I have been guilty in the past.
I stole a chocolate biscuit from a sweet shop beside my primary school when I was 8. I couldn’t sleep for several nights and then confessed to my Mum.
She took me back to the shop, where I apologised to the nice old lady who ran it, gave her the money owed (I think it was 3d, for those who remember L,S,D, (the currency not the psychodelic drug)) and felt much better.
I gave an order for a James Bond book to a notorious shop-lifter in my form class when I was in S2. I knew he was going to steal it, but I just wanted the book. I still felt guilty, but not too much. Getting a book had a virtue which counteracted any evil or guilt.
I changed the price tickets on a rechargeable Skil Saw, so I paid less than the full price. Still guilty, but not too much.
I still payed back the money to a charity, my conscience just nagged and nagged.
Most of my other guilty actions were not really memorable. Pretty petty really.
I cannot tell the details.
I do not want to go to prison for 8 – 12 years.
I was very, very careful, no forensic clues were left.
No one will really be missed, and no one else was hurt in any way.
I would not repeat the action, even though I didn’t think I was doing anything really wrong. At that age (about 30) I should have known better, but I rationalised it.
I really learned my lesson, and when I’m confronted by a student who has made a serious mistake, I try to apply a rule of commonsense to the alleged breach of rules. If it’s obviously a one-off, then I will try and be not too judgemental. Everyone should get a second chance.
The little bastards who just want to create continuous mayhem, regardless of their home environment, should get shot, or at least excluded.
They should make sure they don’t get caught.