Third of Three from Gus:
Recently I wrote on parenting, and how nobody within school administration has any sense of humor or proportionality in punishment anymore.
Both of those articles stemmed from of story of Christian Ademek out of Alabama that brought those issues and the emotions involved to the forefront of my mind. This article comes out of Harvest, Alabama and is so sad, it could make any parent cry.
Fifteen-year-old Christian became a school legend overnight when he went streaking across his school football field during a game. A video of the prank was posted on YouTube and later Twitter exploded with tweets, many giving the student accolades regarding the stunt.
Sparkman High School staff, however, didn’t see the situation as light-heartedly as the students did. In fashion typical of today’s academic administrators, they reacted swiftly and harshly. He was reportedly facing expulsion, and criminal charges for indecent exposure which, in Alabama, lands you on the Sex Offender Registry.
Instead of facing expulsion from school, and possibly being listed as a sex offender, he chose to hang himself. He didn’t succeed right away. It took two days to die from his injuries.
From the article:
Sparkman High Principal Michael Campbell told WHNT a day before the suicide attempt that the teen could face major repercussions because of his actions.
“There’s the legal complications,” Campbell said. “Public lewdness and court consequences outside of school with the legal system, as well as the school consequences that the school system has set up.” In Alabama, indecent exposure is linked to the state’s sex offender laws, meaning that he could have found himself on the sex offenders register due to the streaking.
Campbell added that that the incident was not just a prank and needed to be treated seriously. Sparkman High administrators even recommended that Adamek face a hearing in the Madison County court system to determine if formal charges would be filed, WHNT reported.
Adamek had also been disciplined by the school district but the details had not been made public. The day before the suicide attempt, the principal had confirmed that Adamek was not at school and the teenager’s sister suggested on Twitter that Adamek faced expulsion.
There is no common sense represented by Sparkman High School staff, or the school district administration here. A stern ass-chewing, detention, and maybe a public apology to his fellow students would have sent a clear message to the rest of the student body that these actions wouldn’t be tolerated by the school.
However, the punishment was so harsh that this popular student and beloved son/brother killed himself rather than face a law that was first enacted, ostensibly, to protect him.
If you’re confused and outraged about this, you’re not alone.