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You are here: Home > Forum > A Place of Safety > General Talk > This news item absolutely sickens me.
This news item absolutely sickens me.  [message #68079] Thu, 31 October 2013 04:26 Go to next message
The Gay Deceiver is currently offline  The Gay Deceiver

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We've sometime back touched briefly on the underlying topic at the heart of Christian Adamek's plight, and a goodly number of barely post-pubescent teens like him across the United States; but, I can remember if we'd come to any consensus regarding a resolution.

Teen chooses Death over Sex Offender Registry

Not surprisingly, as I scrolled down to the comments section after reviewing the vidéo, I discovered that Board owner and good friend Timmy had been here before me.  After your viewing the vidéo, I would appreciate the membership here sharing their thoughts on this heinous and simply appalling situation.

Warren C. E. Austin
The Gay Deceiver
Toronto, Canada

[Updated on: Thu, 31 October 2013 04:27]

Re: This news item absolutely sickens me.  [message #68080 is a reply to message #68079] Thu, 31 October 2013 08:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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What you need to look at is the cause, a cause we will never know, of the young gentleman's depression. I'm generalising, but, in general, people do not kill themselves because they have done one stupid act. In general it is a set of overwhelming circumstances that are triggered by the last straw, often a ludicrously small straw. I do appreciate that, in this cass, the threat of having his life totally ruined because he was just being a kid was more than a small straw.

Look at the school's hiding behind a faux duty of privacy and consider whether they broke that alleged duty previously with the media. Now they close ranks.

Consider the location. Alabama is not, I suspect, a stranger to the type of church that makes you confess your alleged sins to the entire congregation. If that were so, can you imagine that minor child having to stand up in front of the viciously 'christian' congregation and confess his so called sins to them?

Now, it's a great leap, and there is nothing in the reports to suggest this leap, but what of this child had been working his way through wondering about his sexuality? What he did was a great way of showing how supposedly masculine he was. Or what if it was some sort of peer pressure. Look at http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Jordan-Cobb-s-death-acci dental-coroner-decides/story-19989143-detail/story.html where a lad jumped to his death from a ferry for a £100 bet. As you read down you will see:

"Quote:"
As the two women returned to the ferry, they saw one of the boys, run after them, crying.Her witness report noted: "He was crying 'It's my fault. I was meant to do it. We all bet £100. Jordan jumped off instead of me'."She said Nathan refused to repeat his claim to a nearby PCSO, but after being taken aside by her he repeated 'it was a bet, we bet £100 he wouldn't jump off. I was meant to do it. It's my fault he is dead.'


In a way the cases are comparable, probably. Why? Because a kid killed himself. In the first case on purpose after a stupid act, possibly preformed under peer pressure, and in the second by the stupid act, performed under peer pressure.

Was either child homosexual? Who cares? What matters is that two ordinary, normal lads died by their own hands in or because of massive acts of stupidity.

The only different is the US 'sensibility' over the naked human form. The nation needs to be reminded that we tend to be born naked, and that nakedness is not a sin.

[Updated on: Thu, 31 October 2013 08:10]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: This news item absolutely sickens me.  [message #68081 is a reply to message #68079] Thu, 31 October 2013 08:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kitzyma is currently offline  Kitzyma

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It is an appalling situation and the death of a teen is always tragic. However, having read the article and seen the TV interview with the school official, as I see it, even a stupid Alabama law isn't the really to blame. It seems to me that the school official was careless with his choice of words and he should not have given the TV interview but he was being pompous and posturing for the camera rather than being vindictive.

He was pointing out a worst-case scenario of consequences that might possibly happen under the stupid law, possibly hoping to scare the boy into thinking before acting in future. He didn't say the boy would be put on the sex offenders register but that he might be. That was the truth, though it was stupid and insensitive of him to announce it on TV. He exaggerated the possible consequences and he should have pointed out that such consequences  were actually unlikely.

There are many laws that are extreme and/or stupid and the Alabama law is just one. Another is our law that if a 17 year old takes a naked picture of himself then he is breaking the law. It's even possible in theory that a 17 year old could be put on the sex offenders register for taking naked photos of his 17 year old boyfriend. Fortunately, it's very unlikely that such an extreme punishment would be meted out just as it's unlikely that the boy in the case being discussed would have been put on the sex offenders register for streaking. Yet the possibility of such an extreme punishment is often used as a warning.

