Steubenville: One big question looms

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Following the alleged teen rape in Steubenville, Ohio, I read the papers, I read online accounts, I listened to the news on television and there was one big question looming in my mind that the mass media wasn’t asking. Even the Sunday local show with all the experts on the panel didn’t ask this question. Yet many people not a part of the media were asking this question.
According to the media reports the people involved in this incident were 15, 16, 17 year olds. They were partying at various houses and one of the boys allegedly raped the girl the first time in the back seat of a car. According to the media there were several teens at this party or these parties/gatherings or whatever you want to call it, and they all were in the same age group, 15, 16, 17.
Oh, are you wondering what question has yet to be asked? Where were the parents?
First of all the alleged rape victim who was 15, or 16 stayed out all night. She was at this party, and moved from house to house. Even though one has to be missing more than 24 hours to file a missing person report why didn’t her parents, as well as the parents of the alleged rapists and the other kids, at least notify the police and other parents when they didn’t come home. Didn’t they miss them?  If my 15, 16 or 17 year old was missing all night I would have called the police to put them on notice to look out for them, and probably been out looking for them myself.   
All these kids who were at this party, where were the parents of these kids and where were the parents/adults who owned the houses? I’m pretty sure 15, 16, 17 year olds don’t own houses in Steubenville.
The car where the first alleged rape occurred in, who owned this car? I’m fairly sure they lock cars in Steubenville, and adults look out for their cars. So why did these teenagers have access to this car?
Alcohol? Where did these kids get all this alcohol and drugs they were using? I know it’s illegal for 15, 16, 17 year olds to drink in Ohio. Yet the girl was so drunk she was allegedly unconscious. It probably was a mixture of drugs and alcohol. But it sounds like everyone else was drunk or high off something, including the two alleged rapists.
There’s no way all these kids were at a house or houses with nobody knowing where they were or what they were doing. It just happened that this time it was made public by what is being called the social media—Facebook, Twitter, cell phones, the Internet.
We are blaming the kids for doing this and not reporting it. They were wrong. But where were the parents?
These were not underage college kids, these were high school kids. These kids were 15, 16, 17. I had to be in the house before 9 p.m. or it got dark when I was that age. And even though there were six of us, my mother always knew when one of us wasn’t in the house by that time and it was hell to pay when we missed that curfew.
Yet for some reason no one is holding the parents responsible. Maybe I’m missing something. I guess I’m from the old school, that when kids went to a party, the parents, especially the mother, would call to make sure an adult was home.
There were numerous kids questioned as witnesses, anywhere from 13 to 17 but no parents.
Yes, I know most parents can’t keep up with or control all the devices kids have today. And these kids are really stupid for putting all their business, personal and other, out there. But what’s really scary is that most thought it was funny, and none felt it was important enough to report to the police or to their parents.
One big problem with this is that many people are trying to blame the Social Media, but there’s no excuse for not teaching our kids right from wrong. That’s not the school’s responsibility, not the police, not Social Media. Morality must come from the home.
The parents and other adults should not just be alarmed over the alleged rape, but they should have been just as outraged that all these children were able to get illegal alcohol and drugs, and go from house to house without any adults reporting it.
This is not just an isolated case in Steubenville. It was spotlighted in this city because of the stupidity of the kids involved putting it on the Social Media. This is not the first time a crime was exposed because of the stupidity of kids putting it on Social Media. It’s happening all over this country, kids out of control and parents not being held accountable.
There is no excuse for parents of 15, 16, 17 year olds not knowing where their kids are, especially if they are out all night. If your daughter wants to attend a sleep over, you call the parents to make sure they are going to be there. With today’s Social Media, and especially since almost every kid has a cell phone, there’s even more reasons parents should know where they’re at. The Steubenville District Attorney says he’s going to question more witnesses and kids about their knowledge of the incident and more charges may be coming. But I think the DA should start with one question. Where were the parents?
(Ulish Carter is the managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier.)

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