Father Sues School After It Brings In Cops To Question His Son About Drawing Of A Person Being Hanged

from the F_CKIN_-ST_PID dept

Maybe if schools stop handing misbehaving students over to police officers, aggrieved parents won’t be nearly as aggrieved… or so likely to sue. Schools are publicly funded already, but that’s no reason to keep dipping into homeowners’ wallets to pay out settlements for schools’ bad decisions.

The very short background on this particular lawsuit is this (via Courtroom News Service):

B.R.K., a 13 year-old student at Raleigh Hills in Beaverton, OR was suspended after his teacher found his drawing of a person being hanged. The subject matter is no doubt disturbing, although plenty of rounds of Hangman have been played at school without issue. Since the suit doesn’t dispute the disciplinary actions the school took (a one-day suspension), I’ll withhold an opinion on a drawing being an offense worthy of suspension.

The school chose to file the student’s drawing under the ultimate vagary: Threats/Menacing/Hate Lists. But this policy specifically requires a “word” or “action,” of which a drawing is neither and B.R.K.’s doodle would need to place another person in “fear of serious imminent injury.” Whether or not this designation was justified is open to speculation.

But that’s neither here nor there, at least according to the filing by B.R.K.’s father, Robert Bernard Keller. His allegations are of civil rights violations, all occurring after the suspension was served and B.R.K. was cleared to return to school.

The drawing incident began April 30th. His parents were notified and B.R.K. served his suspension. A school psychologist performed a “risk assessment” on B.R.K. and cleared him to return to school. His parents were present for this “risk assessment,” in agreement to the mother’s request that they be notified (and hopefully present) for any meetings/questioning stemming from this incident. All seemed well and good until B.R.K. related to his parents that, later in the day, he was pulled from class and interrogated by Beaverton police officers.

After the parents left, Raleigh Hills called in officers of the Beaverton Police Department to interview B.R.K. without notifying the parents. At no time before or during the interview were the parents notified by Raleigh Hills or the Beaverton Police. Only after the fact did the parents learn of the police interrogation. No criminal charge was filed nor was a petition filed with the department of human services. As a direct and foreseeable result of the events that transpired during this incident, B.R.K. has suffered emotional damages.

Keller alleges Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment violations, as well as emotional distress, false imprisonment and failure to supervise. Whether these will all hold up remains to be seen, but it would appear that Raleigh Hills violated its own policies by hosting an impromptu interrogation.

Early on in the school policy manual, the following is stated:

Unless an emergency situation exists relating to health or safety, the student shall receive prior notice of suspendable conduct as set forth herein and pursuant to District policy, specification of individual charges against the student, and an opportunity to present his/her view of the alleged misconduct. The suspending administrator may postpone these procedures if there is a risk that harm will occur if the suspension does not take place immediately. In all cases, an administrator will notify the parent/guardian by letter and, when possible, by telephone, and the procedure for reinstatement will be explained.

It would appear that parents are to be notified during every step of the process. For the most part, the school did this — right up until it decided to bring the police in to “interview” a student whom its own psychologist had determined wasn’t a threat and could return to general population.

Even if there’s a little vagueness in the above statement, the school policy regarding the use of law enforcement is incredibly specific.

Referral to Law Enforcement

If it is necessary for law enforcement officers to interview, detain, or take into custody a student, the principal or his/her designee will follow regulations to insure compliance with Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS 162.245, 162.325). [The cited laws refer only to assisting law enforcement and not hindering prosecution. Neither have anything to do with the treatment of minors by law enforcement or rights retained by students.]

School personnel are responsible for cooperating with, and making it possible for, law enforcement officials to interview students on school premises. It is the responsibility of a law enforcement officer, who wishes to interrogate a student at school for law enforcement purposes, to contact that student’s parent or guardian in order to obtain advance authorization for the interview.

The district policy is even more definitive.

