I have previously written about my concern with the criminalization of conduct in America, particularly at our schools. A case in Columbia, Missouri again raises this issue with a 17-year-old Hickman High School junior facing possible felony charges for a prank. The student changed the last name of Raigan Mastain to “Masturbate” and more than 700 yearbooks went to press with the change. Now a prosecutor is considering a charge of first-degree property damage and harassment — a felony prosecution for an immature prank.
Recently we have seen other pranks charged as crimes in high school. The question is why these cases (which used to be handled as a disciplinary matter for the school) had to be handed over to the police and prosecutors. There are heavy penalties that can be meted out like barring the student from graduation.
To her credit, Mastain is saying that she believes this was just immaturity rather than malice. She seems to be showing more sense and restraint than some adults in the matter.
The yearbook was issued with stickers correcting the spelling.
22 thoughts on “High School Student Facing Potential Felony Charge For Yearbook Prank”
The perp also worked on the yearbook staff and was slightly acquainted with the victim but the victim claimed not to know her well at all and certainly not to the point of considering her any kind of an enemy. (According to the reporting, the perp was a Junior, the victim a Senior)
I guess the perp’s parents can figure out what in the he!! is wrong with their little darling.
Do we know if the jokester worked on the yearbook and was one of the final proof readers?
(I think of Kim Philby who was in charge of ferreting out spies within the British intelligence community, and it turned out he was one of the top spies for Russia. I think we had a similar situation here in the U.S.)
And, no, I am NOT equating spying against one’s country with what this jerk did.
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