Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Score One for the Bad Guys...

I am pretty speechless at this moment.  Sitting here, reading about another bullied kid who took action into his own hands.  This one was smart about it, he recorded his bullies in action, after repeated pleas went unheard and unanswered.

For this young man from Pennsylvania, I give him props.  He did not resort to physical violence.  He did not pick up a gun, or knife.  He picked up his iPad, and recorded the little pricks who were bullying him, and went to staff with evidence, which should have forced their hand.  He might be mentally diminished, but really he is a very intelligent young man.  I give him the highest possible praise, and I also send my condolences because he will get no mercy.

After doing the right thing, not turning the bullies into victims, not going on a spree, but going to staff once again with evidence of his torment, he was threatened by the principal.  That's right Mr. Scott Milburne didn't do his job in putting an end to bullying, he actively picked up on it, by threatening this young man with criminal charges.  Something most kids wouldn't even know of.

For his part, the young man tells of being shoved, tripped, and at one point students attempted to burn him with a cigarette lighter.  In the recording, which was apparently transcribed before school staff made him delete the recording before calling law enforcement, the acts could be heard, while the teacher attempted to help the young man with some math.

“You should pull his pants down!” Another student replies, “No, man. Imagine how bad that (c**t) smells! No one wants to smell that (t**t).”
Shortly afterwards you hear something load banging, which might have been a book followed by another student explaining that he was just trying to scare the victim followed by laughter from members of the class.  So, Milburne contacted local police, when he called to report a possible wiretapping incident.  When the officer arrived at the school, the recording had been destroyed.  The young man severed a Saturday school as punishment, but the officer who responded decided it was best to issue charges of "Disorderly Conduct" which is mostly issued to people for harassing others.  So, this boy was issued for the base level crime his bullies have been committing.

Making matters even more intolerable, was the districts response that throwing spitballs at someone, and most of what this boy encountered were not actually bullying.  While they might not be, at some point it is harassment.  But when all was said and done, it went to court, and the judge overreached.  I know I know, but look at the charges again, he was not charged for the recording, or violation of state laws regarding the recording.  He was charged with disorderly conduct.  In his defense he recounted everything that happened to him, he pleaded his case, showed the courts that the recording was required, and did not technically violate the law in any way.  But he was found guilty, ordered to pay the minimal fine of 25$, and court fees.  I am sure that we should all try to gather funds for him, because while this is wrong, it will follow him, should the appeal go badly.

To date, his bullies have walked free and clear.  The judge for her part is hiding in chambers, refusing to make comments, the officer's captain refused to comment, and the schools superintendent stated that she could not comment on what had happened (a legitimate privacy issue).  But all those involved need to be held accountable.  The young man has been repeatedly assaulted (any speech or act that creates apprehension in a person of imminent harm), battered (the physical act that causes harm), and if we knew the whole truth of the situation we would find more crimes have been committed against him.  Like his father, I wonder if the school investigated the numerous emails that were sent to them in regards to this harassment.  The community of South Fayette Township Pennsylvania should be ashamed of its schools, and Criminal Justice system.