Adults and especially parents often try to scare teenagers away from stupid or bad behaviour by pointing out the worst possible consequences. Don't swim in the quarry again or you could drown. If you don't stop smoking you'll get lung cancer. If you have a drink at the party and drive home you could kill someone. If you use cannabis it will lead to brain damage. If the school official had said privately to the boy what he'd stupidly said on TV then his portion of blame would have been much less.

The teenage brain is not just affected by hormonal surges but is undergoing substantial rewiring. So the teen mind often sees things out of perspective and interprets situations as more doom-laden that they are. The stupid school official was negligent in adding fuel to the fire without realising what he was doing but in my opinion he wasn't evil or vindictive.

I'm reminded me of a recent case of a teenager who was arrested and charged for driving over the limit of alcohol in his blood. He then committed suicide, believing his life would be ruined. The parents didn't know that he'd been arrested and charged and blamed the law that does not compel police to inform parents of children over the age of 16. The boy could have asked the police to contact his family and they would have done so. The law is not unreasonable and one can see pros and cons to changing it.

As I see it, that suicide was a tragedy brought about by many factors, not least the teenage state of mind and lack of perspective and risk-assessment. Blaming it on the legal situation was just a way for the parents to deal with their grief. It just so happens that the parents were wealthy and influential and their view of the law got lots of publicity. Possibly they were unconsciously avoiding the question of why they let a newly-qualified 17 year old drive to a party where alcohol was being served. After all, if he was old enough to be trusted with doing that then surely he was old enough to decide if he wanted the police to contact the parents.

So it seems to me that both cases are tragedies. They are caused by a combination of things  that individually would not result in suicide. Some negligence, some teen risk taking, a little breakdown in parent-teen communication, the fragility of the teen mind, etc. Even those of us who are not directly involved feel the pain of such a tragedy. It may make us feel better to put all the blame on the law or on the school official but is that really justice and is it the best way of reducing the possibilities of similar tragedies in future?
Re: This news item absolutely sickens me.  [message #68082 is a reply to message #68081] Sat, 02 November 2013 00:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Smokr is currently offline  Smokr

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Why isn't the principal charged with making terroristic threats?
Seriously. His comments were meant to terrorize and cause fear, and led to a death.



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Re: This news item absolutely sickens me.  [message #68083 is a reply to message #68082] Sat, 02 November 2013 00:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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Quote:
Smokr wrote on Sat, 02 November 2013 00:10Why isn't the principal charged with making terroristic threats?
Seriously. His comments were meant to terrorize and cause fear, and led to a death.

--I suspect because the local populace have agreed with him. It was only a kid, you see, and kids have never mattered to some classes of people. It's not as if the kid had made a positive contribution to his society yet, after all. He was just a no account kid and needed a big lesson, shame he wasn't man enough to handle it.

There is a story behind this, but it will never be told. The lad will pass into history. The only hope is that his death is part of the trigger that causes change in that school, town, state, eventually.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: This news item absolutely sickens me.  [message #68084 is a reply to message #68082] Sat, 02 November 2013 11:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kitzyma is currently offline  Kitzyma

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Quote:
Smokr wrote on Sat, 02 November 2013 00:10Why isn't the principal charged with making terroristic threats?
Seriously. His comments were meant to terrorize and cause fear, and led to a death.

--

I disagree with Timmy's response to this. There is no evidence that the local population thinks that a child's life is less valuable than an adult life. My understanding is that most people in most first-world countries actually think the opposite.

Had it been announced that the boy was gay, I might believe that the locals could think that a gay child's life was less valuable, but I've not seen anything that says he was gay.  In fact, it's not even clear what exactly the "local populace have agreed with". Maybe I watched different clips than other posters, but I don't remember the principal saying that the boy SHOULD be put on the SOR, merely that he COULD be put on the SOR. That is a statement of a fact and given the state law it would be possible albeit unlikely. How could the local populace disagree with a statement of fact?

I understand how upsetting this sort of situation can be. It upsets me whenever I hear about the death of any child, especially if it's suicide. So I realise that the above quoted question was probably rhetorical and a product of the understandable negative emotions generated by the tragedy. Had the word 'seriously' not then been used I would not have responded at all. However, that word made me wonder if it really was a serious question and just in case it was, here is my response.

