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Wayzata is a premier suburb located 11 miles west of downtown Minneapolis. With a population of 4,500 people, Wayzata is a tight-knit community which is known for its vibrant downtown and picturesque setting on Lake Minnetonka. A popular destination for visitors, Wayzata’s downtown is home to a number of specialty shops, boutiques, professional services, and restaurants.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Craigslist Escort Service Shooting Woman Identified as Wayzata High Student

It has been an interesting couple of weeks with regard to crime in and involving Wayzata. First there was an armed robbery at gunpoint at the Blockbuster in Wayzata. Now Starsha Laquisha Swift of Plymouth, and a Wayzata High School Student has been accused of aiding and abetting an attempted murder. It apparently was part of a plan to make quick money by offering erotic services on http://www.craigslist.org/ and robbing potential johns.

Let me be clear in my position that I condemn prostitution. Prostitution spreads STD's, creates unwanted pregnancy, can often result in abuse during, and is a blight on our community. Additionally, there is a clear and dynamic link of substance abuse within the world of prostitution.

Will Wayzata High School expel and or discipline her outside of the legal process? My position is that WHS should. She is an adult, reportedly 18 and in my opinion should not be allowed to interact further with students who are young and impressionable. We are talking about attempted murder and hooking in Swift's case. There are rules for those enrolled in sports and activities that they have to adhere to a morals clause--no underage drinking, no tobacco, etc. It should absolutely be no different for crime a felony committed by a student, activities or not.

The other real tragedy of this is that http://www.craigslist.org/ is a powerful tool for interacting with people. What makes it so powerful is the ability to interact with locals without a fee to exchange goods and services on a community bulletin board. Every news story featuring craigslist seems to get intensified as television anchors try to scare us into watching television, don't interact with your neighbors, don't trust anyone. That is not the kind of world that I want to live in, and it is audacious for national and local news organizations, anchors, and reporters to sensationalize these news stories for better ratings. I challenge you to continue to use craigslist if you use it, and try it if you haven't. Use common sense, of course, but these kinds of things are going to happen anyway with our without a particular bulletin board on the internet.

Do you have a different take? Post in the comments section in this article or email me at wayazata at gmail.com.

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