An Alabama high school student killed himself after he was threatened with severe legal consequences — including registration as a sex offender — because he went streaking at a football game.
The student, 15-year-old Christian Adamek, died from wounds he sustained while attempting to hang himself, according to The Daily Mail.
Adamek ran naked across the field at a September 27th football game between his school, Sparkman High School, and Grissom High School. The incident was recorded and put on Youtube, and many students remarked that the prank had made Adamek — already a popular student, according to reports — a “legend.”
School administrators were less thrilled. In a local news segment focused entirely on the legal ramifications of the incident, Principal Mike Campbell said that Adamek could face serious school and criminal consequences.
“Legal complications, public lewdness, and court consequences outside with the legal system, school issues, which are a consequence of what the school system has set up,” said Campbell, in the local news interview.
While Campbell could not comment on the specifics of Adamek’s situation, he said the perpetrator of a crime like streaking could end up on the sex offender registry.
School officials recommended that Adamek face a disciplinary committee, and he did not immediately return to school following the incident. His sister wrote on Twitter that he faced expulsion.
Later that week, Adamek killed himself.
At a memorial service, Adamek’s mother told her son’s friends to learn from what happened to him.
“Remember to smile, don’t be afraid to do something goofy and remember the consequences of those actions, ask for help when you need it, ask for help if you think your friends need it if you don’t know what to do, be quirky, be happy, be smart,” said Angela Adamek.
WHNT, the news channel that aired the principal’s comments about Adamek’s possible punishments, took down the segment after the boy’s suicide. It can no longer be viewed on the channel’s website, but is still available on Youtube.
Some feel that the response from administrators and the media was disproportionate to the actual crime.
“The news story is scary enough for an adult facing punishment, so it’s not hard to imagine how a frightened, embarrassed teenager might feel when seeing it,” wrote Gawker.