Alabama teenager, Christian Adamek, committed suicide earlier this month after he was caught streaking at a school gridiron game. It’s hardly the stuff hardened criminals are made of, and yet he was threatened with legal action and the possibility of being added to the sex offender’s registry for indecent exposure.
I’m not going to comment on his suicide, I’m sure his poor family is having to endure enough as it it. Instead I want to focus on the decision made by both the school and the law about how to deal with this situation.
I’m not an expert on the law … or on running a school for that matter … but I have to wonder how on earth do you make the mental leap from 15 year old kid pulling a stupid stunt, as 15 year old kids are wont to do, to sex offender? I just can’t make the connection.
The school was upset, I suppose I can understand that. You really don’t want to encourage your students to go gallivanting around in the nicky-noo-naa. But it seems a bit extreme to me to threaten legal action for doing it. Kids do dumb things. They make mistakes. Sometimes the law has to be involved, but it hardly seems right to include them when it serves no real purpose.
To be fair, there does seem to be some confusion about whether the school chose to go down the legal path, or was forced to due to the circumstances of the situation. It’s not surprising that video footage of the event was posted to Youtube, so perhaps there were legal obligations as a result. But to allow a 15 year old to believe that he was going to be labelled a sex offender thanks to a silly, thoughtless, ultimately harmless prank? No, I can’t understand that.
But then that seems to be the way the world is heading, doesn’t it. We live in a world where kids can’t even point their fingers like guns when they’re at school without being severely censured, and to nibble your sandwich into the shape of one is a suspendable offense.
When I think of how many rubber band guns I made in my youth, I don’t even want to know what they’d do to me now.
I’m in no way suggesting that kids shouldn’t be held accountable for their actions. But there’s a difference between making them responsible for something they’ve done and making a public example of them with overblown threats of judicial retribution.
It seems to me that we’ve lost our common sense when it comes to these issues, and this poor kid ended up paying the price.