I personally know none of the facts of this incident, and I am not personally claiming to have any answers regarding alternative "consequences" that might have resulted. However, I want to respond personally to a quote in your article from one of the unnamed parents of a student charged.
She stated that "in order for the charges to stick, a 'reasonable person' would have to have concluded that there was a potential for this to happen."
Well, I simply wish to offer this: I am a "reasonable" person, and in the spring of 1999 I lived three miles from the now infamous Columbine High School in the affluent community of Littleton, Colo., among neighbors, friends and co-workers -- all "reasonable" people. I lived among the parents of the children who committed a heinous slaughter of one teacher and 13 fellow students, and they too, we believed, were "reasonable people." Yet none of us reasonable people can still sometimes believe that the unthinkable did happen.
Who could have ever believed 9-11? And now sniper shootings? Things are changing in our society, and, sadly, the unthinkable does happen.
So to put it simply, if you are a parent, please teach your children what is appropriate behavior, because in today's society more than ever, harsh consequences are sadly appropriate.