It is the responsibility of a law enforcement officer who wishes to interview a student at school for law enforcement purposes to contact that student’s parent or guardian in order to obtain advance authorization for the interview. For this purpose, school personnel shall provide the telephone number of a student’s parent or guardian to a requesting law enforcement officer…

There is an exception, but it doesn’t fit this situation.

If the student’s parent or guardian refuses to consent, the interview shall not take place unless the law enforcement officer represents that emergency or exigent circumstances justify an immediate interview. In such circumstances, before the interview occurs the law enforcement officer shall complete and sign a “No Consent/Interview Conducted Form,” indicating that the parent or guardian refused to consent, and that emergency or exigent circumstances required an immediate interview of the student at the sole discretion of the law enforcement officer.

The Beaverton Police Dept. is also named in the suit. According to policy, the PD should have contacted the parents prior to this interview. Either way you look at it, someone should have talked to B.R.K.’s parents before putting the student in a room with police officers. The district’s policy is just as narrow, stating there needs to be a form filled out stating the exigent circumstances that led to the consent-less interview. Keller’s filing doesn’t indicate he ever received this after-the-fact notification or, indeed, any awareness of this requirement.

Keller’s allegations also state that the school has a “custom and policy” of seizing children from classrooms and “subjecting them to custodial police interrogations,” so it would appear this isn’t the first time Raleigh Hills has violated its own (and the district’s) policies. The fact that police were involved after the student was cleared by staff gives this allegation credence. A school used to turning over nearly every discipline problem to local cops wouldn’t think twice about bringing in law enforcement after the sentence has been served and the child interviewed by school staff.

If this ends up costing the school (Keller is asking for $100,000 in damages), it has no one to blame but itself. The policies are in place for exactly this reason — to prevent the abuse of students’ rights. But the school chose — along with the Beaverton PD — to violate its own policies, along with someone else’s rights.





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Comments on “Father Sues School After It Brings In Cops To Question His Son About Drawing Of A Person Being Hanged”

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86 Comments
That One Guy (profile) says:

Hit the right wallets

I really wish there was some way, or a judge was willing, to hit the wallets of those directly responsible, starting from the top and moving down. If those responsible were held responsible, then you can bet they’d think twice before doing stuff like this.

Wouldn’t even need a $100K fine, you could knock it down to $25K or even less and as long as it was the responsibility of those found guilty to pay the fine personally, no public funds allowed, it would still be more than enough to get the message across.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Hit the right wallets

I second that. They never ask those within their districts to approve of the zero tolerance policies, ridiculous rules or the draconian enforcement officers they employ, so how is it those same unrepresented people are somehow complicit and therefore financially responsible for the outrageous actions of the school district administrators?

John85851 (profile) says:

Re: Hit the right wallets

I agree. The school administrators won’t feel this loss- to them this is just another line-item on a budget. But the homeowners might see their taxes go over to cover this lawsuit (or to cover liability insurance against future suits).

How about we start giving administrators suspensions without pay, similar to how they suspend kids?

Anonymous Coward says:

Uh... yes!

Schools are publicly funded already, but that’s no reason to keep dipping into homeowners’ wallets to pay out settlements for schools’ bad decisions.

This is VERY GOOD REASON to keep dipping into homeowners’ wallets. They keep voting in the people that keep allowing/doing this stuff in schools. Since they want to walk around in ignorance on the stuff their taxes go to pay for then they deserve every last penny they lose from it.

When will you… when will WE figure out that WE are the ones responsible! Until we start placing the blame right where it belongs we are going no where! Tax payers deserve every last red cent they lose to people suing the public.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Uh... yes!

Every place does it a little differently, but if you are not sure you can usually start with the PTA and find out where you should go from there. There is a board which elects the Superintendents and such, there is also the City Council which has a say, and there is a Commission of Education in your state. This is not exhaustive but very common in just about every school system.

If you feel helpless, it is only because you choose to remain helpless! It may not be as direct as you like, but you can certainly do something! Why do thing the teachers feel the need to have a Union… for protection!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Uh... yes!

