Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Features

September 13, 2012

No surprise to find kids wading into digital swamp

(Continued)

As horrified parents, how do we stop this?

The 18 chaperons on the trip with the DeMatha team did bed checks at 1:30 and 4:30 a.m. They were almost as thorough as the Secret Service planning security for a presidential trip. Oh wait, scratch that. The Secret Service has its own little problem in this area.

The DeMatha boys evaded the best efforts of their chaperons by placing their order at 5 a.m.

Gonzaga (D.C.) boys soccer coach Scott Waller told The Washington Post that he confiscates laptops and cellphones when the team is on the road.

Get this: When Good Counsel (Md.) high school coach Bob Milloy took 50 football players to Las Vegas for a game, they had 14 coaches, the school athletic director, trainer and strength coach plus two additional adults and two cops he hired just for the trip.

If anything happened in Vegas, it stayed there. But maybe the cops were the final defense keeping it legal. Wait, that is legal in parts of Nevada.

The simple fact is, keeping kids from doing what they want to do is tough.

And an online debate has been raging about the fairness of DeMatha's punishment — kicking the boys off the team.

"They're just teenagers being stupid teenagers. They should be suspended for a week, give them some community service in the school, and the coach should make them run some laps. Another case of the news media sensationalizing everything," wrote T_Dubb, in the story's comments.

That reaction mystified Penrod and others.

"It. Was. Illegal," he said. It wasn't just immoral.

If drugs were the issue, the debate about punishment wouldn't even happen. And there would be no winks, no "boys will be boys" comebacks in online forums.

This isn't a problem limited to DeMatha or an anomaly in any way. Parents who think their kids would never dream of downloading porn or hiring prostitutes are kidding themselves.

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