School Went Too Far Investigating Yearbook 'Crime'

Jacqueline Burt Cote

teen feetIs "third base" now a criminal offense? A California high school is forcing kids to return their yearbooks after somebody noticed a picture from a school dance in which two students might be engaging in a "sex act" in the background (the 17-year-old boy's hand is suspiciously hidden by the clothing on the lower half of the 15-year-old girl's body).

Okay, fine -- I think it's a little bit of a puritanical overreaction to take back all the yearbooks, but whatever -- except the story doesn't end there. Local police have detectives "examining" the photo to determine whether or not the boy is engaged in the criminal act of sexual penetration of a minor. WHAT???!!! Excuse me while I go and vomit in the corner. A team of detectives is sitting around staring at a picture trying to figure out whether or not a teenage boy has his finger(s) up a teenage girl's ... girly parts? I'm sorry, but that's just plain gross.

This was a consensual (not to mention hypothetical, technically) make-out session. The girl in question hasn't filed any charges, she's not claiming to have been third-based against her will. So why exactly is law enforcement troubling themselves with the task of staring at kiddie porn analyzing this photo extensively? (Yes, I did just answer my own question.) Gross, gross, gross. If I were that girl's mother, I'd be raising holy hell at police headquarters over this one. I'm just saying, there are millions of cases of actual child molestation that fall through the cracks every year, and here we are wasting time figuring out to what degree two teens are "molesting" each other?

I realize that these kids made the mistake of having sexy time in public, at a school function, where there were cameras snapping. Go ahead and give 'em a slap on the wrist if you have to. But no way, no how, should the word "criminal" be used to describe this incident.

Do you think the police are going overboard about this yearbook pic?


Image via Oteo/Flickr

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