Torre Scrimalli did something dumb.
18 year-old Torre Scrimalli, a senior at Scranton Prep (the school with the most pretentious motto anywhere ever, "Ad Altiora Natis", Latin for 'born for higher things') is accused of making terroristic threats after he allegedly posted a Tweet about a high school basketball game that included the words 'blow up' the schools.
By all accounts, Torre Scrimalli is a model student. Excellent grades, involved in sports, spiritual according to his Mom, has a job, and is said to be an all-around nice kid.
The pomposity of it's motto aside, the fact is you have to be pretty smart to go to Prep.
But that kind of smart doesn't always guarantee the other kind of smart during every waking moment of the day. What kind of smart is that? The kind that gets you called on the carpet and asked to pay for not giving it any consideration.
Have you ever done something just plain dumb? It's nice to think that as we get older we get a little wisdom along with the extra candles on the cake. How much of that wisdom is it fair to expect in an 18 year-old?
What Torre Scrimalli tweeted was dumb. But it wasn't malicious.
Does Torre need to be taught a lesson about the fact that words have consequences? I think we can agree on that.
Does he need to go to jail to learn that lesson? That's absurd.
If I were the judge in this case, I would reduce the charges from felonies to misdemeanors and this would be the sentence that Torre Scrimalli would serve:
1.) Barred from using social media for one year.
2.) Must pay a cash fine of $2000.
3.) Must serve 300 community service hours divided between volunteering at an animal shelter and speaking to students at area high schools stressing the responsibility they bear for their words and actions.
On successful completion of those conditions, I would expunge his record.
And for all the 'throw the book at him' folks out there, there's an old saying about stones and glass houses.