A high school sophomore in Pennsylvania who had been bullied all year by classmates with no help from his teacher decided to audio record the bullying on his iPad as evidence.
But instead of disciplining the bullies, school officials called police on him, threatening to have him arrested for felony wiretapping.
By the time the cops arrived at South Fayette High School in McDonald, school administrators had already forced the 15-year-old boy to delete the audio clip.
So police charged him with disorderly conduct instead, a charge he was convicted of last month.
Maureen McGraw-Desmet, the Magisterial District Justice who presided over the case, called the teen’s decision to record the bullies “extreme,” adding that he should have gone through normal channels and “let the school handle it.”
So how is the school handling the disciplining of the bullies? It isn’t. So far, no administrative action has been taken against the aggressors.
But the bullied teen’s mother, Shea Love, is not giving up without a fight. She testified before the magistrate that her son has been repeatedly shoved and tripped, and that a fellow student had attempted to burn him with a cigarette lighter. Love (who had planted the audio device in her son’s backpack) also took the precaution of making a transcription of the recording the night before the teen presented it to the principal, Scott Milburn. Among the comments she had transcribed are the following, which occurred in class in front of a teacher:
Bully 1: You should pull his pants down!
Bully 2: No, man. Imagine how bad that (c**t) smells! No one wants to smell that (t**t).
According to Ben Swann, Love and her son plan to appeal the conviction:
His next court appearance is April 29 in Pittsburgh. When asked if she was afraid of retaliation by school officials or harassment by the police, Love said, “I refuse to be threatened. I just want my son to have a chance to bloom and not fall so far behind in a totally disruptive environment.”
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