The Girls Next Door” shows on E!, a cable only channel; but the jist of your argument is correct – Network TV is not much, if any, “better” than cable which is why I don’t watch network TV.

common sense

December 16th, 2009
3:29 pm

I am not saying that sex between a 21-year-old and 15-year-old is appropriate, but, especially if the 21-year-old never followed through, he should not be criminalized and put on the sex offender registry in the same way that a child rapist is, and that is what Georgia law currently does. What if the 21-year-old met the girl, had lunch with her, and decided against doing anything? Why is that a felony? The 21-year-old’s life is forever constricted: he is not allowed to move forward in any meaningful way for the next 50 years or so, no matter if he never errs again. Please tell me you don’t agree with that!
Why don’t we put all DUI offenders on a list? All felons who committed violent assault? They are much more likely to kill people, including minors, than a 21-year-old who agreed to consensual sex with a 15-year-old on the internet but never went to meet her. Why don’t we just have a total police state and GPS everyone who ever committed a crime.