A Monsterous Injustice...or ?


Sal
+1
#1


On Tuesday, we told the appalling story of Christian Stanfield, a 15-year-old kid with special needs who was, in effect, convicted of the crime of being bullied.


After reviewing the trial transcript, it’s clear that convicting this helpless kid of disorderly conduct was criminally dumb.
As first reported by Benswann.com, Christian, a sophomore at South Fayette High School who suffers from comprehension delay disorder (an information-processing disorder), ADHD, and an anxiety disorder, was subjected to treatment so cruel as to nearly defy description. He was regularly shoved and tripped, nearly burned with a cigarette lighter, and psychologically tortured by his peers. He fought back in the only way he could: by recording audio footage of the abuse during a math class on his school-issued iPad so that he could prove his story. Christian’s mother, Shea Love, submitted the recording to school administrators in the hopes of bringing an end to her son’s terror.


The response? An interrogation of Christian by Principal Scott Millburn and Lieutenant Robert Kurta, followed by a suspension from school and threats of being charged with felony wiretapping; Christian was ultimately charged with disorderly conduct, and he was found guilty by District Justice Maureen McGraw-Desmet on March 19.
Disgusting. And completely without foundation in Pennsylvania law.
Was Christian guilty of wiretapping? No! While Pennsylvania is one of the few states with a “two-party consent” rule when it comes to recording conversations, as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has recognized, the speaker must have a reasonable expectation of privacy that his conversation will not be recorded before the issue of whether he has given consent comes into play. Clearly, nobody, much less a few teenage tyrants, would have a reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to statements made out loud in a classroom full of other students and a teacher.


Was Christian guilty of disorderly conduct? No! Pennsylvania law defines disorderly conduct as conduct that “(c)reates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by acts which serve no legitimate purpose.”


As Lt. Kurta admitted during his testimony, Christian’s surreptitious recording did not create a hazardous condition. And, although Kurta testified that he found Christian’s conduct to be offensive, the statute provides that the behavior must create a “physically offensive condition,” which was certainly not the case here. And, as for having a “legitimate purpose,” memo to Lt. Kurta: a victim making a recording of the physical and psychological abuse he is undergoing so that responsible authorities (are there any at South Fayette?) will make it stop would strike most sentient human beings as constituting a “legitimate purpose.”


Thankfully, the charges were dropped today by the district attorney—the first display of common sense by anyone in an official position thus far. But the decision to charge Christian with disorderly conduct was a shameful exercise of prosecutorial discretion, and should have been summarily rejected by the trial court. Christian’s ordeal represents a government failure on every level and his conviction was a monstrous miscarriage of justice. Speaking about the school’s administrators, Christian’s mother told Foxnews.com, “Hopefully they will [apologize], but judging from past actions, I don’t think they will.”


They better.

Why the Conviction of 15-Year-Old Who Recorded Bullying Must Be Reversed
 
Twila
+2
#2
WTF??? This is a horrendous incident and clearly all authority involved lack common sense, compassion and a brain.
 
55Mercury
+6
#3  Top Rated Post
an apology will be meaningless if they don't sanction the bullies and the teacher who was allowing them to get away with it, if that was the case.
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
+1
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by TwilaView Post

WTF??? This is a horrendous incident and clearly all authority involved lack common sense, compassion and a brain.

Not only that but the bullies have and probably will get off scott free. Not sure what they could have been thinking in going after the victim. Unless the procecutors and administrators involved are parents of the bullies.
 
Twila
+1
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiingView Post

Not sure what they could have been thinking in going after the victim. Unless the procecutors and administrators involved are parents of the bullies.

I feel they were either not thinking or there's something untoward going on that they felt might be threatened IF someone else asked about this kid video taping without permission.