All the principal did was to say that the law could be invoked and that law can result in someone being put on the SOR. If that were 'terrorism' then every time a policeman says that he will charge someone with a crime, e.g. one that involves being put on the SOR, then that would be 'terrorism'. Indeed, those who made the law were probably intending that the fear of punishment would deter some potential offenders from carrying out the 'crime'. Adults often threaten children with dire consequences for misbehaviour or for foolish acts and they probably hope that the child will feel enough fear to discourage that behaviour in future. Are they all terrorists?

In this case most people would think that the 'crime' was trivial or non-existent and that being put on the SOR, if it happened at all, would be far too disproportionate. TV stations don't usually go to interview people because the potential interviewee requests it. So they probably asked the principal to comment. That may well have gone to his head and induced some pompous posturing and stupidly insensitive words. Professional politicians who appear frequently on TV can say stupid and unthinking things. Here was a school principal who was probably unused to being interviewed on TV and he didn't think about the possible consequences of his words. That hardly qualifies him as a terrorist.

As regards the suicide itself, as Timmy pointed out there must be a lot we don't know and will never be told, for example regarding the boy's sexuality. Even given that the teenage brain isn't good at assessing risk and seeing things in perspective, it does seem rather extreme to commit suicide just over the small possibility of being put on the SOR. Maybe suicide would be slightly more understandable if he'd actually put on the SOR. In fact, was there any evidence (e.g. suicide note) that it was the threat of being on the SOR was the sole or main cause of the suicide? Or is it just a case of people assuming that the two are directly linked - post hoc ergo propter hoc?

As Timmy said, we don't even know why the boy was streaking in the first place. So there is almost certainly some other factors contributing to the suicide. Maybe the boy was gay and afraid of investigations showing that. Maybe he was being bullied. Maybe his parents were making his life hell either because he'd streaked or for other reasons. Maybe he was already clinically depressed. Maybe it was a combination of those and other factors. Whatever the true situation, based on the information I've seen, I feel that the stupid and insensitive principal is being given too much blame and on the basis of the TV interview doesn't deserve to be described as a terrorist.
Re: This news item absolutely sickens me.  [message #68087 is a reply to message #68084] Sun, 03 November 2013 00:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Smokr is currently offline  Smokr

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SERIOUSLY!
Streaking at a football game is a sex offense, worthy of ruining a young life and branding him as a sex offender? At 15? Streaking? At a high school football game?
SERIOUSLY?
Banned from attending further games? Sure. Disciplined by his parents? Sure. Suspension at school? Maybe.
Given a criminal record? Really? Labeled a sex offender? Really? Threatened by the school with that? Really?
That principal should be ashamed of even threatening the possibility of such a thing on television news at a fifteen-year-old boy who's only "crime" was streaking at a school football game. Undoubtedly that is the job of his lawyer, his parents, and the police, pointing out the ramifications and applying them, but not the job of the principal. His comments should have been limited to his own choices for punishment, not threatening the boy with things beyond his purview.
What the principal did is the same as myself threatening the principal with charges of manslaughter or murder for the boy's death. I have no input on such a thing, so I should not threaten the man with them.
What ever happened to the statement, "I can speak to what possible actions the school can take, but I cannot speculate on anything further."
It was the place of the police to point out any possible ramifications, or the prosecutor's office, or his parents. Not the principal to speculate on.
Frankly, even the arrest was ridiculous. The principal should have sat down with the kid and his parents and had a talk. Then the parents should have disconnected his internet, phone, cable, had him doing jobs for the neighbors, busting his butt with housework, etc. If the principal was concerned that the talk wasn't enough, then threaten him with arrest. Have the police have a little talk with him and his parents. But to jump straight to an arrest? Too far in and of itself. Alone.
Arrested? Given a criminal record? For streaking once? That's going way too far right there!
But to then threaten, on the news, in front of everyone, turning him into a sex offender? Prevented from ever earning a living? Forced to register his address and knock on neighbors doors and tell them he is a registered sex offender for the rest of his life? Prevented from having anything close to a normal life? For streaking at a school football game?
SERIOUSLY?
"Quote:"
Even given that the teenage brain isn't good at assessing risk and seeing things in perspective, it does seem rather extreme to commit suicide just over the small possibility of being put on the SOR.

