Friday, December 2, 2011

13-year-old student arrested for burping

(CBS/AP) Albuquerque, NM 12/1/11

A 13-year-old was handcuffed and hauled off to a juvenile detention for burping in class, according to a civil rights lawsuit filed against an Albuquerque public school principal, a teacher and a city police officer.
The suit was filed Wednesday, the same day the district was also sued by the family of a 7-year-old autistic boy who was handcuffed to a chair.The Albuquerque Journal reports the unnamed seventh grader was arrested last May 11 at Cleveland Middle School after he "burped audibly" in his P.E. class. "Criminalizing of the burping of a thirteen-year-old boy serves no governmental purpose," the lawsuit said. "Burping is not a serious disruption, a threat of danger was never an issue."
The lawsuit alleges the boy was transported to the juvenile center without his parents being notified. It also says he was denied his due process rights because he was suspended for the rest of that school year without "providing him an explanation of the evidence the school claimed to have against him." He was not allowed to call witnesses or defend himself against the burping allegation.
The boy was never charged. He scored a - 2 on a scale of 1 to 10 according to a risk assessment given by the jail staff, 10 being extremely dangerous.
It also details a separate incident this school year when administrators became suspicious because the boy had $200 in his pocket. He claimed it was because he was going to go shopping after school, but administrators accused him of selling pot to another student. The boy asked to call his mother; instead, they forced the student to strip down to his underwear while five adults watched.
He was not charged with any crime related to that incident either.
A spokeswoman for Albuquerque Public Schools said she had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment.
Now I've heard everything... I've posted on this blog about students arrested for turning in contraband, for following creative writing assignments, and for bringing candy to school, but this? This baffles me. How can you possibly foster a learning environment when you're handcuffing kids to chairs? What's next, strait jackets and ball gags? This kind of administration contributes more to the problems than it does to solve them.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cracked's "The 6 dumbest things schools are doing in the name of safety"

Cracked has written an article about some of the trends we've been seeing in the past decade to repress children's freedom in and out of the classroom. Here are the topics, click the link to read more.

#6. Forcing Students to Wear Electronic Tracking Devices

#5. Banning All Photography

#4. Absolutely NO Touching!

#3. Banning All Outside Food

#2. Forcing Students to Wear Prison Jumpsuits For Dress Code Violations

#1. Deterring Bad Behaviour By Issuing Stiff Fines

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday May 25 2011, San Antonio Express-News

Shortly after a supervisor told Daniel Alvarado to stay with the victim of a minor assault and not search for the suspect, the school district officer ran into the backyard of a Northwest Side home with his gun drawn.
Moments later, Alvarado fired his weapon, killing an unarmed 14-year-old boy.
The November incident was not the first time the officer had ignored an order, according to records recently obtained by the San Antonio Express-News.
Since 2006, Alvarado's supervisors at the Northside Independent School District Police Department had reprimanded or counseled him on at least 12 occasions — six for not following orders. In other cases, Alvarado failed to show up for assignments, and his bosses appeared to suspect him of lying.
Alvarado was suspended at least four times, and his supervisors warned of impending termination four times — once even recommending it.
But Alvarado, 46, never was fired. Six months after the death of student Derek Lopez, as an investigation into the shooting continues, the 17-year veteran of the Police Department remains with the school district.
Read more:
Criminal proceedings, please. In this country, no person--no matter what their position, or authority--should be able to shoot an unarmed child after directly disobeying orders. That this murderer continues to serve as an officer while the investigation is ongoing is a disgrace to the justice system. He should be held in custody, like any other human being would. I hope that justice will be served and if any of my readers find a follow-up story, please share it in the comments.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Student reports threat of assault, has jaw broken and is suspended

