The Covington students failed to act like grownups. So did the adults.

Certainly, the boys could have moved, or ignored the abuse, rather than childishly outshouting their harassers. And at least one boy seems to make a tomahawk chop, which is horribly culturally insensitive.

But then, they are children. The charges against them are now downgraded to “not knowing the proper response when a Native American activist bangs a drum in your face.” And how many teenagers can be expected to have mastered that particular point of etiquette?

Adults, however, can be expected not to yell anti-gay slurs, or bang a drum in a stranger’s face. Which means that other adults can be expected not to single out the teenagers in this episode for failing to behave like grown-ups. And they can also be expected to apologize when they’ve wronged an apparently innocent child.