Whenever kids get into trouble we wonder where the adults were. But when teens get into trouble, serious trouble, the adults seem to fade into the background. Should they, though? Police have arrested four adults in the Steubenville rape case, including a school superintendent, two coaches, and a principal. A grand jury is investigating whether or not coaches or administrators knew about the rape allegations and failed to report them -- as they're required to do according to Maryland state law.
Superintendent Mike McVey faces felony charges for obstructing justice. One of the coaches and an elementary school principal face charges for failing to report possible child abuse. And a former volunteer coach faces misdemeanor charges including contributing to the delinquency of a minor and making false statements.
We don't have details on that last adult, but the charges seem to suggest some sort of contribution to the alleged rapists' actions. Did this person buy alcohol for the teens, and then lie about buying that alcohol? Who knows. We'll have to wait to find out. But the charges make me a little sad. Whatever happened, this coach was not bringing out the best in his kids like he should have been.
Before these four arrests, a school information technology director was arrested for tampering with evidence, obstructing justice, and obstructing official business and perjury.
So that makes five adults who were involved somehow in the Stuebenville rape case -- five adults too many. Not only did they fail to guide the teens toward better behavior, and least one of them may have nudged them along in some way, even if unintentionally. As for the adults charged for failing to report the rape allegations, or even trying to cover them up, what does that say about the values (or lack thereof) that they're passing along to the teens in their community?
Once kids hit their teens, the influence of peers and other adults becomes a lot more important just as the influence of parents starts to wane. The stakes are high for adults who work for teens. Are they aware of how high?
Do you worry about the values of the adults who work with your kids?
Image via Jason Rojas/Flickr