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South Fayette Mother wants case against bullied son dropped

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posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 06:19 PM
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The mother of a South Fayette High School student convicted of disorderly conduct for recording classmates bullying him wants a judge to reverse the decision and the district to apologize.
Shea Love, 40, of South Fayette questioned why school officials contacted police to discuss a possible violation of wiretap laws but refused to confront the students whose voices she says were captured on an iPad tormenting her son.
Love requested the identity of her son, 15, a sophomore diagnosed with a comprehension delay disorder, ADHD, and an anxiety disorder, be kept private out of fear of retribution.
“The whole thing has been a horrible nightmare,” Love told the Tribune-Review on Sunday. “This whole ordeal has made my son miserable.

South Fayette Mother wants case against bullied son dropped

This is a local story that I think needs more attention. If this isnt exactly whats wrong with our society today then I dont know what is.




posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 06:32 PM
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Heart breaking, are none of these teachers parents? Hypocrisy at its finest.


edit on 14-4-2014 by muSSang because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 06:38 PM
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reply to post by BlueSkyes
 


Well, this makes me so incredibly sad and frustrated. Yes, let's punish the bullied kid who was hoping someone would finally listen to him if he had proof. *sigh* From the same article you linked in the OP:



According to a transcript of a March 19 hearing before South Fayette District Judge Maureen McGraw-Desmet, the boy said he made the seven-minute recording “because I always felt like it wasn't me being heard.”

He said classmates harassed him for several months, and even though he told his mom, he didn't have anything to show for it.
“I wanted some help,” he said. “This wasn't just a one-time thing. This always happens every day in that class.”

Love testified that the recording includes one boy telling another boy to pull her son's pants down. The teacher tells them that if what they're talking about doesn't have anything to do with math, they need to stop talking.
Later in the recording, Love testified, there is a loud slam, and the teacher tells them to sit down.
Two boys ask, “What? I was just trying to scare him.”

Milburn called South Fayette police Lt. Robert Kurta on Feb. 12 requesting he come take a report because he believed he “had a wiretapping incident.” State law generally prohibits secret audio recording.

After questioning the boy, district officials forced him to erase the recording and punished him with a Saturday detention, which he served, according to the hearing transcript. Kurta, who testified that he did not hear the recording, charged him with disorderly conduct, a summary offense.

Kurta did not return calls. He told the judge that he didn't think the case warranted a felony wiretapping charge but made the decision to pursue a summary charge “because I believe that he committed a crime.”

Skrbin testified that the district had records of Love complaining about students bullying her son, including an incident in October in which a student hit her son with “spitwads,” even after her son told him to stop.

“To be blunt, I would not classifying that as bullying,” Skrbin said.

McGraw-Desmet found Love's son guilty. She fined him a minimum of $25 and ordered him to pay court costs. McGraw-Desmet could not be reached.
Love said her son is appealing the judge's decision.
A hearing is scheduled in Common Pleas Court on April 29.


Read more: triblive.com...


I agree - this story needs more attention. I like how they forced him to erase the tape, too. Good Lord!
Makes me very very angry and sad. Not everyone can pull their kid out of a hostile environment and homeschool or switch to better schools - this is just incredibly lame on the "grown-ups" part, imo.

peace,
AB
edit on 14-4-2014 by AboveBoard because: weird formatting - needed to fix...



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 06:52 PM
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reply to post by BlueSkyes
 


Lets see....she wants the identity of her son to remain private, but they print her first and last name, the school, and her son's age and the fact that he's a sophomore, in the paper. No one will ever figure that out will they?



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 06:57 PM
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This is one of those cases that is a nightmare for all involved. Breaking the law, in the attempt to gather evidence of a law being broken, is a legal grey area and puts all in a bad light.

According to the article, there is a student who has special needs, being bullied in school, and according to one side, it goes on all of the time. In an attempt to gather the evidence of such actions, the student breaks the law, to record the law/rules being broken in the first place. And the school does not want to show or have such on the record as it will show that there is a lack of control/discipline in the class room and thus could be a sign of more problems for this school district.

The problem is this, all sides are wrong. The students are wrong for bulling and picking on one student. The student who did the recording is also wrong for recording what all is going on in his class. And the school district is wrong for failing to provide a safe learning environment for all of their students. It is becoming a big mess, as you can not violate the rights of one to help another, thus making the entire law collapse on itself.

If anything the one solution that is not discussed here, is that they are not investigating the school and looking at what all is going on in the classrooms, to see if there is an opportunity to make the environment more agreeable for learning, nor are they seeing to the safety of the students. That is very clear and ultimately will need to be addressed, and should be. Then allow for the rest to settle out.



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 07:02 PM
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I dont know that what he did is illegal, he recording a crime (assault) taking place in a tax payers funded school. The school should of never let it escalate to where the student felt the need to record it anyways.



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 07:08 PM
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reply to post by BlueSkyes
 


In pa it is illegal to record someone unless you specifically state you are recording him.. Since the kid didnt say ahh I am recording this It was illegal.



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 07:11 PM
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If the government can do it for "National Security", why cant this kid, when this kid "spying" was actually catching someone doing wrong?



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 07:20 PM
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If its so illegal why did the school provide the camera that he used? If they really thought "wiretapping" was a concern why not deactivate the cameras on the Ipads they issued themselves? You cant issue a kid a tool to use then cry "wiretapping" when he uses the tool you gave him. A bit hypocritical I think but the legality is another separate issue completely since the school destroyed the evidence.



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 07:23 PM
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Sorry I dont actually live in PA, I just play it on TV...



www.openrecordspa.org...
Q: Can I record an interview without asking the subject of the interview for permission?

A: No. Pennsylvania is a two-party consent state and recording a conversation without permission is a crime.

