Old Geezers Out to Lunch

Old Geezers Out to Lunch
The Geezers Emeritus through history: The Mathematician™, Dr. Golf™, The Professor™, and Mercurious™

Monday, February 24, 2014

Teenager on the Internet, Part II

This story link provides an update to story recently posted about a teenage boy who posted an off-color joke/lie about being in a sexual relationship with a young female teacher:

In my previous post, I suggested that a public apology on the lad's part might do a lot to undo the damage, and indeed that's what's now happened. It occurred at a carefully staged  official press conference attended by not one, not two, but three lawyers representing the family, giving credence to my suspicion that this thing was now being orchestrated by lawyers sensing PR possibilities.

The end of the story has one of the family lawyers calling the school superintendent and chief of police "imbeciles" for levying the school suspension and suggesting that the kid's action might be a serious crime.  And there's now the hint that the family's lawyers might seek some sort of law suit against the school for mental damage caused to the boy by the "overreaction" on the part of school officials.

Back in the day, such an event would have been handled quite simply and maturely by a responsible parent marching the kid into the principal'[s office, calling the young teacher in, and having the boy apologize for being such a dumb-ass. But now in the day of on-line public dispersal of information, news media dying to create stories, and lawyers seeking talk-show publicity, this is what we've come to.

As the old joke goes, "What do you call 100 lawyers at the bottom of the sea?"

Answer:  "A good start."


  1. They could even be joined by politicians, (in the widest use of that word), just for company of course. We wouldn't really wish them any ill-will......wouldn't we?

  2. Daughter's response when I asked her the joke question? "Justice."

    This situation has been poorly handled. The family's attorneys have fired the pre-emptive volley, to get ahead of the game, making the reasonable, mature and correct response (as you outlined) all but impossible. We are teaching our children that with enough power/money, they can escape true responsibility for their actions. Not to mention what we're teaching our sons about how to treat women. I wonder if this boy's mother has given that any thought? Obviously, the father hasn't.

    Now the teacher will be bombarded by even more attorneys, seeking to line their pockets by representing her side. She continues to be wronged in this affair.

    I hope the teacher's union and the school board will stand behind her in this. Someone has to hold this boy accountable for his behavior. A mea-culpa press conference isn't going to do it.

  3. Maybe civilization, as we know it, benefits from remembering what Dick the Butcher said in Henry VI
    "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." Thank you Mr. Shakespeare.

    T-shirts, posters, airport signage, billboards, television commercials, internet banners, interstitials, etc.

  4. Come on....it's like Hillary said: It takes a village to raise a child.

    Pfftt...my dad and his belt were more than enough encouragement to keep me on the straight and narrow. I think we need less mob mentality and more personal responsibility. And if you ask me, in this situation, the schools can go suck a lemon.

  5. Ah. I know this story. :-)

    And a LOT can be smoothed with a real apology. They're like magic.


  6. Sounds like the affluenza defense for the kid. How about him, without being flanked by lawyers, actually apologize face to face to the teacher, and apologize for his stupidity and the embarrassment he has caused everyone else. This way everyone can get on with their lives and not create wealth for greedy attention whore lawyers.

  7. Since the student published (and internet does qualify as self-publishing) a 2-word falsehood calling a teacher's employment-suitability into question, he is guilty of libel. It's really the teacher's call if she wants to press charges. An apology may be accepted, but there's still the problem of community opinion affecting her future employment --an adjustment left to the civil court. Of course it was just silly locker-room repartee that got broadcast because that's what keeps electronic social media alive --and 17-year-olds are idiots, I was-- but sadly, this case may have years of litigation over damages and settlements. A disproportionately hard lesson in responsibility.

  8. If its an old joke, it still rings true. Sacks-of-concrete-at-the-bottom-of-the-sea... artificial fish reefs


  9. I totally agree with you! Earthlings are so stupid!
    It seems in this day and age, a phony apology and a short stint in rehab can get a person out of almost anything.