Or you could ask your local apologists political action committee person.

Please continue with the victim blaming there bud – you wear it well. The age old trope that if you don’t like it then go out and change it is a load of crap and you know it.

Teachers and the unions to which they belong have little to no input into or accountability for the ridiculous antics of school district administrators. So please pull your head outta yer ass and start wagging your finger in the right direction.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Uh... yes!

The age old trope that if you don’t like it then go out and change it is a load of crap and you know it.

Seems like you have already been defeated.
You are a prime example of why people can easily be enslaved. It truly is a shame that there are more cowards and “victims” like you than there are people with spines and a desire to help their fellow man.

You voted for Obama didn’t you! You want gubermint to take care of your inept arse!

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Uh... yes!

So, can you tell the future then? Because saying it’s the public’s fault for voting for people who allow this ignores that most of them don’t exactly admit that they’d do this sort of thing beforehand.

Saying the public deserves to be the ones who pay for this is both shifting the blame and punishment away from those actually responsible(the teachers/administrators/cops), and blaming the public for not being able to see the what will happen in the future.

Anonymous Coward says:

Lawsuits are the only method that will deter school officials to interrogate its students without the parent or guardian present. Hopefully, more and more parents will start filing lawsuits en masse in order to send a message to school officials that children/students under the age of 17 cannot be questioned by law enforcement.

I don’t know what country this school district or the police department thinks it resides in, but in the United States, police officers are not allowed to question a child without the presence of a parent or their legal guardian.

Lawsuits like this are why teachers aren’t being adequately paid and why school supplies are non existent. This is offensive that school official and law enforcement would act in such a juvenile way.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

the problem has always been the School Administrations. Teachers formed Unions to protect themselves from them, but more importantly they are responsible for the massive waste in education spending and primarily why Teachers do not get some of the funding they deserve.

We do not need to spend any more on education, we need to remove the corruption to clear the way so that teachers can finally get access to the shit load of cash running around inside the system!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Good (that the damages sought are much higher). I was thinking that $100K was far, far too lenient. Pity that the civil process doesn’t allow them to also seek the firing of those responsible and lifetime blacklisting for them: surely school officials who have engaged in such blatant child abuse should never be allowed to work in education again.

Anonymous Coward says:

Tax Payer Funds...

… should only be used to fulfill settlements like this when an elected official, acting upon established policy, commits a crime that was evident to either the public, or covered up by others above or around them. In all other circumstances, the person or persons guilty of committing the crime should have to pay up, either out of their own wallet, or by a pay hit and freeze. It’s absolutely ridiculous that the public should be held accountable for actions they had no prior knowledge of, especially when committed by someone they don’t elect.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Tax Payer Funds...

Public in one form or fashion placed these people in charge. We are responsible, it is not ridiculous at all to ask EVERYONE to PAY for the bullshit of the people we elected in! We elected someone somewhere that is responsible for keeping this shit from happening… there is the target… go target them and stop trying to shirk responsibility.

OldGeezer (profile) says:

When my son was in high school his teachers and principal freaked out about a comment he made. His class was discussing a recent school shooting and just before they were dismissed his teacher said “We’ll see you all Monday”. My son said to a classmate “Yeah, if we’re still here”. Perhaps not in the best taste but his meaning was clear. He meant that the future was unpredictable and a school shooting could happen anywhere. They detained him until both me and my ex could come to the school. When we got there they had a conference room with about a dozen people, the principal, some teachers, the school shrink etc. Somehow they had the idea that he meant that he might stage a massacre at school. I had to convince them that he had no access to any firearms and had never shown any interest in them. They grilled him with questions and they finally believed him that what he said was in no way a threat. I guess we were lucky that was 15 years ago. If it was now he would probably be in cuffs and the discussion would have been at a police station. Some asshole cop wanting to make a name for himself and make an example out of my kid could have blown it way more out of proportion than his school did. Charges could be filed and who knows if they would bring in the feds to interview him.

