Essay assignment not enough

Editor, The News:

<a href=””>Re: Probation in rave sentence (The News, Feb. 15).</a>

As a career educator, I was less than impressed by the ‘punishment’ of a 1,500 word essay handed down by Judge Pedro De Couto against a local youth whose videoed sexually explicit material went viral.

He was also given four months to complete this task.

Let’s see now, the female victim withdrew from school for a year as a result of the assault and this related offense and is now being home-schooled.  That has been the immediate impact on her life.

This young man, on the other hand, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of distributing obscene material and has been given an eight-hour assignment.

Considering the extensive resource material available on the internet, two solid hours of research, combined with six solid hours or original writing should have this essay easily completed to ‘clean copy’ university standard, citations included, within eight hours.

He should have been given two days to get it done and handed in to an English teacher.

If this young man is sincerely remorseful, which Judge Pedro De Couto believes is the case, he could demonstrate this by, on his own initiative, reading excerpts of the essay in front of a camera.

Another option could be making a short video.

This media could then be uploaded to Youtube and become a force for promoting positive and respectful interactions in the world of social media.

With any luck, it could go viral and become a powerful agent for change.

Words of remorse, backed up by positive action help bring healing to both the victim and the offender.

I hope this young man takes affirmative steps to make this happen.

Linda Nelson

Pitt Meadows