By Carolyn Angiolo
Palatine Patch Teen Voice
A little over a week ago, a cell phone video was leaked by a group of hackers called Anonymous. Though the video itself was very poor quality, the audio truly told the story.
A group of high school boys from Steubenville, Ohio are heard laughing about a 16-year-old-girl being raped in a room nearby. They joked, saying she was “deader than Caylee Anthony” and “deader than O.J.’s wife”, among others. The girl was actually not dead, but was intoxicated, and throughout the course of the night was in and out of consciousness.
Obviously, the intelligence these boys possessed is somewhat lacking, because “deader” isn’t even a word. More importantly, these not-so-gentlemen-like young men are under the influence of something. Whether it was drugs or alcohol, it is pretty apparent from the audio/video. Their overall demeanor shows that something just isn’t right….
A lot of things in this situation went wrong. Some of what happened could have been prevented.
One is the use of illegal drugs and/or alcohol by teenagers. Now, some people will say, “Oh they’re teenagers, let them have fun!”
No. Speaking as a teenager that has never drank or used drugs-but has seen the effects of such things on other people my age-I can attest to the fact they are simply pointless and so unnecessary. Fun can be had without any additional help from drugs or alcohol. When they are used, a situation similar to what happened in Ohio is certainly a possiblity.
Some teenagers understand the consequences of using these substances, and that is why they avoid them. However, some need more supervision, and that is why parents must know where their kids are, and what they are doing.
Parents should definitely not force their children to stay locked away in their rooms. Teenagers should be able to have fun, but they should be safe at the same time. Something terrible like what happened to the 16-year-old Ohio girl could happen if they aren't.
Parents have given teenagers the drugs and alcohol lecture countless times. Something they might not hear as much is the need to be a good person. In the video, one boy speaks up at one point, and asks, “What if that was your daughter?” and his friend responds, “…but, it’s not.” After this exchange, the boys continues to laugh and does nothing to help the girl in the other room.
I firmly believe this boy was trying to stand up and trying to help…but he didn’t do enough. That girl continued to suffer because he was too afraid to stand up to his friends and speak up to say that what was happening was terribly wrong.
Children and teens need to be reminded they can and should stop crimes from occurring. I’m not saying to turn your child into a vigilante Batman. All I am saying is that we should empower the people of this world to stand up for what is right, regardless of how many people are standing against them, and this begins at home.
This world will never become a better place if we don’t start now and if we don’t start teaching each other to take the strongest stand possible against injustice, no matter how unpopular it might make you.
Carolyn Angiollo is a junior at Palatine High School and a writer for the Cutlass Newspaper at PHS.