Hell, who hasn’t done some stupid when we were kids. I got into a few fist fights in school and it was handled by the school officials. Detention or suspension was the end of it. Today I probably would get assault charges on my record.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I drew pictures of guns, blood, suicide, and wrote poems about murder, death, and suicide, all throughout high school. They were social commentary and a way to express myself when I was dealing with normal emotional highs and lows as a teenager. I never attempted suicide not tried to kill anyone.

My teachers just asked me to explain it, so I did, and they said I had “artistic talent” and encouraged me to explore art and poetry, including reading classic poetry and observing classic art, which is filled with stories and pictures about murder, death, and suicide.

When did we start outlawing normal human behavior?

Anonymous Coward says:

yea the Beaverton Police have a bit too much money and are often the subject of less than stellar performance. For example setting up a police trap on the wrong side of a road making it out of there jurisdiction with the added bonus of no posted speed signs and the signs that used to exist were for a faster speed than ticketed…. hilarity ensued when the judge refused to rescind the tickets and had to be fired and replaced with a judge that would.

Or the just recent lawsuit against the use of Red Light cameras that are timed for ticketing and at a time faster than state law allows. http://www.kgw.com/news/Beaverton-sued-over-traffic-light-timing-camera-tickets–259128001.html

Karen McHale says:

This recently happened to my fourteen y.o. autistic son. We took YouTube away from him and he told his one-on-one aide that he, “wished he could murder his parents and no one find out about it.” My son has NEVER been violent or has any record of hostile or angry behavior. He was just upset with me and his dad for taking YouTube away. Someone (I have my suspicions) reported him to the school’s “resource officer” (a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff), who called in the Mental Health Evaluation Team. All this without calling me. When they finally called me, the MET team was already on their way. When I got there, they told me what had happened and proceeded to tell me that they would have to happened. The team (a sheriff’s deputy and a member of the Department of Mental Health) deemed that my son was a “danger to self and others”. My son is AUTISTIC and was very honest with them and told them the truth but told them he was sorry and that he didn’t mean it. But, because he understood that murder meant dead, they said that he needed to be taken in under California’s 5150 statute. They refused to allow myself or my husband to ride with him in the car, which means that they could continue to question my son without a parent present. And, then, they took him a hospital, first to LA County hospital, where we wait for four hours without being seen. Then, he was taken to a private psychiatric hospital, where they held him without evaluating him. The psychiatrist on staff just flat refused to come in, which is a violation of the 5150 statute. They kept him until 1pm the next day and only released him because I fought tooth and nail to get him out and wouldn’t sign any consent forms. They released him AMA (Against Medical Advice) but had me sign a form that said I voluntarily admitted him to the facility, which I DID sign but with a notation that I was being coerced into signing just to get my son released. And, to add insult to injury, someone at the school (I suspect the same person), call the Department of Children and Family Services. Four days after I got my son out of that facility, DCFS shows up, traumatizing my son further. It’s been hell for our family. All this because my son said ONE THING to his aide, whom he trusted and knew for many years.

Whatever says:

Re: Re:

I feel for you Karen, but I have to ask you the alternate question: What if the aid said nothing and one fine day your son decided to pass to try the act because he was upset about something else? When it turns out that the aid heard him say this but did nothing, you would be equally upset – and likely dealing with a much larger problem on your hands (if you survived to deal with it).

I feel sympathy for the parents in these situations, but at the same time I think the schools and the state don’t have a lot of choices here. Every time they get it wrong (even if they follow policy) they get hung out to dry and suffer.

Did the school go overboard with the kid drawing hanging people? Probably. Is it any worse than not doing enough? I don’t think so. Failure to take this seriously and to treat it in a serious manner could lead to some truly tragic results. How many times do we read news reports of “would of, could of, should of” from parents, friends, educators, and other people who were in contact with a kid who goes off the deep end and harms other people?

