Adulthood has been a topic of interest since 2018 during my master’s program where I was asked, along with other fellows, to write on a topic revolving around higher education and law for the blog HigherEducationLaw.org. My topic was titled, The Apparatus of Responsibility: Post-In Loco Parentis American University World, concerning the loss of In Loco Parentis in relation to the new laws institutions of higher education gained overtime particularly FERPA and HIPPA:
In loco parentis, a common law doctrine whose origins can be a bit murky, is generally attributed to the English judge Sir William Blackstone who in 1769 wrote, in what is known as Blackstone’s commentaries, “[The father] may also delegate part of his parental authority, during his life, to the tutor or schoolmaster of his child; who is then in loco parentis, and has such a portion of the power of the parent committed to his charge…” In loco parentis would be adapted to the then more autonomous, early American universities as the new nation adopted its English Common Law principles along with its new found liberties via rebellion against the British Empire and the creation of the nation’s newly formulated constitution. It was clearly understood by the courts that colleges by right had the authority to discipline, tutor, and dictate the lives of their students pre-1960. Several cases illuminate the views of the nation’s courts concerning students and their respective colleges.
After the 1960’s the ability of colleges and universities to act as parents ended to the detriment of students and the concerned parents who could no longer rely on the help of these institutions for information including student drug and alcohol abuse.
This topic forced me to reconsider what it even means to be an adult and the role of responsibility that come with such a title. Granted these are mostly students between the ages of 18-24, yet has science not shown us that the development of the brain continues for females to 21 and males 25 years of age respectfully? Let alone the fact that with maturity comes wisdom (we hope). Time tells much about a person because it allows them to develop including learning from their mistakes. And having the support of family and friends to bolster better decision-making can greatly boost odds. Yes people are accountable for their actions, but preventing the ability of family to help left me with a bitter taste in my mouth.
However, these are not the disturbing statistics that have recently caught my eye.
An article from 2018 came to my attention last week, France to set legal age of sexual consent at 15. Looking into this issue further I was sadden and frighten to find that the Age of Consent (i.e. the age by which an individual is consider, by the law, to be old enough to say yes or no to sex) are rather low. Of interest was Europe, as quoted from the website AgeofConsent.net:
The lowest age of consent in Europe is 14, and the highest age of consent in Europe is 18.
During the age of Epstein’s global sex trade and the #MeTooMovement how can any society stand by and allow the molestation of children? No one in their right mind ought to accept such injustice. As Christ told the saints:
[B]ut whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.Matt: 18:6, ESV
That verse is not a provocation to do harm against those who afflict harm over children; Christ denies the rule, “an eye for an eye” (Matt: 5:38-48), but rather Jesus states a clear rule in terms of the depth of consequence: Harm X, Result Y. Do this action and you might as well go do this… that is the meaning of the verse for Christians. I share that because even non-Christians concur that harms committed against the innocent are wrong.
Taking advantage of a child by the meager and bogus measure of consent is morally in-apprehensible and that is something we should all agree on.