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Do the crime, do the time
Posted By Jon Dougherty On 05/15/2000 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled
Oregonian high school senior Leslie Shorb looks like an attractive
young lady. She’s smart, too — the girl is set to graduate Powers High
School in a few weeks with a “near-4.0 grade point average,” an academic
performance that earned her a co-valedictorian slot she was sharing with
her cousin, Anna Shorb.
Notice I said was sharing.
School officials have
removed her top honors status because she decided last month to strip her clothes off and jump into a school shower in the boy’s locker room with five naked and showering male peers.
Besides taking away her co-valedictorian status, school board officials have also voted to suspend her for 10 days, prohibit her from engaging in after-school sponsored activities, took away her privilege of addressing her senior class at graduation, forbade her from attending the senior prom and said she could not go with her class on its senior trip to Mexico.
Sounds pretty harsh, eh?
Well, it is pretty harsh. But that’s the way it goes; if you’re gonna play, you gotta pay.
Ms. Shorb doesn’t think so. Insisting this act of utter stupidity was “no big deal,” she has retained a lawyer and is suing the school because they have taken away her co-valedictorian status.
She isn’t miffed about the prom, the trip, the extra-curricular activities or any other punishment meted out by the board. Just the loss of her top honors slot. So, as is typical in America these days, the blatantly irresponsible act Shorb is guilty of committing will now be the subject of another pointless and unnecessary lawsuit.
Only in America these days can you do the crime but expect to get out of doing the time. Expect it, because, most adults these days seem willing to pursue similar modes of behavior and, through their examples, are teaching our kids that you don’t have to be culpable or liable for your actions if you get a good lawyer and boneheads for peers in a jury.
It’s ironic to me that Ms. Shorb is a valedictorian in the first place. Obviously she has learned her school lessons well but somewhere along the way she never quite learned to behave responsibly. The CBS report about her also mentioned that she has engaged in coed “skinnydipping” with these same five boys at local water spots.
“No big deal,” right?
Admittedly, Ms. Shorb said she thought she would receive some punishment. But nothing like what she got.
Oh, well — a miscalculation on her part does not an unjust punishment make, I always say.
And what of her parents? Do they approve of this suit? If not, who’s paying for it — Ms. Shorb?
Granted, the girl’s 18 years old. But are they reinforcing the school’s decision by agreeing that their daughter made an incredibly foolish mistake?
Meanwhile, also in Oregon (what’s in the water up there?), another high school waif has demonstrated low intelligence, self-esteem and a penchant for the ignorant — all, apparently, with the blessings of his mother.
The Oregonian, 15-year-old Damon Pryor was expelled May 1 for the rest of the year from the Lake Oswego School District for “mooning” other students at a track and field practice. To the uninitiated, “mooning” is dropping your britches and baring your assets for all to see — in public. In fact, most cities and communities have laws against that kind of public indecency.
However, justice may be denied. The newspaper said the boy’s mother is “outraged” over the expulsion because — you guessed it — she feels the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.
Maybe she’s right. Maybe the better lesson here would have been for school officials to call the cops, have the kid arrested and given a police record, thereby ruining any chance he ever had of doing something decent with his life. Be careful what you ask for, Mrs. Pryor.
Maybe kids these days have seen how easily President Clinton, most of his administration, and the miscreants in Congress escape punishment for all of their egregious and blatant immorality and violations of law. Maybe they’re just a sign of the irresponsible times we live in.
If that’s the kind of defense the parents and lawyers of these kids are planning, they may have a chance of winning.
And that’s the really sad part of all this.
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