February 12 2011, Journal Press
On Friday, Feb. 4, a sophomore at King George High School went to School Assistant Principal Duane Harrison at the start of the school day and reported that he had been threatened with “getting jumped” at school. At 2:44 p.m., approximately 7 hours later, a dispatcher with King George Sheriff’s Office called 911 to request aid and transportation to the emergency room for the sophomore who was later diagnosed to be suffering from two fractures to his bottom jawbone and one fracture to his top jawbone.
What happened in between the time the sophomore requested assistance from Harrison and the time the sophomore was treated for his injuries at the emergency room appears to be a series of school personnel failures — failure to follow school policies, failure to take immediate and appropriate action on a reported student-to-student threat, and failure to promptly diagnose a serious injury.
After reporting the threat to Harrison, the sophomore participated in regularly scheduled classes and lunch. As the change-of-class bell rang and the sophomore prepared to leave the cafeteria, he was attacked, thrown to the floor and badly beaten, allegedly by at least three students. Bloodied and shaken, the sophomore was taken to the school nurse, who cleaned up the blood and instructed the sophomore to go to then-Interim Principal Cliff Conway’s office where he was instructed to write a report on the incident. The sophomore and his mother were also informed that he was being placed on a 10-day suspension status for participating in a fight.
After leaving the school the sophomore and his mother drove to the King George Sheriff’s Office and requested to speak to an intake officer. At 2:44 p.m. the front desk dispatcher, upon seeing the injuries the sophomore had sustained, immediately identified the serious nature of the injuries and called 911 to request medical assistance. The mother declined the ambulance transport, and drove her son to the emergency room. The emergency room staff diagnosed the three jaw fractures and provided medical treatment.
According to Student Conduct Policy Guidelines issued by the Virginia Department of Education in 2009:  “Threats to kill or to do bodily harm are specifically prohibited by § 18.2-60. of the Code of Virginia. The prohibition includes threats to any person or persons “(i) on the grounds or premises of any elementary, middle or secondary school property, (ii) at any elementary, middle or secondary school-sponsored event or (iii) on a school bus.” 
Further, according to a Guidance Letter released by the Virginia Department of Education on Oct. 26, 2010, Office of Civil Rights Office of the Assistant Secretary, “A school is responsible for addressing harassment incidents about which it knows or reasonably should have known.” The guidance letter continues and reports that “When responding to harassment, a school must take immediate and appropriate action to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred.” The guidance letter concludes stating “Appropriate steps to end harassment may include separating the accused harasser and the target, providing counseling for the target and/or harasser, or taking disciplinary action against the harasser. These steps should not penalize the student who was harassed.” 
Further, according to King George School Board Policy JFCEA, Revised Sept. 28, 2005, “Supervision of Students: Students shall be under reasonable supervision of a school employee during the time the students are under the jurisdiction of the School Board.”
It appears as though the initial failure of school personnel was in the failure to follow school policy in assessing risk after learning of a threat to a student.  A second failure of school personnel was to take immediate and appropriate action as called for by VA DOE guidance noted above.  A third failure of school personnel falls under the purview of the school nurse who failed to recognize serious injuries and recommend immediate medical treatment.
The School Resource Officer, Deputy Butch Norris, was absent due to illness Feb 4.  Knowing that there was a threat to “jump” the sophomore, and with the absence of Norris, school administrators also had the option of advising the KG Sheriff’s Office of the potential for violence at the school that day.  
Conway did, however, after a review of a videotape showing the altercation in the cafeteria, lift the 10-day suspension initially imposed on the sophomore.   
To put reported student offenses into perspective, a review of incidents reported in 2009/2010 at KGHS show 12 offenses against students; 34 offenses against persons; 18 alcohol, tobacco and drug offenses; 20 property offenses; 348 incidences of disorderly or disruptive behavior; and 474 technology offenses. KGHS reported a population of 1,264 students during 2009-2010.   
As of Feb. 12, according to King George Sheriff Steve Dempsey, “One young man has been charged with felonious assault. The matter is under investigation and further interviews are being conducted by the School Resource Officer.” Felonious assault, also called malicious wounding, under Code of Virginia Section 18.2-51, is punishable as a Class 3 felony.
Numerous phone calls to Cliff Conway, who was appointed as permanent Principal of the High School by the KG School Board on Feb. 14 and Candace Brown, current School Superintendent, were not returned.

This about sums it up... at least action is being taken now. Shame the kid had to get beaten up though.

Friday, January 21, 2011

First Grader Suspended Over Gun Hand Gesture

January 20 2011, KTOK Radio

The mother of a first-grade boy disciplined after making a gun gesture with his fingers while at school says the district overreacted.
Lydia Fox says the principal at Parkview Elementary called her earlier this month to say her 7-year-old son had misbehaved during a school assembly by pretending he was shooting a gun.
Fox says the principal told her the boy would be placed in in-school suspension for the rest of that day and threatened a longer suspension if it happened again.
Midwest City-Del City Schools spokeswoman Stacey Boyer confirmed the incident and says the district's policy is to "address the disruption of the learning environment." Boyer says Fox's son "has repeatedly used his hands to simulate a gun."

Obviously, the only way to control the imaginary use of firearms is to outlaw all imaginary firearms. I wonder how the anti-gun-control lobby would feel about that?

Seriously. Administrators need to think about what lessons they are teaching these kids with acts like this.