Adults Continue Criminalizing Childhood

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Two 13-year-old Oregon boys have been jailed for playfully smacking the butts of a few female classmates.


Now out on bail but banned from school, they face possible 10-year sentences and lifelong registration as sex offenders.

Ten years. Sex offenders.

Yanked out of school in handcuffs, refused contact with their parents for 48 hours, jailed with actual criminals, these children have been permanently damaged.

They could have been your kids.

How many more lives will be destroyed by America’s obsession with sex? By its terror of male and female bodies? By its rage that children can’t be protected in sterile cocoons from real life?

Middle-schoolers Cory Mashburn and Ryan Cornelison are not the criminals. Let us name the true criminals in this case:

* The teacher’s aide who sent the kids to the vice-principal’s office. She should stick to looking for guns and chewing gum in the hallway.

* Vice Principal Steve Tillery: He called in the police instead of handling this himself. What a coward. What is his “educational” philosophy? Does it include teaching thinking or judgment?

* McMinnville cop Marshall Roache: He pursued the “case” and handcuffed the children instead of calming down the principal or insisting the kids’ parents be called.

* His supervisor, Capt. Rob Edgell: A bureaucratic worm who helped create the fascistic environment in his department. “We totally support everything that has gone on in this case.”

* District attorney Bradley Berry. He said his office “aggressively” pursues sex crimes involving children. “These cases are devastating to children,” he said. Who’s been devastated—the girls whose butts were slapped, or the children he jailed? Is this an election year, Brad? You’ve sure shown you’re tough on crime.

* Rhonda Pope, mother of one of the “victims,” who says the charges are justified. “Slapping somebody on the butt is sexual harassment. Considering that my daughter was offended, it is a crime.” Mom, will you jail your daughter when she offends you? Will you try to jail a boyfriend who breaks poor Christina’s heart in a few years?

It would be bad enough to prosecute this as an assault. To classify it as a sexual assault shows exactly what’s going on here: an attempt to control the normal sexual feelings of children. Classifying uninvited butt-slapping and forcible rape as the same crime clearly shows that the crime is sex. Sexual energy. That little erotic charge you find whenever humans congregate. Unless they’re half-dead, which is apparently what school and police officials in this pathetic American town.

Sex education? Abstinence? Contraception? Masturbation?

Way too sophisticated for these frightened, aggressive, vindictive adults. Let’s start simple. How about human rights?

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