April 29, 2009
Sean Duffy, District Attorney of Ashland County Wisconsin, gave a presentation to three 12th grade classes at Osceola High School on the Rights and Responsibilities of 17 & 18 year old students.
Mr. Duffy was a cast member on MTV’s the Real World: Boston and actively competes in lumber jack sports. He participates in the tree climbing & log rolling events and is a 3 time world champion tree climber in the 90′ event. He will be competing in an upcoming ESPN Lumber Jack Sports competition in 2009. He currently serves as the District Attorney in Ashland County Wisconsin.
Mr. Duffy explained the rights and responsibilities of 17 and 18 year old students in what was described as an open and direct conversation about personal responsibility in relationships, online behavior, and as citizens of the United States. He reminds 18 year old males that they are required to register for selective service and that it is a Federal Crime not to do so within 30 days after your 18th birthday.
Mr. Duffy further explained that there is one time that 17 year old students can be treated as an adult: criminally. He warns students about the dangers of engaging in underage sexual behavior (which as minors, they legally cannot consent too), as accusations and/or angry parents have lead to criminal charges being filed in his office on 17 &18 year old students.
These charges can be a misdemeanor or felony charge and may require sex offender registration depending on the age of the party’s involved. As the District Attorney, he reminds students that being charged as an adult leaves a permanent mark on your records that can cause long term issues for years to come.
Finally, Mr. Duffy talks about the right to participate in the government by voting. He highly recommended that students understand the costs to them individually due to the national debt, as they will be paying for the decisions made today to the tune of approximately $32,000 each with that number potentially doubling in the next decade.
Mr. Duffy discusses some of the current issues facing our country and encouraged students to let their representatives know when they support them and when they don’t. He stated that their voice’s can be heard if they speak up and that they can influence how the country runs by engaging in the process. He encouraged students to be informed on the issues and to be actively involved and to vote.