The methodology in the case discussed in this post wasn’t very good – but the intention wasn’t bad. The parent suing the school (and everyone else in his path) is only encouraging them to NOT pay attention, and to accept no responsibility for the next kid that comes along with bad intentions. Then someone will sue them for not doing enough.

Ever wonder why it’s hard to find teachers?

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

In other words you are stating that reasonableness, discretion, nor ‘significant threat’ doesn’t enter into any of the investigative phases whatsoever..

Well in that case shouldn’t malfeasance, nonfeasance and vicarious lianbility removing any and all qualified immunity ALSO apply to the bureaucrats and public officials too? hmmm

of is it ok one side to be able to state “but we followed orders” and get away with absolute unethical and unlawful in any other circumstances practices?

Whatever says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

In other words you are stating that reasonableness, discretion, nor ‘significant threat’ doesn’t enter into any of the investigative phases whatsoever..

No, I am saying that the same parents (and websites) who hang them out to dry for over reacting would equally hang them out to dry for under-reacting and something happening. This is the classic no win situation.

of is it ok one side to be able to state “but we followed orders” and get away with absolute unethical and unlawful in any other circumstances practices?

The issue when you start letting everyone override the rules (and the laws) with their own set of ethical values, you run the risk of disagreements and misunderstandings. If everyone does it their way, will it be up to your standards? Will it be up to the standards of society? We have the rule of law to draw a line, a minimum standard, a point where those who want more can accept and those who would give less must reach.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

In other words you are stating that reasonableness, discretion, nor ‘significant threat’ doesn’t enter into any of the investigative phases whatsoever..

No, I am saying that the same parents (and websites) who hang them out to dry for over reacting would equally hang them out to dry for under-reacting and something happening. This is the classic no win situation.

No, that’s the opposite of “reasonableness, discretion [and] ‘significant threat'” entering into the investigative phase.

The issue when you start letting everyone override the rules (and the laws) with their own set of ethical values, you run the risk of disagreements and misunderstandings.

How can you say that the intention (of the school?) wasn’t bad, and then this? The school and the police department overrode the rules, both their own policy and that of the district. If that’s an issue, then the school and police department should be held responsible.

Whatever says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

How can you say that the intention (of the school?) wasn’t bad, and then this? The school and the police department overrode the rules, both their own policy and that of the district. If that’s an issue, then the school and police department should be held responsible.

It’s exactly the problem. If you support people having discretion and making choices outside the rules, then you have to support these people – and not the complaining parent.

Yet, the rules may have not been enough to deal with the situation. Catch 22. Either way, the school administrators and police risk being wrong. Should over reaction (on the safe side) by condoned?

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

No, I am saying that the same parents (and websites) who hang them out to dry for over reacting would equally hang them out to dry for under-reacting and something happening. This is the classic no win situation.

Wow.. let me allow you into a little secret.

The bureaucrats who are supposedly “hung out to dry” are PAID to do a job.. if they don’;t like the negative feedback that no matter what they do someone wont like gets them then the easy solution is to quit.. If they can’t handle the stresses from unreasonable FUD from parents and/or the media then they have no capacity (psychological or otherwise) to be in that position in the first place.

They are beholden to enact reasonable (in the fully legal sense of the word) rules and regulations and to abide by those policies and procedures. If those compliancies are found to be unreasonable by the community then there are protocols in place to change them. Until then they need to act within the reasonableness of the framework.

If you somehow think that this allows ‘everyone’ to somehow override rules (and laws) etc then you have no idea whatsoever in how laws are formulated, applied or what they are actually designed for. Also it seems you have little understanding of what ‘ethics’ actually are, and are more than likely conflating them with some set of preconceived values instead of the normative ethics that need to be applied here. Ethics IS NOT about religion. It is the same ethics that lawyers, doctors, et.al work with and need to apply everyday.

Whatever says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

If they can’t handle the stresses from unreasonable FUD from parents and/or the media then they have no capacity (psychological or otherwise) to be in that position in the first place.

