I think parents need to quit hovering and let kids figure out how to fight their own battles. It helps kids figure out how to handle conflict, plus — when compared to their parents — kids fight way more fair.
Take the case of a Wintersville, Ohio mom, Linda Tate, who wanted to de-throne a local homecoming queen. She somehow came into possession of naked pictures of the girl — taken by the teen herself and sent to her boyfriend (bad idea!). “Concerned” that they were illegal, Tate called the police. When she got no response, she forwarded the pictures on to school administrators and teachers.
(Let’s pause for a minute and imagine that you’re a high school biology teacher, opening what you think is an innocent incoming email from a parent, only to discover a naked picture of one of your students. There isn’t a delete button big enough for that kind of surprise.)
Things spiraled downhill from there, and the photos eventually reached the general community. The teen learned a very, very hard lesson about why what experts now call “sexting” is a very bad idea, and Tate discovered that there are worse things than your daughter not being on Homecoming court.
Charged with menacing by stalking, Tate’s conviction — which would have been a felony — was reduced to a misdemeanor. She’s been sentenced to four years of probation. I think she should consider herself lucky, considering her horrendous behavior. Homecoming queens come and go, but a felony conviction is forever.
Photo: John Lee