I came across this story in the news and thought it was worthy of debate. I realize that we are living in far different times but I recall there were girls and boys alike in middle school that would create lists -- people they liked; those they didn't. I don't know that they were titled in any way. I thought it was silly then and silly now... I'm sure depending upon who you ask I was on both. Probably still am...
Within this particular news story, three girls were suspended for 10 days (and possibly may face criminal charges if some of the other parents have anything to say about it.)
It appears that the rumor mill has been labeling it a "kill list", but the report from the school Superintendent seemed to indicate that was blowing things out of proportion:
Wilkinson said he received a phone call Feb. 6 after a school counselor found the list, which the girls had torn to pieces.
"The counselor finds it and tapes it back together like a jigsaw puzzle," Wilkinson said. "The girls made a list of people that they hate... people that were picking on them or that they're jealous of. That paper was so ripped up, you can barely read names."
Wilkinson said he gave the list to Washington Township police on Feb. 7.
"Once we feel it's a terroristic threat, it goes to the police," Wilkinson said. "I talked to Chief Moody Thursday and gave him the list after making a copy. He said, 'Is this all you've got?' and I said, 'Yes.'"
Wilkinson and Bellmar Principal John Grice last week interviewed each of the girls -- who he described as being "in tears" and "remorseful" -- and their parents.
Do you feel that things have escalated to the point that kids aren't allowed the freedom to express whether they like/dislike others? In working with this age group (and teens), the words "love" and "hate" are often overused tremendously. I discourage the use of the word "hate" with my own kids, but still know they use it in reference to particular entrees they despise.
I understand that there is a delicate balance of wanting to protect our children. Certainly there would be a cry of outrage if someone did make a "hit list" and acted upon it, if police knew about it ahead of time and failed to act. I just wonder if the word "HATE" automatically now reaches the form of being considered a "terrorist threat".