We interrupt your regularly scheduled Mess - and by “we,” I really mean me, because, well, I determine what goes up here - to bring you a true mess that is happening in the state of Florida. If you live in the Sunshine State, then you probably heard about this breaking news that is ripping through Indian River County involving two love lost teenagers. As you read their story, I think you’ll find yourself on one of two polar ends. I highly doubt any of you will say, “Who cares? What’s happening on The Big Bang Theory tonight?” Mess readers are deep feeling individuals. At least, that’s what I tell myself when I write pieces about Zac and his exploits into turning my hair grey.
I listened to a radio show this morning about this case and heard differing stories. I’ve read a few articles on it and the mother’s heartfelt plea on her personal Facebook page. Normally, I ignore political or legal issues. I prefer to poke fun at myself and other people. However, when the hypocrisy of something stinks - and my readers know how much I despise hypocrisy - I have to chime in. What follows is what I have pieced together from available sources and if anyone finds something to be in error, please let me know and I’ll fix it. I hate to do research for blogs, but this is too important to just wing it.
Kaitlyn Hunt is now a senior at Sebastian River High School, a popular student with good grades and very active. She was on the basketball team, a cheerleader, and in the chorus. She was even voted the person with the “Most School Spirit”. Everything was looking great for her with a bright future ahead. Except, she fell in love and we all know how crazy teenage romance is.
The story started a year earlier. On the radio show I listened to this morning it said it was a three year relationship, but the news source I found said that they had met last year on the basketball team. Girls’ basketball team, that is. There’s the first twist in our story and the first bit of issue I have with our tale. When the basketball coach discovered the relationship, she kicked Kaitlyn off of the team. I didn’t read anywhere where both girls were thrown from the team, just Kaitlyn. What’s more, the coach called the girlfriend’s parents and informed them that their daughter was in a same sex relationship. Apparently, the coach didn’t want drama. However, it seems to me she brought drama to the team and the school by her actions and if I was there I would be screaming. I’m screaming now.
There are greater issues at hand, as you’ll see as you continue reading, but if I was the parents of Kaitlyn, I would go after the coach for discrimination. You can’t kick someone off of a team because of their sexual orientation! If that was the reason, why weren’t both girls kicked off the team? Something is not being said and the coach needs to be investigated. As does the principal for allowing the discrimination to take place. The blame may not start with her, but it does end with her for not fixing the prejudicial situation when it happened.
Once Kaitlyn turned eighteen, her girlfriend 15, they became intimate. (I saw a copy of a police report online that stated the girlfriend was 14 at the time of the incident. I’ve seen conflicting reports, so I put both ages out there. If she was 14, then she wasn’t 14 for long as she was 15 when Kaitlyn was arrested.) One-time. One-time they surrendered to hormones and emotions and had sex. That one time, however, sent the girlfriend’s parents to the police and in February Kaitlyn was arrested in her home and charged with “two felony counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12-16 years of age.” At first, the police wouldn’t even tell the parents why they were arresting Kaitlyn because she was technically 18 and an adult. When they finally did tell them, the parents were stunned and a battle had begun that will change this girl’s life forever.
Now, anyone who knows me knows how protective I am of children. I believe there is a special place in Hell for people who hurt them. Yet, Kaitlyn is still a child herself, going through the same high school experience we all went through, one that had been going on for a year. Were the girlfriend’s parents ignorant of this relationship for that entire year? Teenagers can hide quite a few things, but not a relationship for an entire year. At least, not unless the parents are totally clueless and uninvolved in their child’s life. As a parent you notice when certain names pop up more than others as well as phone calls and social media contact. Were these straight-laced individuals not paying attention to what was going on in their daughter’s life? So now this looks like a trap to me. The parents knew the relationship was going on and waited to end it in extreme measures. If they disapproved of the relationship, why didn’t they end it earlier before that One Time occurred?
Kaitlyn’s parents have tried to communicate with the girlfriend’s parents, but the others won’t have it. As a matter of fact they tried to get Kaitlyn expelled from school. Now, here is where I have another issue. Kaitlyn’s parents went before a judge to keep her in school. Actually, they had to go to two different judges in the course of this battle. Both said the same thing. Kaitlyn was not a threat and could remain in school. However, the other parent’s went to the school board and eventually had her kicked out. My question is now this - how did the school board trump two judges? If the courts can issue cease and desist orders and restraining orders and other such contraptions, how could this happen? They can trump doctors, so why not political boards? And school boards are just that - political boards.
This case opens up several issues. If children are seen as adults at the age of eighteen, should they be allowed to remain in school with those younger? Would you allow a twenty-two year old to attend high school? No. Yet, they are just as much an adult as an 18-year old in the eyes of the law. Yes, you say, but… the minute you say the word “but,” you have to look at everything different; not just part of it. And if they are an adult at the age of eighteen, then to me they should be able to drink. Not mature enough, you say? Then the legal age needs to be pushed back to twenty-one and Kaitlyn needs to be let off the hook. We send mix messages when we say you’re old enough to go to war and kill the enemy and to be tried as a felon for oral sex, but you can’t handle a beer. That’s asinine!
Furthermore, if they are adults, stop using the parent’s income to determine their financial aid for college. These eighteen-year olds are either adults or they’re not. It is unjust to pick and choose which privileges to give them while making them fully responsible for what you don’t like. Kaitlyn was 17 when this romance began. She turned eighteen, but nothing changed. She was still a cheerleader, still attending pep rallies, and still in love with the same girl. She didn’t start this relationship after she was eighteen. To charge her in this is ludicrous. She is still a teenager and there was no difference between 11:59pm and 12:00am on her birthday. She still woke up the next day and went to school. If we are going to allow Kaitlyn to face trial, then we need to arrest the girlfriend’s parents for allowing their daughter to be in a relationship with an older person and failing to protect her.
Our laws are skewed. I don’t blame Kaitlyn or her girlfriend. I blame the girlfriend’s parents, the coach, the principal, the police department, and the school board for allowing this to escalate the way that it has. As adults, we should be able to be more discerning. Should they have had sex? No. Yet, I’ll bet you there are several eighteen-year old senior boys having sex with underclassman. If we’re not going after them, then we need to let Kaitlyn go. She was only being a teenager in love.
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