You know how you have to sign a release for your children or yourself if pictures of you or them are taken at school or work? I wonder if they were afraid of being discovered for something like maybe they've got pictures without the appropriate permission in place? Because otherwise it makes no sense to go after the victim
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
+1
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by TwilaView Post

I feel they were either not thinking or there's something untoward going on that they felt might be threatened IF someone else asked about this kid video taping without permission.

You know how you have to sign a release for your children or yourself if pictures of you or them are taken at school or work? I wonder if they were afraid of being discovered for something like maybe they've got pictures without the appropriate permission in place? Because otherwise it makes no sense to go after the victim

Or they got so caught up in the buracracy they neglected to turn on their brains. But so many people failed to turn on their brains I find that hard to believe.
 
Sal
+2
#7
I wondered if since the teacher was present they were trying to redirect and blame the victim due to culpability in order to protect the school and the teacher.

I am usually against suing. In this case...not so much. The school failed to ensure a safe environment.
 
Tecumsehsbones
+1
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by SalView Post

I wondered if since the teacher was present they were trying to redirect and blame the victim due to culpability in order to protect the school and the teacher.

I am usually against suing. In this case...not so much. The school failed to ensure a safe environment.

The school may have sovereign immunity.

Also, while I agree 100% this was a massive screw-up of monumental stupidity, I'd like to quote one of the comments to the article:

"A very good friend of mine is an employee of the district. It is a very good school that made a mistake in dealing with this situation. Keep in mind we do not know all of the details-they are unable to adequately defend themselves in the media due to their commitment to protecting the privacy of the students in their district. Don't believe everything you see on tv or read on the internet, there are always 2 sides to a story and we have only really heard one. I feel for the young man who was bullied and those who bullied him should be punished. Until this week South Fayette school district had a wonderful reputation, one incident should not bring down a district or it's leadership"

Voice of reason, really.
 
Sal
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Voice of reason, really.

yes

will the whole truth come out then?
 
Tecumsehsbones
+1
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by SalView Post

yes

will the whole truth come out then?

To us? I very much doubt it. But the value of the story is that it will force the district and the school board to actually investigate this, and take serious corrective action. No sweeping it under the rug. Which is all to the good.
 
Sal
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

To us? I very much doubt it. But the value of the story is that it will force the district and the school board to actually investigate this, and take serious corrective action. No sweeping it under the rug. Which is all to the good.

thanks bones.
 
JamesBondo
+1
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by SalView Post


On Tuesday, we told the appalling story of Christian Stanfield, a 15-year-old kid with special needs who was, in effect, convicted of the crime of being bullied.
After reviewing the trial transcript, it’s clear that convicting this helpless kid of disorderly conduct was criminally dumb.
As first reported by Benswann.com, Christian, a sophomore at South Fayette High School who suffers from comprehension delay disorder (an information-processing disorder), ADHD, and an anxiety disorder, was subjected to treatment so cruel as to nearly defy description. He was regularly shoved and tripped, nearly burned with a cigarette lighter, and psychologically tortured by his peers. He fought back in the only way he could: by recording audio footage of the abuse during a math class on his school-issued iPad so that he could prove his story. Christian’s mother, Shea Love, submitted the recording to school administrators in the hopes of bringing an end to her son’s terror.

Quote has been trimmed, See full post: View Post
Imo, recording a bully with the intent to use it as evidance is merely a defensive act.

I don't see it as an illegal act, but lets assume that it is for one moment. Am i not allowed to flee on a bully's bicycle to avoid a brutal beating without the idiots in law enforcement bending over backwards trying to charge me with bicycle theft?
 
Sal
+1
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by JamesBondoView Post

Imo, recording a bully with the intent to use it as evidance is merely a defensive act.

I don't see it as an illegal act, but lets assume that it is for one moment. Am i not allowed to flee on a bully's bicycle to avoid a brutal beating without the idiots in law enforcement bending over backwards trying to charge me with bicycle theft?

I know in schools for students there is a no picture policy with cells...suspension is going to happen...but, once again...context...these fools weren't able to apply it.
 
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