Exactly why you don't publicly threaten one with something like the SOR - the teenage brain isn't good at assessing risk and seeing things in perspective!!!

How many times have we heard or said, "Don't threaten a child."? As adults, we know not to threaten a kid with something extreme and ridiculous. You don't tell a child who's broken a vase that they could be punished with thirty lashes of a whip. You don't tell a child who's stolen a candy bar that you will throw them into a dark hole for thirty days and give them only bread and water. You tell them that when they're an adult, if they do such a thing, they go to jail, then you have them return the item, apologize, and put them to sweating and working for a few days. You don't say, "You could end up being on the sex registry and your entire life ruined and everyone who ever meets you after that will think you're a monster who rapes children."
The principal was wrong. Period. It's not his place to speculate like that. "There could be legal ramifications if the school board decides to pursue that road." Period.
"Quote:"
"Hey, principal. Your comments caused a boy to die. You're complicit in the death of a fifteen-year-old boy. It's the same as if you'd placed that rope around his throat with your own bare hands. You could face the electric chair for murdering a minor."


Is that reasonable or should I be told it's irresponsible to say such a thing?
We don't permit adults to have sex with minors because they aren't ready for such things. If they aren't smart/developed/experienced enough to handle that, then persons in power over minors shouldn't threaten them with unreasonable and unlikely lies and horrors. If a fifteen-year-old isn't adult and capable enough to think out the ramifications of having sex, then we shouldn't expect them to be able to think their way through such threats and be able to handle them.
He's a school principal, a man of authority to the minors in his charge. He should well know better than to throw out ridiculous and outlandish threats to his students. He should be well aware that they are impressionable and vulnerable, especially to his words and actions, even more so in such a situation. Doubly so when his words come to the student through television news for the entire community, county, and state to see. The entire country! They all saw his principal say he could end up on the sex offender registry. The man was irresponsible at least, grossly incompetent more appropriately. Why isn't he being held responsible for his actions? He's an adult. An adult with authority and power over that minor, and hundreds of others. And spoke like that on a television news broadcast for that boy to have to deal with in an already stressful and probably overwhelming situation. The pressure that boy was under already was far more than we should expect a minor to have to deal with, but instead of being thoughtful and responsible, the man piled more and more on the kid. Even the ultimate humiliation and life-destroying possibility, as remote and nearly impossible as it was, he still heaped it on that boy's already burdened shoulders.
As to whether the principal was 'camera shocked' and spoke out of his element, he still spoke out of his place and should have made an effort to correct his threats. And there isn't a school system in the nation without a lawyer and public relations rep, often the same person. He was spoken to before that interview by their lawyer, and if he wasn't, he was a complete fool for not speaking to the school's legal department first, making him doubly foolish.
Remove him for that stupidity/ignorance alone, if not for
1) outright lying several times on the record and in public about such a serious matter involving a minor in his charge for the sole purpose of threatening and humiliating the minor
a) he said that it had been turned over to the county court system when no such action had been taken or was being considered
b) he said the sex offender registry was a possibility when he knew a misdemeanor precluded such a thing
c) over a week after the arrest, which was ridiculous enough, the principal uttered these lies and threats on the news at 10pm and the boy hanged himself the next day
2) unreasonably pushing a prank into legal action when it should have been handled more properly with only the parents
3) publicly issuing threats of ruining a young man's entire life even though he knew they were lies and empty threats, but that the boy wouldn't
4) publicly adding the further threat and humiliation of being labeled a sex offender when he knew it wasn't even a possibility
5) pushing a minor in his care into killing himself by lying on television knowing the boy would hear of it even if he didn't see it himself
The boy is dead because of what this principal unreasonably threatened him with in the most public and humiliating way possible.

[Updated on: Sun, 03 November 2013 01:41]




raysstories.com
Re: This news item absolutely sickens me.  [message #68088 is a reply to message #68087] Sun, 03 November 2013 01:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Smokr is currently offline  Smokr

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from http://blog.al.com/breaking/2013/10/christian_adamek_case_st reakin.html

"Quote:"
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - Christian Adamek likely would have received probation for streaking at a Sparkman High football game if the 15-year-old had not taken his own life.

