Monday, July 30, 2007

Felonious Butt-Patting

This ought to keep prepubescent lads in line. From The Oregonian.

The two boys tore down the hall of Patton Middle School after lunch, swatting the bottoms of girls as they ran -- what some kids later said was a common form of greeting.

But bottom-slapping is against policy in McMinnville Public Schools. So a teacher's aide sent the gawky seventh-graders to the office, where the vice principal and a police officer stationed at the school soon interrogated them.

After hours of interviews with students the day of the February incident, the officer read the boys their Miranda rights and hauled them off in handcuffs to juvenile jail, where they spent the next five days.

Now, Cory Mashburn and Ryan Cornelison, both 13, face the prospect of 10 years in juvenile detention and a lifetime on the sex offender registry in a case that poses a fundamental question: When is horseplay a crime?

Bradley Berry, the McMinnville district attorney, said his office "aggressively" pursues sex crimes that involve children. "These cases are devastating to children," he said. "They are life-altering cases."
As soon as we start saying that a smack on the butt is sexual predation, which is essentially what the district attorney is doing, we are cheapening the term to the point of being meaningless. Who can look at a sex offenders list seriously if butt patters of the 13 year old variety are included along side the serial rapists?

None of us have anything to gain by this, least of all, those carrying the around the term for life.

Great commentary from Darleen Click at Protein Wisdom.

No comments: