In high school, love often feels cut and dry; girl falls in love get loved back, and everything is lovely and wonderful. Nothing else seems to matter, and love feels like the cure all to all the drama that comes with high school.
But for an 18-year-old high school girl in Florida, her high school amour has landed her expelled from school and facing charges of lewd and lascivious battery on a child ages 12 to 16, just because she fell in love with a 15-year-old student in her social circle. The high school senior, Kaitlyn Hunt, was discovered to be in a consenting physical relationship with a fellow member of her basketball team by their coach. Florida law states that Hunt could face up to 15 years in prison and she would have to register as a sex offender. However, a recent plea deal would let Hunt off the hook with two years' house arrest and one year of probation, a much more sensible (if you can call the debacle sensible) punishment for a young girl with a clean record — who just made the small mistake of falling in love.
Hunt's mother and family have launched an online campaign to ask for support, asking people to sign a petition to be delivered to the State Attorney's office and urge them to reconsider the charges. While the age of consent in Florida is 18, the relationship between the two girls seems innocent enough, with Hunt's mother explaining, "I don't see or label these girls as gay. They are teenagers in high school experimenting with their sexuality, all teens do it in one form or another." And even if their daughter is gay, who cares, she is still their daughter.
Hunt's uncle also chimed in, adding, "we certainly aren't saying that all 18-year olds anywhere should be able to date all 15-year olds … But this is a situation where these two girls were in the same social circle, on the same basketball team. I just don't think Kaitlyn looked at this girl and thought, 'she's a certain age, and so she's off limits to me.'" Hunt's mother continues fighting for her daughter's sake, understanding that while the girls could have made different and smarter decisions, the actions of the two girls should not be considered criminal. The petition can be found here and has collected more than 40,000 signatures already. While the situation Kaitlyn has found herself in with the law, we must remember that the relationship started out of innocent intentions, with no criminal intent and that we are talking about the future of a girl who dreams of being a nurse and only wanted to be in love.