First, the headline:
Greensburg Middle Schooler Fondled Girl, 12
Yikes, that sounds terrible, doesn't it? People shouldn't run around fondling 12-year-old girls, for crying out loud, and I sure hope they caught the middle schooler who fondled that poor girl and—wait a minute. A 12-year-old girl is a middle schooler. So... what we're talking about here is one middle schooler fondling another middle schooler?
Yes, that's exactly what we're talking about. The fondler—who's made to sound like sexual predator in that headline—was a 13-year-old middle schooler. He's a classmate of the "victim," in fact, and the fondling was consensual. And you'll never guess what happened next:
Police have charged a 13-year-old Greensburg Salem Middle School student with fondling a 12-year-old student when they sneaked away to a band equipment room during school hours. Greensburg police aren't identifying the suspect charged in Westmoreland County Juvenile Court. They said his actions are criminal even though the younger female student consented to the fondling because, under the law, she is deemed too young to consent. Police said the incident happened Dec. 16 after the students met in a hallway and walked together to the band room at the school.
So now it's a crime for a couple of middle-school students to make out in a band equipment room. It's not just ill-advised, it's not just worryingly precocious sexual behavior or appropriate sexual exploration (depending on your POV), and it's not a matter for parents and school administrators to address. It's a crime.
We've lost our minds.