Friday, April 18, 2014

155.6 - The Clown Award: South Fayette High School of McDonald, PA

The Clown Award: South Fayette High School of McDonald, PA

Now it's time for our other regular feature, the Clown Award, given for meritorious stupidity.

This week, the big red nose goes to the administration of the South Fayette High School in McDonald, Pennsylvania.

Christian Stanfield is a 15-year-old boy who suffers from comprehension delay and anxiety disorders, as well as ADHD. What that means is that he is slow to grasp things, more particularly, he has a low mental processing speed, which means not only does he take time to understand things, he does everything slowly.

He had been in a special education math class at South Fayette High School, where he is a sophomore. He had been getting harassed and bullied by other students in the class, up to and including having books slammed against his head. His mother, Shea Love, contacted the school several times about the bullying to no avail.

Finally, Christian got tired of it. So he used his iPad to make a 7-minute recording of the bullying, which he showed to his mother. She went and confronted school officials with the evidence.

The response of Principal Scott Milburn of South Fayette High School in McDonald, Pennsylvania was to call police and accuse Christian of felony wiretapping. A city cop named Robert Kurta questioned Christian and, he said, based solely on what the principal told him, charged christian with disorderly conduct, which, as a local attorney said, "is a catch-all for disposing of a case." That is, it's what cops charge you with when they want to charge you with something but have no idea what that something might be. School officials demanded Christian destroy the recording and punished him with Saturday detention.

To make this even more absurd, South Fayette District Judge Maureen McGraw-Desmet upheld the disorderly conduct charge, fining Christian $25 plus court costs.

By the way, the students tormenting Christian? Nothing happened to them at all. Not a thing.

So a student is being harassed and bullied. His mother repeatedly notifies the school. Nothing is done. The student records the bullying and the school is presented with the evidence. As a result, the lamebrain school wants the victim charged with a felony, the lamebrain cop charges him with disorderly conduct, and the lamebrain judge convicts him. All while the actual guilty parties walk without even getting a sour look.

So the South Fayette High School in McDonald, Pennsylvania - in fact, forget that, everyone involved, the school, the cops, the courts: You are, all of you, clowns.

Sources cited in links:


Ralph said...

Naturally I agree that it's a sad, stupid, bad case of school officials joining in to gang up on some poor slow kid. The officials should be disciplined or fired.

But I also want to say that it is possible to go insane by empathizing with every sad news story we read about. I have actually started to try not to get upset by such events. It doesn't help anyone for me to get depressed.

Larry E said...

The Clown Award isn't necessarily for the bad or sad; it is, as you also note, for the stupid. The nonsensical. The ridiculous. That certainly fit this case.

Something else I occasionally have on is filed as "I hasten to laugh at everything for fear of being obliged to weep." You could consider the Clown Award as being "I hasten to mock for fear of being obliged to be furious" - or, I expect we could add, depressed.

You'll only go insane if you don't balance the sad news with some good news - of which, I expect you may know, I try to start every week. (Which includes, in case you didn't catch it, the Update that the charge against Christian is being dismissed.)

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