Friday, April 2

Can i be a booze hound. Not till your 15.

So here's the story, some girl committed suicide, after which the police decided to to charge 9 students at the high school with various felonies for bullying her. This is completely bogus. Something bad happened so now we have to find someone to blame. This reminds me of the Northwestern case, someone drank himself to death so the cops decided to charge the person who brought alcohol to the party with manslaughter, or some other such preposterous charge. He ended up pleading guilty to something lesser that involved no jail time, but only afters years of court. The problem here is that you are not punishing people for what they are doing, you are punishing them for what someone else is doing. People who are underage drink all the time in the united states, i would venture to guess that at most college campuses in america 95% of the students drink before they turn 21. They are all being provided alcohol by older college kids, but none of those kids is ever charged with a serious crime. But then some freshman who doesn't know what he's doing drinks too much and dies from, and so now we have to punish the kid who brought the alcohol. It's like you're driving 75 down the highway and drunk falls in front of you, and you run him over and kill him. Now the cops want to charge you with manslaughter cause you were speeding and so are responsible for his death. No matter that the guy in front of you was doing 75, and the guy behind you was doing 75, you were the guy who the drunk fell in front of so you get to go to prison. The suicide case is not a perfect analogy, but the point is that if these crimes are serious enough to prosecute, then they should be prosecuted regardless of the actions of other people. Until you are ready to hand out jail time to everyone who provides minors with alcohol, don't send one guy to jail just because he drew the short straw of bringing the alcohol to the party where some numb nuts drank himself to death. If this girl was being bullied so seriously, then these kids should have been charged before she hung herself, not as a reaction to her hanging herself. It's only a serious crime if something bad happens, because then we need to find someone to blame. Of course the worst part about the suicide case is that it says teacher were aware of the bullying but did nothing. But for some reason they can't be charged with anything. And although the article fails to specify i'm willing to bet they won't lose their jobs, or even be in any way reprimanded for the gross failure to act. It is the responsibility of teachers to maintain a safe environment at school, and to prevent the type of bullying that led to this suicide. It would have been failure worthy of firing if the teachers had simply not been paying enough attention to be aware of the problem. But far worse to be aware to the problem and consciously decide who cares, not my problem, i'm a tenured teacher anyway, i get my paycheck, and i can't be fired, and so i can't be bothered to actually do something about the situation. I'm not saying kids shouldn't be arrested and put in prison for abusive bullying, but how many kids in Mass. have been charged with felonies over bullying, i'm willing to bet very few. If the bullying is bad, it is bad regardless of whether the girl kills herself. Until you are prepared to charge bullies with felonies as standard procedure, don't single out people because there was a tragedy and you need a scapegoat. That doesn't help anybody.

As an aside i'm not exactly sure how this works, but basically if you commit a felony, and as a consequence of that felony a person dies, that constitutes felony murder. That is to say you are robbing a bank, a guard shoots at you but instead kills someone else, you are now guilty of murder. As such if these 9 kids are guilty of felonies, they are all also guilty of murder because their felonies led to her suicide.


Blogger Aras said...

I was gonna say the same thing, disturbing an assembly is a felony offense?? What!

But the worst part is that yes, this sounds like exactly the thing that would shoot the suicide rate right up.

7:17 AM  

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