The essay aired details about her past that she’d long tried to suppress; by posting it on her class’s server, where anyone who Googled her name could find it, she thought she might be able to quiet the whispers, the threats, and possibly make it easier to find a job.Her story, she warned, “is not a nice one, but hopefully it will have a happy ending.”Du Buc had grown up in Howell, Michigan, a small town of berry and melon farmers. She had earned straight A’s, written for the school newspaper, led Students Against Driving Drunk (she voted to change the name to Students Against Destructive Decisions, she says, to stress that “there are lots of bad decisions that can get you killed”), and performed in “Grease” and “Once Upon a Mattress,” while working part time as a cashier at Mary’s Fabulous Chicken & Fish.He has counselled more than a hundred youths who are on public registries, some as young as nine.He says that their experiences routinely mirror his own: “Homelessness; getting fired from jobs; taking jobs below minimum wage, with predatory employers; not being able to provide for your kids; losing your kids; relationship problems; deep inner problems connecting with people; deep depression and hopelessness; this fear of your own name; the terror of being Googled.” [cartoon id="a19772"]Often, juvenile defendants aren’t seen as juveniles before the law.Her name, weight, and height were listed; so was the address where she’d grown up, playing beneath tall pines and selling five-cent rocks that she’d painted with nail polish.Something Du Buc had done at the age of ten had caught up with her.
In Prince William County, Virginia, two years ago, a seventeen-year-old high-school junior sent a sexual video to his teen-age girlfriend, and found himself charged with manufacturing and distributing child pornography.
morning in 2007, Leah Du Buc, a twenty-two-year-old college student in Kalamazoo, began writing an essay for English class that she hoped would save her life.
She knew that people like her had been beaten, bombed, shot at, killed.
Upon his release, his mother, Heidi, went online in search of guidance.
“I’m trying to be hopeful,” she wrote on an online bulletin board, but “I wonder if he even stands a chance.”Last fall, she contacted a national group called Women Against Registry, joining the ranks of mothers who are calling into question what a previous group of parents, those of victimized children, fought hard to achieve.
At the age of thirteen, Moroni Nuttall was charged as an adult, in Montana, for sexual misconduct with relatives; after pleading guilty, he was sentenced to forty years in prison, thirty-six of which were suspended, and placed on a lifetime sex-offender registry.