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Should Colorado teen be kept from school for sex offense charge?

Anyone can be charged with a crime. Such a charge can stem from a misunderstanding, being at the wrong place at the wrong time or from lies. No matter the charge or the support that led to it, the American way is to presume a criminal suspect is innocent before proven guilty.

Every citizen deserves that treatment. And when it comes to a minor, even more sensitivity regarding his treatment is warranted. A Colorado high school student is the target of sex crimes allegations based on a reported incident that occurred between him and another female minor. Though he's merely been accused of a crime, some in the public are already pushing to limit the boy's right to an education.

The Aspen Times reports that controversy has been ignited because the teenage sex offense suspect is returning to attend high school this semester. Some parents are concerned for the safety of other students and, therefore, believe that the teen should be expelled and unable to attend his school.

The school district's superintendent affirms that measures are in place to support the teen's safe return to school. The alleged victim of the reported sex crime no longer attends the school because she's graduated. Potential conflict regarding the suspect and his supposed victim sharing the same roof isn't a factor to worry about.

Keeping the teenage defendant from school would go against the principle that a person should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. He has the right to an education and to a chance to prove himself in court before facing consequences connected to the criminal accusation.

Source: The Aspen Times, "Student in sex case back in class at Aspen High School," Jeanne McGovern, Oct. 11, 2012

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