FUD from the parents is the least of their concerns, it’s the sort of personal legal liability that is being raised by some here that causes the stress. If they just do their job, people get pissed off because they “just did their job”. Plus they risk legal action that could cost their their job, their pension, and so on.

If they push too hard, the face the same risk.

I repeat again: it’s why it’s getting harder and harder to find people willing to work as teachers and school administrators, the upside is small and the risks on a personal and legal level are high.

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

So in other words it means that there are less and less sensitive snowflakes wanting to become teachers and administrators and the ones that are actually understand all the responsibilities and obligations that go along with the position.

And this is a bad thing??? how?

As for your statement in regards to alleged personal liability [it’s actually vicarious liability] when in fact the laws on that have never actually changed, just what people think and are told by MSM (and a bit by the litigious nature of American society currently). Again my original statements above holds true.

What you are basically stating is that No Liability should be allowed against administrators et.al because they in some way are ‘better’ than anyone else. When in fact they should be held to exactly the same standard as anyone else. That’s equitable, that’s ethical, and absolutely reasonable, though you are alluding otherwise.

AJ says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Whatever happened to intent? If a teacher notices a single doodle of a kid drawing someone being hanged… chalk it up to an over active imagination.. If the same kid does it again, or has a book of people being shot up with machine guns, well, you may have a problem. I can think of all kinds of stupid stuff I’ve drawn as a kid… Especially during my Conan/Dragon faze… people fighting with swords and what not. I was a kid; it doesn’t mean I intended on hurting someone.

Our law takes serious measure of intent. Guy walks out of the store with a pair of unpaid sunglasses on his head. Store clerk calls police, they show up. Guy acts surprised to find them on his head, apologizes, and offers to pay for them. Should he go to jail because technically he stole the sunglasses?

I don’t think any reasonable person on the planet would rake a teacher over the coals if that kid hurt someone and they didn’t suspend the kid for a sigle doodle of a random un-named hang man. If they do, then we need to address that in itself.. not design rules that cater to the idiots that over react.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“No, I am saying that the same parents (and websites) who hang them out to dry for over reacting would equally hang them out to dry for under-reacting and something happening.”

I hear this a lot in defense of overbearing authoritarian policies (zero tolerance, law enforcement, NSA, etc.) While there are probably a tiny number of people for whom this is true, I don’t think it’s generally so. It’s different people who would complain about the school “underreacting.”

If the people receiving the complaints are so thin-skinned that they decide policy based solely on minimizing the amount of complaining they hear, they shouldn’t have those jobs in the first place.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

from the article:
was suspended after his teacher found his drawing of a person being hanged. The subject matter is no doubt disturbing, although plenty of rounds of Hangman have been played at school without issue.

your response:
Did the school go overboard with the kid drawing hanging people? Probably. Is it any worse than not doing enough? I don’t think so

Hangman is a great game to teach kids spelling. Easy to learn. Supersize that with the way that our culture teaches…bigger, badder, stronger…foods are filled with hallucinogenic drugs (coloring and preservatives), HFCS (to make a better profit), meat is injected with Carbon Dioxide to turn it red…all of these are poison to a kids body. how will they react? unknown. but, i do know of kids who, when they eat to much mainstream food, they make really poor decisions.

Continuing, the TV’s get larger and show more gruesome images…and more culturally accepted dark art…Watch the news tonight…or open a news site. you will easily see tattoos on bodies. or search for images of tattoos. there is some scary stuff. but, those people usually aren’t being harassed by police.

and the kid wants to contribute to society by drawing a picture of someone being hanged. a throwback to when he started to learn to spell. maybe not the best art choice….but it is our current society.

Whatever says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Hangman is a great game to teach kids spelling.

You fell for the story, didn’t you? there is no indication that this was a hangman game gone wrong, rather it seems to be much more of a drawing or work of art depicting something much more.