Adamek, a student at the school, hanged himself on Oct. 2, less than a week after the Sept. 27 streaking incident. His death, and what some observers have called an overreaction by school officials, has made news and social media sites around the world.

"Quote:"
Sparkman High principal Michael Campbell told WHNT News 19 on Oct. 1 that the streaker, who at that point had not been identified publicly, faced serious consequences, including a potential charge of public lewdness. Campbell said the case was being referred to the Madison County court system.

Adamek's sister stated on Twitter before his death that her brother faced expulsion. Rumors also surfaced that the teen had allegedly been told he could be labeled a sex offender for the streaking incident, which was caught on camera and uploaded to YouTube. Adamek hanged himself the day after Campbell's interview aired. He died a day later. Neither the school district nor Adamek's family has spoken publicly about the details of the teen's punishment, though Campbell confirmed to WHNT that he was not in school following the incident. 

[Related story: Producer/director Judd Apatow joins chorus calling for Sparkman High principal's firing following Christian Adamek suicide]
http://media.al.com/opinion/photo/13542270-small.jpgChristian Adamek
(Photo from Hughart and Beard Funeral Home's website)

Madison County Assistant District Attorney Tim Gann, who works with the office's family violence and sexual assault unit, said today that the DA's office had never been contacted about Adamek's case. Gann also confirmed that public lewdness, a Class C misdemeanor, does not have any Alabama sex offender registry implications.A 15-year-old charged with public lewdness would be sent to juvenile court, where the punishment would range from a consent decree - when a charge is wiped away if the defendant stays out of trouble for six months - to probation, Gann said."There would be nothing more serious than probation on a first offense," Gann said.
A sex offender registry requirement does apply in cases where a person is convicted of indecent exposure, however. Gann explained that an indecent exposure charge contains the element of sexual gratification.A classic example of indecent exposure is a "flasher," according to Gann. Public lewdness involves non-sexual offenses, like streaking or urinating in public."Nobody ever talked about this with us," Gann said, "but it would have gone straight to juvenile court."



The principal is a liar. He lied about the case being pursued in court. He lied about even having contacted the prosecutor's office at all. He had already pressed charges and the police were involved and he knew what the charges were and that the sex registry wasn't a possibility from a misdemeanor.
He was a bully. He bullied that boy in public. He humiliated him. He threatened him with lies. He puffed up his chest and pounded it with both hands and yelled, "I am great and powerful! Fear me! I will ruin your life! Suffer little boy! Suffer! HA-HA-HA-HA!"

[Updated on: Sun, 03 November 2013 01:24]




raysstories.com
Re: This news item absolutely sickens me.  [message #68089 is a reply to message #68088] Sun, 03 November 2013 08:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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Thank you for showing us those.

It goes back to "Heck, he was just a kid, and kids don't matter. So he died. They can always get another one. That one was broken anyway."



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: This news item absolutely sickens me.  [message #68091 is a reply to message #68089] Sun, 03 November 2013 10:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kitzyma is currently offline  Kitzyma

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I agree that the principal was incompetent and negligent. He didn't know or care how fragile a teenage mind can be. He deserves to be fired and never again work with children. However, I still don't agree that makes him a 'terrorist'. The security services are already using that term as loosely as they can excuse spying on everyone.

Also, I'm concerned that by heaping all the blame on the principal the other possible contributory causes will be ignored. Then nothing will be done to reduce the risk of similar things happening again. After all, there will always be bullies like him and although in an ideal world bullying could be prevented, in the real world there needs to be mechanisms to help children who are bullied.

In this case, for example, where were those (especially family) who should have been reassuring the boy that there was no real possibility of him being put on the SOR or even being charged with a serious offence? Why did the TV station not check and correct the factual errors of the principal? Where were the 'friends' who probably persuaded him to streak? Where were those who should have noticed that the boy's mind must have been fragile even before the TV interview? The responsibility of others was considerably less than that of the principal but ignoring the contributions of others will only make it less likely that proper mechanism will be put in place to reduce the risk of something similar happening again.

