Blame more than kids in Mount Hebron sex incident

May 11, 2004|By Susan Reimer

EVEN AS the after-school shootings at Randallstown High School take over the headlines, the fallout from the sex-in-the-bathroom incident at Mount Hebron High School continues.

Most of the discussion now is centered on punishment: Has there been enough - or should there be more?

Were the six days in jail and the fearful humiliation endured by teen-agers Demetris Myrick, Christopher Berry and Roderick Rudolph excessive?

Should they also be expelled from the Howard County school system or were the 10-day suspensions from Mount Hebron they've already received sufficient?

What should be done now to punish the unnamed 15-year-old girl who accused the trio of rape but who has not been able to make the accusation stick?

Or was the five-hour physical exam she endured at Howard County General Hospital punishment enough?

Should she, too, be expelled from county schools or just suspended?

At this point, I think it is possible that the kids have been punished enough.

It's the grown-ups who should be horse-whipped.

Let's start with the parents, step-parents, grandparents, adoptive parents and guardians who never took the time to teach their children that sex was a deeply meaningful form of communication between adults who are in a committed relationship.

That sex is not something you do on the floor of a high school bathroom as part of some pathetic social transaction.

And while we are flaying them in the high school parking lot for this enormous failing, let's add a couple of lashes for going on television and blaming everyone else when their kids misbehave. And a couple of more lashes for blaming the whole business on race.

Then let's round up the school administrators who think this is a security problem and not a moral problem.

The ones who think locking bathroom doors during the day and or putting in security cameras is the answer for a generation of kids who think the only thing wrong with having sex on the floor of a school bathroom is getting caught.

This is only the latest crime committed by the people who run our public schools. These are the same people who think that talking about sex in the context of loving relationships is a value judgment that can't be discussed in a public school classroom.

Let's punish them for that, too.

Then let's go after the lawyers. The ones who talked too much and defended the behavior of their clients as "kids fooling around in a bathroom." And the ones who think this incident was the result of "poor judgment" and provided "a valuable lesson."

They were having two-on-one sex on the floor of a public bathroom, for mercy's sake, not drawing dirty pictures on the stall doors!

No matter the letter of the law, can the lawyers please get on board with the depravity of this behavior?

And after we are done with the lawyers, let's collect the investigating officers and horse-whip them. The ones who broke this girl's spirit and her story because she was not some blameless vestal virgin.

The ones who think sex on the floor of a public bathroom can possibly be consensual in any meaningful definition of the word.

Either that young girl was pressured to service those young men or, worse, she came to believe that it was OK to do so.

Did the emergency room doctors check her brain or her heart for "trauma consistent with forcible rape"? I bet they'd find plenty of evidence there.

No doubt about it. These three young men and the young woman have messed up their lives, six ways to Sunday.

But they didn't do it on their own.

They had plenty of messed-up adults to help them.

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