The definition of a terrorist according to Google is,
“a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians for political aim”
In Howard County Maryland, the class of 2018 at Glenelg High was greeted in the most atrocious way possible the morning of graduation. Four white terrorist decided in their own words, play a senior prank on the entire school. What they did in reality was spray paint racists slogans all over the school premises. According to The Washington Post pictures show the slogans consisted of ,
“KKK, Fags, Nigs, Nigger”
In addition to the racial words being spray painted over the campus, swastikas were also spray painted over the breezeways entering the campus, so as you see this wasn’t your ordinary senior prank. This was indeed a hate crime by four white terrorist.
How did the suspects get caught? At Glenelg High all students are required to log in to the school’s Wi-Fi manually, and after logging in, your are automatically logged in to the Wi-Fi once you step foot on campus. Plot-twist, once the four suspect entered the campus the night of the hate crimes, each one had their mobile devices on them, enabling the school to detect which user was on the premises.
What would the punishments be for Seth Taylor, Tyler Curtiss, Joshua Shaffer, and Matthew Lipp? Would they get a slap on the wrist?
In Maryland, where the crimes occurred, the acts carried a maximum penalty of 6 years of incarceration.
Josh Shaffer was sentenced to 3 years probation, 250 hours of community service, and 18 consecutive weekends of jail at the Howard County Jail.
Seth Taylor who made some amends prior to sentencing , attended 181 community service hours, visited a holocaust museum, spent time with a African American Pastor with diversity training, and apologized to his principal for the actions. The issue I have here is, where was all of this training, and informational sessions about other ethnic groups and religions prior to the actions? The judge ultimately gave Seth 250 community hours, 3 years probation, and 9 consecutive weekends in jail. Do the defendants have a case, in regards to their first amendment rights being violated? Can we dictate how a person exercises their rights of practicing free speech, if they indeed are not inciting a riot?
Matthew Lipp was sentenced to 16 weekends of jail, only serving 11. Tyler Curtiss punishment was 5 weekends of a jail sentence. Check this out, All four will be eligible to have their hate crime charges expunged from their records after the probation period has ended.
Prosecutors in the town of Howard County, Maryland who preach the importance of diversity, and a community which is founded on principles of integration, were only able to charge the suspects with probation, and weekends in jail of a potential maximum sentence of 6 years. This is nothing but privilege, but we already know why the sentence was so light.