victimizer or victim?
And so the debate begins. Does the school have the jurisdiction over these girls needed to expel them for activities that take place off campus?
Over at Bill Quick's, commenter JB (who is familiar with school law) says:
There are conditions in some states' school laws that extend the in loco parentis authority (as well as the responsibility) of local school districts to cover situations involving behavior by student groups, whether on school grounds and/or during school hours or not. It can be (and has been, in some cases) argued that, if school authorities can reasonably be expected to know of activities by students which are primarily engaged in as a result of the students' role(s) or involvement with the school, the school authorities can exert control over the students' behavior - whether before or after the fact of said behavior.
Unfortunately, the parents of these girls can't be suspended or expelled from parenting. While the girls are old enough to be held responsible for their own actions, the parents must also be held accountable for providing their children with the means to inflict harm on others.
By that, I don't mean the beer they drank or the feces they threw at the underclassmen; I mean the mentality.
When you equip your child with the power to inflict cruelty upon others, you do a disservice not only to the kids your child will shame with that cruelty, but to your child herself. She will not gain your respect or admiration by you allowing her to exhibit these horrendous behaviors - but she will gain a sense of arrogance that will permeate her personality for the rest of her life.
Should the school be held responsible? Partly, only because they certainly had to be aware of the event and made no attempt to put a stop to it.
But the real blame lies with the parents who set a very bad precedent by giving their kids permission to act like savages.
Now those very parents will be the ones hiring lawyers and suing the school district, claiming their children are victims. There is no hope for those girls when their parents not only condone, but encourage their behavior and then set further bad examples by not owning up to the wrongdoing and fighting punishment instead, and that's where my anger stems from in stories like this one; we are clearly living in a society where people refuse to own up to their own errors, their own mistake, their own actions.
Instead we have lawsuit upon lawsuit, people blaming restaurants for making fattening food, suing to have cookies taken off the market, going to court because they were too stupid to realize they have to take the Pop-Tart out of the paper package before putting it in the toaster.
What have we become? Is there no one who will stand up and say I was wrong, forgive me instead of running to file motion papers that will ultitmately place the blame on someone else?