OTR Interviews

Punishment for Teen Terrors

This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," January 17, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: They used their hands, their feet and some pretty nasty words, but their heads? I don't think so. They for got to bring their smarts to the street when they pummeled another young girl and got it all caught on video. Three high school freshman girls, their mean girl tape is causing a real ruckus. Are they terrors in school? What is the school district doing about the incident?

Joining us is North Babylon School District superintendent, Dr. Joseph Laria.

Doctor, what happens to these students in school, do they remain in school or do they get thrown out?

DR. JOSEPH LARIA, NORTH BABYLON SUPERINTENDENT: Absolutely they do not remain in school, Greta. They are thrown out. They are suspended. We have a zero tolerance for this kind of despicable behavior. We had a superintendent's hearing, we acted forcefully, we acted swiftly. And they are out of school until April, pending a second review by me to determine whether they'll return for the balance of the year.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did these girls have a, "reputation?" I mean, have they been sort of mean kids for the last year or two or however long they've been in your school?

LARIA: No. They have not had any extreme disciplinary problems. They get sucked into this culture of violence and a need to have notoriety and instant gratification.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know what? I guess I'm hung up. I mean, first you've got the violence, but also the idea that someone videotapes this as though this is something that's entertainment, is even like, for some reason, makes it so much worse for me.

LARIA: You know, this is a youth culture syndrome that exists not only in North Babylon, but exists in various parts of this country. And it's something that we really have to address forcefully. It's aberrant behavior and, you know, it leaves a lot to be desired where young people have to do this kind of thing for notoriety on the Internet.

VAN SUSTEREN: And their parents? What are their parents saying?

LARIA: Well, obviously the parents are very upset. And you know, that leads us to, you know, the other part of the problem. You know, lack of control in public education today is an issue that public schools have to deal with, but we can't deal with it effectively without parental support at home. And many, many parents have lost control of their children. And many parents are afraid to discipline their children with tough love and to backup the school authorities when swift action is taken.

VAN SUSTEREN: Indeed. Well, that video is certainly extraordinary to look at. And superintendent, thank you very much for joining us tonight. And we'll look forward to see what happens in April. Thank you, sir.

LARIA: You're very welcome.

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