Mark Steyn is onto the DA, up in Oregon, if you can believe it:
Seems a bit excessive to make felons and sex offenders of some youthful (if a bit inappropriate) play. When will we allow our kids to make mistakes of judgment and learn from them? Apparently, not in Oregon.
Do you know Cory Mashburn and Ryan Cornelison?
If you do, don't approach them. Call 911 and order up a SWAT team. They're believed to be in the vicinity of McMinnville, Ore., where they're a clear and present danger to the community. Mashburn and Cornelison were recently charged with five counts of felony sexual abuse, and District Attorney Bradley Berry has pledged to have them registered for life as sex offenders.
Oh, by the way, the defendants are in the seventh grade.
Messrs Mashburn and Cornelison are pupils at Patton Middle School. They were arrested in February after being observed in the vestibule, swatting girls on the butt. Butt-swatting had apparently become a form of greeting at the school – like "a handshake we do," as one female student put it. On "Slap Butt Fridays," boys and girls would hail each other with a cheery application of manual friction to the posterior, akin to a Masonic greeting.
A society that looses the state to criminalize schoolroom horseplay is guilty not only of punishing children as grown-ups but of the infantilization of the entire citizenry.