Incident shines light on area’s culture

To the editor:

The recent reported events surrounding an inhumane attack against a 16-year-old girl by a group of her peers has moved many to come forth and vocalize their disgust. This incident brings to light the culture of the entire Upper Ohio Valley Region – not just Steubenville.

Many persons have either written or verbally protested against Steubenville High School’s administrators, coaches, football team, board of education members, city officials, county officials and the lack of what seemingly is objective reporting by local news media. The sad fact is that this is something that could have happened anywhere. Whether we like it or not, this area is synonymous with the “good old boy” and “mob-mafia” cronyism which clearly defined the history of the Upper Ohio Valley throughout the entire 20th century. It will always exist; most disparagingly is the lack of morality in today’s version of it.

In years past, the “good old boys” would not have tolerated despicable behavior such as this even from within their own. The appearance of how this case has been handled is what has outraged the entire surrounding community. If indeed it is found that persons of power and sworn civic duty knowingly helped to cover up this atrocity, then those individuals need to be removed from their position of office.

The second and perhaps even more saddening fact is that the entire incident is indicative of modern social mores. Quite frankly, many of today’s youth are lacking social mores. They do not value each other as humans, they do not value their future, they do not value their families, they do not value their upbringing, they do not value laws and authority figures. We’ve allowed it to happen. We work on Sundays, we no longer attend church or social gatherings as families, we watch and glorify the “party life” seen on television. We promote material possessions as symbols of success to our youth. Why would a group of teens need to drive around partying and drinking like Charlie Sheen out on a bender? Nothing good can come of it – young lives ruined. The girl who is the victim, the boys who allegedly perpetrated the crime, the peers who stood by and watched, the boy who reveled in sick humor scoffing at even his own unborn children they are all forever marked by this one night. The community will never forget. Persons of respected social standing are fallen from their pedestal. Why? Supposedly because a boy was upset that the girl was no longer wanting to date him? Seriously? Pray, meditate, wish, appeal, beseech, commune, invoke, petition, solicit – do whatever it is that you do to urge others to seek justice for those who cannot defend themselves.

Teach your kids to do unto others as they would have done unto them, stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves, and never idly stand by and watch someone be hurt by another.

God be with the victim and God be with us all.

LesLee Terek

Mingo Junction