Mark Steyn has the truly unbelievable story of two middle school boys -- that's MIDDLE SCHOOL -- who are being prosecuted as sex offenders for swatting a few of their classmates' behinds.
These are 7TH GRADERS. Possibly not even teenagers yet.
The boys -- whose parents now owe attorneys thousands of dollars -- have been offered a plea if they don't want to risk a trial: "...that would mean pleading guilty in return for probation. The terms of probation would prevent...contact with younger children, which would mean they couldn't be left with their younger siblings."
Steyn's conclusion: "A world that requires handcuffs and judges and district attorneys for what took place...is not just a failed education system but an entire society that's losing any sense of proportion. Without which, civilized life becomes impossible... A society that looses the state to criminalize schoolroom horseplay is guilty not only of punishing children as grown-ups but of the infantilization of the entire citizenry."
One of my thoughts is: What kind of a message does it send young people if it's communicated to them that parents and teachers are inadequate to deal with such a minor offense? What an undermining of the authority of parents and others who are responsible to guide young people.
The entire article is a must-read. It truly can't be believed, and I hope Oregon citizens will be speaking out against the heavy-handed reaction of their government employees, including the principal and the prosecutor.
One could easily question which of the people involved in this sad story are the real juveniles.