If you wish to record a conversation, you must request and receive permission before recording begins AND request permission again once the recording has begun so that there is record of consent.



I didn't know how to look this up on Google to see if some loonytoon in pa was telling the truth..


NSA and state are 2 different things.. What I stated above is a state law no fed law.
edit on 4/14/2014 by ThichHeaded because: (no reason given)

edit on 4/14/2014 by ThichHeaded because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 07:26 PM
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Yes I live in Pa and recording a phone conversation you need 2 parties to consent, but my understanding is that in a public place there is no expectation of privacy and recording would not be a crime. But I am not a lawyer so who knows



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 07:32 PM
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reply to post by BlueSkyes
 


Well this is where you are wrong..
I was pulled over by the police last summer When he came up to me before he asked me for license and registration he stated I am recording you with audio and video... So no, If you want to record someone you have to have their consent, whether audio, video, smoke signals, Morse code.. it doesnt matter.

And the link specifically states..

"If you wish to record a conversation, you must request and receive permission before recording begins AND request permission again once the recording has begun so that there is record of consent. "

You are going to ask well people record the police.. They are public servants, they are fair game..

Now you are going to ask about stores and such.. Most places have signs saying you are being recorded when you enter the place you are agreeing to thier terms of being recorded.
edit on 4/14/2014 by ThichHeaded because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 07:33 PM
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BlueSkyes
I dont know that what he did is illegal, he recording a crime (assault) taking place in a tax payers funded school. The school should of never let it escalate to where the student felt the need to record it anyways.


Yeah, I was a little confused as to how it could be construed as wiretapping, which is the monitoring and/or recording of telephone and internet conversations. Apparently the term has been broadened.

Totally agree with you in that the school should not have let it get to that point either. Basically, the school failed to at least let the boy be heard and, then, penalized the boy for making the recording to show what he goes through. The remark from assistant principal about him saying "that isn't bullying"? Threatening to publicly humiliate a peer is an intimidation which is the very definition of the word, bullying. Terrible assistant principal. We really need to stop employing idiots in positions of power over our children. I've had a rotten run-in with a bad principal in the past who apparently had no clue what bullying was either.



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 07:35 PM
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reply to post by ThichHeaded
 


Yes except in public places there is absolutely no expectation of privacy and you're free to record whatever you like, wether a public school building qualifies as a public place I have no idea.



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 07:38 PM
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reply to post by BlueSkyes
 


Its not technically public, we cant just walk in to say.. Alderdice High School for S&G, we have to be buzzed in and we have to have a reason..

So public I would assume would be like the Library, park, police station, court house, things like that...
edit on 4/14/2014 by ThichHeaded because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 07:57 PM
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reply to post by ThichHeaded
 


According to the below link (I looked, too, because I was curious), oral communications are defined as "face to face where there is an expectation of privacy/non-interruption".

www.attorneygeneral.gov...

According to this one, it says this:


The law does not cover oral communications when the speakers do not have an "expectation that such communication is not subject to interception under circumstances justifying such expectation." See 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5702 (link is to the entire code, choose Title 18, Part II, Article F, Chapter 57, Subchapter A, and then the specific provision). Therefore, you may be able to record in-person conversations occurring in a public place without consent.

www.dmlp.org...

So it does fall under the reasonable expectation of privacy kind of rule, which is what BlueSkyes is thinking of and I think that, even though a public school is a public school, there are some privacy laws in effect to protect students. I know that my state's laws are similar and they have to obtain parental permission before recording or photographing my kids at school. That'd be my guess.

The tricky part is that the kid wasn't even charged with felony wiretapping. The kid was charged with "disorderly conduct", which the judge upheld. Basically, they slapped on a different charge than wiretapping because that was too extreme to do to the kid and instead charged him with something he didn't do. Here's the disorderly conduct law in PA:

law.onecle.com...

edit on 14/4/14 by WhiteAlice because: added disorderly conduct link



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 08:05 PM
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After reading this story, I think we can officially say that common sense is gone.....and people are stupid.

What a sad state we are in where this sort of thing happens.



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 08:18 PM
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reply to post by WhiteAlice
 


We would have to get the student handbook for South Fayette to see if recording lectures is allowed, I know that we were always allowed to record lectures. Also I would think that since teachers are essentially public employees since they are paid by taxpayer dollars if they would be exempt from recording?



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 08:36 PM
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BlueSkyes
reply to post by WhiteAlice
 


We would have to get the student handbook for South Fayette to see if recording lectures is allowed, I know that we were always allowed to record lectures. Also I would think that since teachers are essentially public employees since they are paid by taxpayer dollars if they would be exempt from recording?


I think they would have had less of a problem with it if he had done it under the guise of recording the lecture. Hard to say though if that would've flown as a loophole if it was a part of his IEP.

Did find the handbook though: www.southfayette.org...

Misuse of electronic devices is on page 115 and is a level II offense--the same as a public display of affection. However, I bet they don't call the cops on a couple of teens kissing. In fact, according to the handbook, they do that for level IV offenses.

Interestingly enough, harassment is defined on page 120 as "Refers to the use of force, touching, noise, coercion, threat, intimidation,fear, obscene language, obscene gestures, suggestive sexual actions or verbalizations or any other contact toward an individual", which is really fascinating because That one guy said he didn't define what the boys were saying as bullying but according to their own handbook, it'd fall under harassment which is a level 3 offense.



posted on Apr, 14 2014 @ 08:48 PM
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reply to post by sdcigarpig
 


nope, that kid is absolutely NOT wrong for recording them. 100% disagree with you there.

Would it better if he didn't do something, and just waited to show up to school with a gun?

The Constitution applies to children in school, too. I have had that fight. Your kids can actually beat the living hell out of a bully, and not have any reprisal at all. You just have to be a hardass parent.



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