I’m spending my summer teaching robotics at a computer camp. The first week two teens got sent home from my camp a day early because they made a bet to grab one of the female campers butts. Then acted on it.
One of them came back week three because he’d signed up for sessions all summer. The other one had signed up for two sessions but his angry father revoked his enrollment.
I was not looking forward to this kid coming back but I am incredibly glad he did. Why? Because this kid has felt remorse. The first thing he did when he came back was apologize to me (I’m the one the girl reported it to). Then he apologized to the rest of the staff for his “incredibly insensitive, objectifying, and degrading behavior”. I noticed his mother watching on and later casually asked him how she’d reacted. It was one of the most effective acts of parenting I’ve ever heard.
His mom made him spend the week between his first and second session reading about feminism. She took away his phone, his video games, and his internet access and instead gave him a stack of printed out articles about violence against women and the roots of the problem. There may have been a documentary or two. She explained how it feels to be treated as an object and how seemingly small acts of disrespect can cut deeply. He has six sisters. She made him talk to all the older ones. Then she signed him up for an extra session of camp, saying that it was extra time to a) learn computer science and b)learn to walk back into a situation of shame and make it right.
After four weeks he left yesterday, one of the best fifteen year olds I’ve ever met.
This is how it should be done.