A community was rocked recently when a pair of football players raped a female acquaintance, then broadcast it on YouTube, resulting in a trial, convictions and jail time for the two athletes.
In response, an area attorney has developed a program consisting of a series of sessions with “15 minutes focusing on drugs and alcohol and 15 minutes on social media,” according to the Associated Press, with approximately zero minutes blocked out for the important topic of how not to rape people.
The rape case “definitely played a role in causing us to think, ‘Who do we need to focus upon?’ ” Ihlenfeld told The Associated Press. “We thought, ‘Let’s start calling athletic directors and coaches to see if they’re interested.’”
No, you’re not reading The Onion. This attorney asked himself what might be helpful in the wake of a rape trial, and his immediate response wasn’t, “rape prevention,” or even, “helping victims.” Instead, he figured the best course of action would be to give student athletes even more special treatment than they already receive. The program is currently being offered to a cluster of high school football teams in West Virginia, 26 miles from Steubenville, Ohio. Mr. Ihlenfield also reportedly said:
“‘That investment of time hopefully will pay dividends down the road, not only because you hope the kids are going to stay out of trouble. Social media creates so many distractions off the field for coaches. Maybe we can help them avoid that situation as well.’”
Yes, teens sexually abusing others and filming it for fun really goes hand in hand with athletes who are addicted to Twitter, so coaches might as well kill two birds with one stone.
“We bring the perspective of ‘OK, if you do this, this is what can happen. We don’t want to see you in court,’ ” Ihlenfeld reportedly told AP. Yeah, teens, at least next time you do something terrible to another human being and you’re pretty sure she won’t remember it the next morning, just keep it to yourselves and save all the grown-ups a few headaches, would ya?
Perhaps a better, more time-efficient method would simply be for coaches, athletic directors and adults in positions of authority to tell kids, “Don’t rape people. Don’t rape drunk people. Don’t rape sober people. Don’t rape strangers. Don’t rape friends. Just don’t rape people. Social media has absolutely nothing to do with it.”