I'm not trying to excuse what the principal did and I believe that he should be punished. However, I think that giving him sole blame and turning him into a figure of hatred might be convenient and emotionally satisfying but in the long run it won't prevent such tragedies happening in future. Indeed, it might well distract people from trying to find ways  to prevent similar tragedies.

What chance would we have of learning from history if we simply assumed that the guy who shot Archduke Ferdinand was to blame for the whole of World War I?

Quote:
It goes back to "Heck, he was just a kid, and kids don't matter. So he died. They can always get another one. That one was broken anyway."
Unquote.

I challenged this assertion before on the basis that there was no evidence at all for it. I think it's wrong to merely repeat a statement like that without providing any evidence to justify it.

[Updated on: Sun, 03 November 2013 11:07]

Re: This news item absolutely sickens me.  [message #68094 is a reply to message #68091] Mon, 04 November 2013 01:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Smokr is currently offline  Smokr

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I don't mean to heap ALL the blame on the principal. But he clearly was an ignoramus.
As for those who should have been a source of support for him,
1) his family may well have tried to tell him it was BS, but the boy probably took that as his parents trying to be his parents, protecting him from the awful truth. After all, the principal said it on television news - that's a powerful message, especially to a scared kid. To teens that young, the news may carry more weight of truth and fact than parents trying to be reassuring, no matter where the truth lay.
2) the news departments anymore are not fact-checking engines. They are ratings generators. Facts are secondary, ratings and sensationalism are foremost and primary. You can easily find reports/aritcles by former news writers and editors who complain of this.
3) his friends were as befuddled and lost as he was. They are the same age, go to the same school administered by the same principal. They are as developed and experienced as Christian. They probably believed the principal and the news too.
4) any others who may have helped didn't know who had streaked, it was kept private, no name released, not until the boy had died. No one was alerted to the situation, no one knew the streaker was being tormented and prosecuted as a criminal, and threatened with lies about his entire life being ruined and being labeled a sex offender until the boy was cold.

Think about this for a moment. If that principal said all of that to the news, lied like that to the reporter and the city and county and state, knowing he was speaking to adults, some lawyers, some police, imagine what he told that boy and his parents. If he was willing to be so brazen and rude and dramatic in public, imagine, if you can, what he said to that boy alone, in his office.
It makes me shudder.

If this had been handled like a case of a boy streaking at a football game, it would have been a case of a boy streaking at a football game. Instead, it was promoted to a crime and resulted in a death. The principal and the school board members that pushed for it being handled like a major crime bear the responsibility of the results and outcome. Period. They made the decision to promote it from a prank to a crime, period. The principal took it from a prank to a case of "sexual deviancy" and worthy of labeling the boy a sex offender the moment he claimed so on television in front of the entire city/county/state and the nation. With or without first consulting with the school board's legal counsel.

There is no 'proper mechanism' that needs to be put into place to prevent things like this. Too often that's the cry, "PUT A NEW LAW IN PLACE. PUT A NEW MECHANISM IN PLACE." Nothing new is needed. Something new was tried, and that was the problem. Common sense and decency are all that is needed. For decades kids have been streaking at football games and given tickets, reprimands, suspensions, bans from athletic activities, and they didn't streak again, or they got even worse punishment. No one had ever been injured or killed by someone streaking a game. Yet it's occurred countless thousands of times performed by countless thousands of kids, and no one has been harmed. Until now - a new mechanism was put into place - make it a crime.
We don't need something new! Doing something new is what caused the boy's situation to become so awful! Nothing new is needed, we need to stay with what worked!
This principal tried something new! How great did that turn out?

The kid was on the football team. He streaked a game. Have him sit the bench, make a public apology, and work his tail off until he understands it wasn't all that smart a thing to do. But he didn't commit a sex offense, and he didn't deserve the prosecution and humiliation and threats of being turned into a jobless, lifeless, friendless, homeless bum over a high school streaking prank.

He was a typical fifteen-year-old boy who pulled a typical high school prank. Why was it pushed out into the public arena as a sex offense? Why was he pilloried as a sex offender? Why was he tortured into suicide? These laws now about bullying someone into suicide should apply to this principal. He did exactly that, publicly, openly, brazenly. He's guilty of bullying resulting in suicide.

