Excuses Don't Work for Mom of Florida Beating Suspect

This week, I've been trying to ignore one item in the news: the story of the Florida teenager who was beaten by a group of girls, reportedly so they could put a video of the action on YouTube.

Then I saw the video on the Chicago Tribune's website (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/orl-beating0908apr09,0,7846159.story).

Pretty awful.

What struck me, though, is a quote from the mother of one of the girls. She told the Today Show's Matt Lauer that the sheriff's office investigating the case has "overblown" it. She takes issue with investigators who say the beating lasted thirty minutes. She says "First of all, the tape that was released is only three minutes long. That was the worst of it."

Well, lady, the "worst of it" is the reason I think your daughter and the rest of her posse should spend the next year or longer locked up, either in a juvenile detention center or adult jail. I'm just sorry there's no statute of Aggravated Making Stupid Excuses for Your Kid so you could be dropped in there beside them.

In that three minutes, the victim is repeatedly punched, slapped and knocked into a wall, while other girls variously encourage the one doing the beating and warn not to let the victim fall into a china cabinet. Sheriff's investigators say that all happened after the girl awoke from a previous beating that knocked her unconscious.

Will anybody really go to jail for this? Between now and court, I predict:

We'll see elephant tears and hear sobbed apologies from one or more of the accused, probably on network television, all offered as they keep one eye on the monitor in the studio, eager to rush home to see their performance and high-five their friends about how they sure put one over on the media.

At least one or more of the clueless parents will offer the usual excuses for their kids' behavior: frightened, peer pressure, bullied at school, traumatic childhood, ate too many doughnuts that morning.

Lame alibis from others who were there who didn't actually do any of the hitting (or weren't caught on tape), otherwise known as the old "I was in the bathroom" defense. One of the boys who alledgedly was stationed outside has already claimed claimed he was actually getting gas for his car, and not on lookout duty, when the beating took place. Hope you have a credit card receipt, bud.

Point of fact, most of the perpetrators are going to skate. Unfortunately the dumb-bunny mom already has.

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Comment by Janet Ortegon on May 24, 2008 at 2:05am
I thought the same thing when I saw it, Doug. About that mother, I mean. Frankly, if I found out my child had participated in something like that, I'd deliver him to the cops myself. It's no wonder those kids behave like that, if THAT is the example that's been set for them on personal accountability, responsibility and respect for others. How scary -- those brats are going to grow up to run this country, and then where will we be?
Comment by L.J. Sellers on April 18, 2008 at 5:33am
Well said. Assault is assault. Can you image if someone said, "The rape only lasted five minutes, so you're really making too much of it." Those girls need to be held accountable. The rise in young female violence is one of the social issues that inspired my novel, The Sex Club.

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