Fun and Games at Camp

April 11, 2006

Dear Mom,
I sure am having a great time at camp. The counselors are really cool. Just last night, they held a bunch of us face-down and shoved broomsticks and flashlights up our asses. But it was all just fun and games, you know. They were hazing us! This camp rocks!
your son

Okay, so here’s the real deal, from Poliremix:

“A 19 and 17 year old from Arizona, have been offered a plea deal which requires no jail time and virtually no penalty for crimes they admitted to commiting. What were these crimes? As counselors at a boys camp, the 19 and 17 year old punished 18 of the 11-14 year old boys by making them lay face down on their bed, in front of all the other boys, shoving a broomstick into their anus through their pants. Eighteen 11-14 year olds! And, no penalty despite the parents outrage.

So how did these pervs get off so easily? Well, one of the counselors is the son of Arizona’s Senate President, Ken Bennett. Incidentally, Bennett, a Republican, is part of the movement to ban equal rights for gay couples in the state. Here’s his version of family values:

After his son’s admission, Bennett wrote a letter to the D.A. handling the case, informing her that his son could not rightfully serve time in jail, because he is prepared to leave the country on a mission – to teach the word of Christ to youth around the world…

Oh boy. I’m sure that the youth around the world are eagerly awaiting Ryan Bennett’s “teachings.” Now that she’s feeling the media heat for letting the counselors off easy, Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk is defending her position. She whines that the whole incident was just “hazing gone wrong,” which she views as somewhat common:

It is the work of two young men repeatedly making poor decisions.  We all have heard reports of this sort of thing throughout the United States over many years.

If the boys who were getting “broomed” thought it was just innocent fun that got a little too rowdy, they would have never told their parents, never had these camp counselors arrested. There would be no police report. If this happened to my son, I might just revert to some Old Testament justice:  an eye for an eye, a broomstick for a broomstick! Honestly, what would you do?