This is the most appalling thing I’ve read in The Ledger in a long time. Some busybody sheriff’s deputy decided to get his jollies off and arrest two Lakeland High students and baseball players — including one with a bright, bright professional future — as they made out with their dates in a truck on some lovers lane. Not even sex, mind you. Just the tacky, fraught saliva-swapping and butt-rubbing that 95 percent of teenagers muddle through on their way to the big dance.
Each kid, both of whom happen to be 18, faces a charge of lewd battery. Give me an effing break. Maybe using “effing” will make me a sex offender, too. Assuming The Ledger’s report is accurate, Grady, quite frankly, you’ve just wrecked two kids lives – and traumatized the girls – for nothing. Nothing. You are not Polk County’s daddy. Use some common sense.
Look, when I was an 18-year-old high school senior, I went to prom with a 15-year-old sophomore girl who I met in my Latin class. (That’s where all the hot nerd action happened.) I danced with her, which required us to touch. I even kissed her, right there her in her taffeta. If only the Putnam sheriff’s office had been there to cuff my ass and haul me off to jail, just think of all the teen pregnancies we could have stopped through the force of deterrence. I became such a pervert that I’ve been happily married for 14 years and even managed to raise kids and hold down a job consistently without downloading porn. The girl, who I dated for five years, all through college, is now a well-adjusted, happily married lawyer and mother.
This makes me angrier and angrier the more I type.
At the very least, Lakeland High Principal Tracy Collins needs to start warning seniors every year that holding hands with a sophomore girlfriend at a movie is potentially a crime, in a world where the Polk sheriff’s office uses such hideous judgement and so abuses its power and discretion. It is hard enough to be a teenager without Polk’s wannabe daddy making it a crime.
Free, exonerate, and apologize to the Lakeland2. Now.