I doubt the kid was drawing a tribute to spelling, but hey, if that’s your narrative, go with it. The rest of us will try not to chuckle too loudly.

Beta (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

By that reasoning, every time a child draws a picture of aliens blasting the city with their ray guns, someone should get on the phone to SAC/NORAD.

If we, as a society, tend to blame people for not picking up miniscule clues to extremely rare events, then we as a society should get a grip. We must accept the fact that extremely rare disasters sometimes happen, and not expand half our energy looking for someone to blame, and the other half making ourselves utterly blame-proof.

Whatever says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

By that reasoning, every time a child draws a picture of aliens blasting the city with their ray guns, someone should get on the phone to SAC/NORAD.

I believe much more than someone is capable of harming another human that calling in aliens. Do you wait until someone is doing the lifeless pendulum before you contact anyone about it?

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Actually I don’t think I’ll wait anymore.

You are clearly suffering from some sort of mental malady and therefore being a concerned human I should now call the appropriate authorities to ‘assess’ you..

For your own safety of course. We don’t know what you might be capable of, need to cover all the bases and not make any hasty judgements on your sanity.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“Do you wait until someone is doing the lifeless pendulum before you contact anyone about it?”

This isn’t a choice between “calling somebody” (where in this case the “somebody” is the cops) and doing nothing. There are a whole range of options between those two extremes. The problem is that instead of responding to things intelligently, the schools default to calling the cops — and the cops are not even remotely equipped to handle these situations, so the situation ends up getting handled in the worst possible way.

Absolutely Disgusted says:

Re: Re: Re:

I disagree. If the aid has known the child and the family for a long time, he or she should not notified the parents the first time the child said this. If the aid knows that the child is not violent or hasn’t shown violent inclinations in all the years of being his aid, then he or she should have known better. The parents have every right to sue all the personnel involved with this matter. The aid should also be fired because he or she is obviously terrible at their job if they’re not knowledgeable enough about autism to know that those with it don’t completely understand the concept of murder. We need to get incompetence like these people out of the system so that the right aids can stand out from the weeded out ones.

Angelo says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I live in South Africa. And I can safely say that our human rights record is way better than yours….

and that coming from a “3rd world country”.

LOL!!

Sure, no country is perfect, I accept that, but to see the “bastion of free speech and liberty” falling to this, you guys are becoming a laughing stock.

USA ain’t lookin’ so good now.

ChrisB (profile) says:

Re: Re:

This is a great story. It is a perfect example of the encroachment of the nanny state. In what world is harassing and traumatizing an autistic kid “helping” the situation. Now, apparently talking back to your kid is “abuse”. Unless a parent is torturing their kids, it is ALWAYS better just to leave the kid in the parents care.

This kid will remember this horrific situation for the rest of his life. These social workers and busybodies are evil people.

PRMan (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Sorry, Karen. I know it sucks, but 99% of parents don’t want somebody at school who goes around talking about murdering people they disagree with.

I’m sure every parent of the mentally ill that keep ravaging our schools said the same things you just said, right up until their kid got a gun and really did shoot up the school.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

This is different though. The mentally ill causing violent incidents are usually not under the care of professionals that if properly trained should be able to recognize the difference which is what allows the violence to happen in the first place because the mental illness isn’t addressed.

That is not the case here. This is the people tasked with providing the care dropping the ball and not handling the situation properly.

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: Re: Re: Just corporate CYA

It’s not about sanity it’s about the corporate mentality. They’re just trying to “cover their asses”. They are trying to make sure that whatever happens next, they won’t be blamed for it. They don’t care if they destroy a child in the process.

This kind of nonsense is why corporations aren’t people.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Sure, send him to the school shrink, have a chat with the parents and student, both of those are reasonable responses to something like that. However, when the school shrink gives the kid the okay, and the parent/student/staff meeting ends, that should have been it.

To call the police after all of that is basically doing so out of sheer habit and/or bone-headedness, the ‘need’ to involve the police even when they aren’t needed.

