Human Rights

Boy, 15, Kills Self After Facing Expulsion and Sex Offender Status for Streaking

Is streaking such a morally heinous act that it warrants this kind of punishment?

Photo Credit: YouTube

A popular, 15-year-old schoolboy from Hunstville, Alabama committed suicide a week after he was arrested for running naked across the Sparkman High football field during a game in September 27, NY Daily Newsreported.

Faced with expulsion and the possibility of being placed on a sex offender’s registry for indecent exposure, Christian Adamek hanged himself and died two days later from his injuries.

A clip of Adamek streaking across the field was posted to youtube and went viral before it was removed following the news of his death.

Indecent exposure in Alabama is linked to strict sex offender laws, which means there was a possibility Adamek could have ended up on the registry list for his actions – a penalty that seems rather extreme for such a minor incident.

Yet, Sparkman High Principal Michael Campbell had condemned the boy’s actions as requiring “serious treatment” a day before his suicide in an interview with WHNT – who subsequently removed the report from the website:

'There's the legal complications...public lewdness and court consequences outside of school with the legal system, as well as the school consequences that the school system has set up,” he said.

As Gawker reported, the WHNT interview which has since been uploaded to Youtube was humiliating enough, particularly with the principal publicizing the situation and extreme penalty, leaving some in the community wondering whether the media’s local coverage of the incident is to blame:

“The news story is scary enough for an adult facing punishment, so it's not hard to imagine how a frightened, embarrassed teenager might feel when seeing it,” it reported.

At his memorial service last week, Boy Scout Troop master, David Silvernail said Adamek was a lovable kid with a smile always on his face:

“There are two kinds of people in the world; ones that brighten the room when they walk in and those that don't.  He was one that brightened the room when he walked in,” he told AL.com

According to the CDC, youth suicide is an increasingly serious public health problem in the United States and it the third leading cause of death for people aged between 10 and 24 years of age. 

Jodie Gummow is a senior fellow and staff writer at AlterNet.

 

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