Take this story for example, about a Wisconsin student who put some horrendously racist, and quite frankly threatening, items on the desk of another student who happened to be black. This is a perfect example of a situation where I can't quite decide where I sit.
For those whose link clicking finger is broken (or who can't be assed), a 15 year old student in Baldwin thought it would be funny to put a hand made noose and a KKK symbol on the desk of one of the only three black students in the school.
Sometimes I can't help but weep for the future.
The student was originally given a one day in-school suspension, which has since been upped to a longer out of school suspension, but there are people who think that he should have been expelled and had criminal charges brought against him. I can see their point. Just because he's a kid doesn't mean he shouldn't be accountable for what he does.
But on the other hand, this is a 15 year old kid we're talking about. A stupid, immature kid who probably wasn't thinking of the consequences of his actions. A kid who, in a few years time, is probably going to really regret having done it.
There's one thing I'm not conflicted about though. What he did was NOT okay. I was involved in a discussion on Boxing Day where we were talking about how the fight against homophobia was our generation's battle, like the fights against sexism and racism were fought by previous generations. But of course it's easy to forget that just because most people have woken up to the fact that a person's race doesn't define their significance, doesn't mean that there aren't still some real ass-holes out there.
So what are your opinions? Do you think he got off too lightly, or do you think that you have to cut stupid teenagers a bit of slack? Personally, I'm still torn.