"A student streaked a football game at our school. The student has been reprimanded and the matter has been handled. The video has been removed from online. A boy pulled a prank, he's sitting out games, he's been suspended, he's been talked to by myself, the school board, and his parents. It's been handled. The police have better things to do than worry about a high school streaking incident. You news folks need to go cover real news and stop wasting your time with a high school prank. I have nothing more to say on the matter. Would you like to run a story on our new after school programs for troubled youth? Or how about the decrease in bullying at our school? Or maybe a story about our band who needs funds for instruments and uniforms?"

As for the sentiment by Timmy that the boy was ignored and treated like just another broken kid, I only see the principal and the school board doing so. Perhaps the boy's parents did, but there is no mention of that. Maybe his grandparents spat on him and called him a worthless shit, but there is no mention of that. Only the obvious disrespect for the boy's emotions and feelings by the chest-thumping principal.

[Updated on: Mon, 04 November 2013 02:08]




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Re: This news item absolutely sickens me.  [message #68132 is a reply to message #68094] Fri, 15 November 2013 12:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kitzyma is currently offline  Kitzyma

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I hope this doesn't seem as if I'm flogging a dead horse because in fact I agree with what Smokr wrote. It's just that I believe that merely blaming the bullies or even trying to reduce the incidence of bullying is only a part of any solution to the problem of teen suicides that result from bullying.

Unless human nature changes in future some people will always be inclined to do bad things such as rape, murder, theft, fraud, robbery, bullying, etc. Of course it is correct to put all the blame on the perpetrators. If a drunk driver causes an accident he is solely to blame but innocent victims in the 'innocent' vehicle might have been less damaged if they'd worn seatbelts and might be helped by rapid first aid. So similarly, I think it's also important to see if we can reduce or ameliorate the effects of the bullying.

There are things that may be done to reduce the ease and opportunity for people to do bad things. e.g. issuing rape whistles and mace sprays might dreduce rape rates and making guns and poisons difficult to obtain might reduce the murder rates. There are things that may be done to deter potential offenders. e.g. harsh punishments and high detection rates. However, without a change in basic human nature we will never eliminate murder or rape or fraud or bullying.

So blaming bullies for what they do is justified but it seems to me that it's tackling only a part of the problem of teen suicides that result from bullying. Blaming rapists for rape is justified but society should try to get a handle on the overall problem because it will be impossible to eliminate potential rapists. Advising women how to avoid dangerous situations for potential rape is NOT the same blaming the victim any more than advising people to install burglar alarms is blaming the victim of a burglary. The blame lies solely with the perpetrator.

Apart from blaming the bully, there are several other things that might be done and in some cases actually are being done. For example, teaching children how to deal with bullying. That doesn't mean just how to report it but also even before they are bullied teaching them how to deal with the emotional effects if they are bullied.

There may be techniques that can avoid bullying - e.g. bullies may be less likely to choose victims who are part of a group or have supportive friends. Victims are often chosen because they have low self-esteem, so building up a child's self-esteem at a young age might help prevent him being bullied. Finding and helping those who are vulnerable and are potential victims is NOT the same as blaming the victims.

Also, in civilised societies there are usually well-established systems in place to help victims of rape and the families of murder victims. I don't think there are similar well-established and well-known systems for victims of bullying.

Some victims of bullying, just as some victims of rape, kill themselves but many don't. So as well as rightly blaming the perpetrators society should also be asking questions such as: What are the differences between the ultra-vulnerable victims and the more resilient victims? How can the ultra-vulnerable victims be identified and helped? Is it possible that potential victims could be made more resilient even before they are subjected to bullying?
Re: This news item absolutely sickens me.  [message #68141 is a reply to message #68132] Sat, 16 November 2013 19:30 Go to previous message
Smokr is currently offline  Smokr

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Location: the burning former USofA
Registered: July 2010
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I agree that it's impossible to eliminate rapists or bullies. I also agree that there are more support systems for victims of rape than victims of bullies.
There's even great examples of bullied victims committing suicide, and police saying there is no evidence of bullying, even though the parents had confronted teachers about it in weeks prior, and other students saying they had seen it happening.
I didn't mean to imply the victim isn't to blame for their suicide, they had the choice, but if the bully hadn't bullied... a posteriori: "from what comes after" (or, "from effect to cause")



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