Thursday, February 19, 2009

Arrested for Texting

Really? Is this not the weirdest thing you've heard? Let's see if we can get the full 9 Kinds of Stupid. (h/t to Richie)
Here's the story:
Student Arrested For Classroom Texting
Wisconsin girl, 14, nabbed after refusing to stop messaging
The Smoking Gun blog with police report

A 14-year-old Wisconsin girl who refused to stop texting during a high school math class was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, according to police. The teenager was busted last Wednesday at Wauwatosa East High School after she ignored a teacher's demand that she cease texting. The girl, whose name we have redacted from the below Wauwatosa Police Department report, initially denied having a phone when confronted by a school security officer. However, the phone was located after the girl was frisked by a female cop. The Samsung Cricket, the police report noted, was recovered "from the buttocks area" of the teenager. The student was issued a criminal citation for disorderly conduct, which carried "a bail of $298," and had her phone confiscated. The girl, who was barred from school property for a week, is scheduled for an April 20 court appearance on the misdemeanor rap.

Here we go!
  1. Someone is surprised a 14yo girl won't stop texting on her "Cricket" and didn't just give her an "F" for the day or something.
  2. She denied having the phone when confronted by SRO.  Right, don't believe the teacher, the SRO needs to ask himself.  She denies it - quel surprise!
  3. She was then handed over to a different set of cops.  Let's Escalate! (Sure hope the parents were there this whole time.  That could get really nasty.  Miranda rights are the least of it.)
  4. Denies having the phone again, so is Frisked by a female cop.  Looking for Weapons of Math Disruption - Found! Bring her in.  She must be lying about texting because she has one of these evil devices.  Have we proven that she was using it? Nope. Were the parents there at the time of frisking?  Sure hope so.  She's 14 and this is NOT an emergency.  Why go to this extreme anyway?  It's not like they were looking for a gun or trying to prevent another Columbine.
  5. Anyone saying saying "was recovered from the buttocks area" instead of "in her back pocket."
  6. She got a court appearance, a criminal citation for D.C., and bail set at $298 and her phone was confiscated.
  7. She was barred from school for 1 week.  That'll help her concentration in class, I suppose.
  8. TMG saying "We redacted her name from the police report" because no one can Google it based on the date, time and HS name and none of the students know it either 'cause "It's a secret."
  9. anyone thinks this helps.

At what point did someone stop and think to themselves "Maybe we're making a bit too much out of all of this?" The school suspended her for a week, pretty much the same if she had brandished a knife, or hidden a bag of pot in her backpack, or stolen calculators for resale on the nerd-market.

The sarcastic evil bastard in me is hoping that a serious family emergency had happened and that the mother was on the other end of the texting conversation - the school is going to look really bad - oh wait, they already do.

But let's continue.  The point was, I suppose, to reduce the classroom distraction.  So far, so good.

Haul the kid out and have her arrested, charged with a crime? Good plan.

Parents will demand meetings with administration, superintendent, school board - lots of wasted time preparing, photocopying, lining up ducks and evidence in readiness for the inevitable lawsuit. Teachers, administrators, police, parents, all the students in the class, will spend lots of time preparing - and not for a test. 

The students will probably hold a protest. The community will scream "heavy-handed stupidity" and hold meetings.  Lawyers will probably cost close to $50,000 by the time this phase is done.

The courts will realize there's no fire, wipe the slate clean for this FOURTEEN YEAR OLD and give her back her "Cricket."  Samsung will have given her a replacement long ago - thanks for the publicity!

Parent's lawyer will point out the blatant abuse of her civil rights - God help the school district if the cops were white and the kid black - and initiate a big lawsuit.  They will have all the ammunition they need, but I'm sure someone at the school will let slip her records or something.  Somebody always has Loose-Lip syndrome.  Lawyers fees and judgements loom and the district will settle for paying the parents' fees and $15,000 punitive "Yeah we over-reacted" fee.  Total? Probably over $100 grand.

Because a girl was passing notes in class.

Yup, 9 Kinds of Stupid right there.


  1. Uh. In my day, the phone would have been confiscated and given back after class. WTF?

    ... and there is a nerd market? I need to replace my TI-89, and I wanna do it on the cheap ...

  2. I'm glad people over look the reason the girl got in trouble. It had nothing to do with texting and everything to do with doing what an administrator tells you to do. Picture a 14 year old in class being confronted by a teacher for talking. The teacher tells the student stop talking. The student's response is "no, I don't have to". Non-compliance is the reason this student got in trouble, not texting.

  3. Ok, Let's picture that.

    "Go down to the office."

    and I'll go back to teaching.

    Give a detention for non-compliance - that's one thing. Body frisk, interviews by two sets of cops, arrest court and bail seems a little over the top. Especially when it's all going to backfire into the adults' faces anyway. Kids DO have rights. Tinker decision (?)