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Editorial: Arrests set an example

Published 7:40am Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The arrests May 12 of four teens at Niles High School was not a pretty scene. The four men — a fifth teen was arrested at his home — are charged with criminal sexual conduct, among other crimes, stemming from alleged assaults on a female that include threatening to post a sex video on Facebook.

No crimes committed in this case reportedly occurred at NHS. And, understandably, some community members expressed concern the arrests at school put NHS in a bad light.

Police claim the arrests were conducted at the school not only because they knew where the suspects would be, but because word spreads fast, and evidence was also seized from their homes at the time of the arrests. Officers did what they had to do to bring the suspects into custody, and that is what these young men are — suspects, in a very serious criminal case.

These men will not likely don caps and gowns on graduation day. They will not smile for the cameras as they accept their high school diplomas.

But that may be the least of their worries if they are convicted of the heinous crimes of which they are accused.

Although the arrests May 12 were an uncomfortable moment for NHS, it does set an example for other students who have considered or have committed similar acts.

Sex videos, “sexting,” sexual language online and via cell phones — this behavior is more common in the high school and even junior high environment than most adults can imagine, and it is not unique to NHS. It does not mean, of course, that all high school students behave this way or condone this behavior.

But the arrests have sent a message to those students who do — commit the crime and you pay a very hefty price.

This editorial reflects the views of the Niles Daily Star editorial board.

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