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posted: 6/14/2013 5:00 AM

Blame for hazing was misdirected

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After reading that charges have been filed against former Maine West coach Mike Divincenzo for allegedly condoning and encouraging acts of hazing, I went on to read, with outrage, that charges were dropped against the six young men who perpetrated the attacks.

Had the criminal, deplorable conduct occurred a few months later, the suspects would have been charged as adults. But instead of holding them accountable, we excuse them based on age, and are content to place all of the blame on someone who seems to have not had any idea what was happening.

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What kind of message does that send when they (very soon) become adults? That sexual battery is acceptable behavior if you can blame someone else for why you did it? It's ridiculous to claim that these poor misguided boys were just doing what they thought their coach sanctioned. They couldn't figure out that such deplorable behavior was wrong on their own? And soon they will be 18?

I find it difficult to believe is that in today's society, a well-respected, experienced teacher knew about it, thought it was funny and encouraged it. Divincenzo has consistently maintained he knew nothing.

How sad that people are more than willing to convict Divincenzo in the court of public opinion while completely overlooking the behavior of these boys. For them, there are no consequences.

Elizabeth Ryan

Mount Prospect

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