Did the punishment fit the crime?
I asked the students to read the story and the readers' comments, and then come up their own opinion.
Some made the point that it was unnecessarily hard on the kids. I can accept that.
One thoughtful commentary concluded that "the article would have been just as effective if they left the names of the children out of the piece." That, I challenge. It was having the names, making the story about real people, that sparked all of the discussion.
What troubled me is that many of the students thought, erroneously, that the publication of their names could haunt the kids forever and, worse, that coverage of an underage drinking party was much ado about nothing.
One student, however, asked whether parents the knew their kids were at a drinking party -- and whether they cared.