Digger says:

Re: Re: Re:

Uhh – it wasn’t just boneheaded, it was illegal.

Those asshats need to be arrested as do the police officers involved as they certainly knew better, but went ahead and did it.

They deserve the maximum penalty allowed by law (at least 15 years in prison, with no chance of parole, if I had a say in the matter)…

Anonymous Coward says:

Here’s the problem. You have a school policy written strictly to shirk responsibility. Notice that the school policy says it is the responsibility of law enforcement to contact the parents and get permission to interrogate a student. How exactly is school policy binding on law enforcement? The answer is it’s not. Law enforcement has their own policies to follow, but they are not subject to the whims of the school board and the school board knows that. So the school board purposely writes in that it is the responsibility of law enforcement to do these things knowing full and well that this is completely meaningless so that when something like this happens they can point to the policy and say, “Look, it’s law enforcement’s responsibility, not ours, go complain to them.”

Anon says:

Childish

Yeah, I and my friends drew all sorts of violent things when I was in school. That was in 1960’s. The only time the police were involved was with serious personal injury (a guy kicked in the goolies during a fight) or the time a pair of kids lit some auditorium drapes on fire, resulting in a hole in the school roof.

My experience in things like amateur theatre… There is nothing so childish as a teacher, except maybe a school administrator. Both types spend all day dealing with powerless little children who don’t know how to assert their rights, or adolescents who cannot contain their anger when confronted with unfair situations, thereby negating any position of righteousness – which leaves all the power in the hands of the adults.

If you wonder why teachers unions insist on having certain rights – look no further than the school administrators. Nothing brings out the demand for petty rules like petty and favoritist bosses. An organization usually gets the union it deserves and earns.

The administration called the police in direct violation of law and policy. Why? Did they simply not care because they had gotten away with it before? Was it revenge since they could not get their way? You mess with us, we make your kids life and record miserable.

Anonymous Coward says:

Please get your children out of American public schools. Take care of your children yourself if at all possible, or at least leave them in the hands of those you can trust. Public schools are just a money pit, they are not safe, they are not fit for human habitation. What a waste of the majority of twelve years of my life. Those who can do, those who can’t teach. Thankfully, there are exceptions to that rule…

lars626 says:

Policy

The administrator(s) that called in the police violated school policy. That makes the person liable. They can’t hide behind “that’s policy”. Termination for cause, no possibility of rehire. Plus whatever the court hangs on them.

The school is also liable. They failed to properly train and supervise their staff.

Same for the police department.

Mark Pursel says:

I am a 21 year police veteran and current police detective that has actively investigated hundreds of child abuse cases. I am also a victim of DCFS corruption. I offer the following advice: Do not ever speak to DCFS…When they come to your home, step outside and close the door behind you…Collect their business card and listen to the allegation against you…Then exert your right to reman silent and do so…Do not answer ANY questions. Do not allow them into your home. Do not allow them to see or interview your children. Do not sign anything. Do not provide them with ANY information about your children or family. If you have time, record the at the door encounter. If your children are old enough, teach them how to exercise their right to remain silent; children should exercise their right to remain silent if interviewed at school or if DCFS comes back to your home with an investigative warrant (school interviews can be avoided by home schooling your children). Any investigative warrant obtained solely on an uncorroborated anonymous allegation to the DCFS hotline is illegal; you should seek an attorney to file a federal civil rights violation lawsuit under 42 USC 1983 if DCFS serves an illegal warrant on your home.

ECA (profile) says:

Student/CHILD rights..

The simple part of this…
Would you want your child to go thru this??
Would you LET anyone do this to your child, under ANY circumstances?
ADULTS are assholes, and any interpretation of what a child/younger person says, IS/CAN be misconstrued. Do not talk to Adults, Only talk to your parents..
An official HAS to declare themselves, to everyone. 1. if they dont, its illegal. 2. as a child or adult, you have NO NEED to answer any questions..JUST LISTEN if you want to.

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