12
   

Police questioning students at school.

 
 
Reply Fri 1 Mar, 2013 06:58 pm
First, no, Mo isn't in trouble and he hasn't been questioned by the police.

I was talking to some people the other day about how the police are being called into schools for minor infractions and we were discussing what we'd told our kids about how to deal with it should the occasion ever arise.

I've told Mo that should he ever have contact with the police he needs to be calm and polite and say that he wouldn't answer their questions until he'd talked to me or Mr. B.

Someone told me this was bad advice -- that the kid has no right to contact a parent and that they needed to ask for a lawyer.

I countered that Mo wouldn't have any idea of how to contact a lawyer and I couldn't imagine any lawyer dashing off to the school after being summoned by some random kid. That he shouldn't talk at all until he had a parent there and then we could decide whether he should answer any questions.

After the conversation I was still curious about how all this worked so I started poking around the internet and came across the Supreme Court case of JDB v. North Carolina.

The way I understood the SC decision is that since a kid can't just leave school that they are essentially under police custody -- under arrest.

Don't the police have to notify a parent if their minor child is arrested?

How does this all shake out? What SHOULD a parent tell their kid to do if they are ever questioned by the police while at school?
 
mismi
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Mar, 2013 07:06 pm
@boomerang,
I thought for sure the police would have to have a parent present to question a child. I was wrong - at least in California they can. I wonder how that differes from state to state?

http://4lakidsnews.blogspot.com/2011/03/miranda-rights-for-schoolchildren-fact.html

mismi
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Mar, 2013 07:09 pm
@mismi,
Here is something that has a few different answers for the different states...

http://www.lawqa.com/qa/can-minor-be-questioned-by-police-without-their-parents-or-legal-counsel
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Mar, 2013 07:18 pm
@mismi,
The laws on this are kind of a mess. I tried looking up my states laws and it was really hard to get any cut and dried information on it.

I really hope this isn't something Mo ever needs but I want him to be prepared if he ever does. I don't want my "bad advice" to be a problem!
0 Replies
 
MP4LIFE
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Mar, 2013 09:25 pm
@boomerang,
My general rule of thumb, is to answer no questions unless they have identified themselves and for what reason I'm being questioned. Even after I establish that, I will still refuse to answer any questions I deem outside the scope of his probable cause.

The one thing that is held true from all my experiences, for a cop to talk to or question ANYONE, they have to have consent from that individual unless probable cause has been established. Without a law being violated, all police interactions are only on a personal consent level. Basically only what your comfortable with.

I'd advise your child to basically just ask 3 things. 1) Am I a suspect of a crime? 2) Am I being detained? 3) What is the nature of your questioning and probable cause? If he's too young for those kind of questions, I'd advise the same as you have, except adding that if they won't let him call you or that teacher, then refuse to comment.
Ice Demon
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Mar, 2013 10:00 pm
@boomerang,
If you live in NY, teach Mo about Miranda rights and McKinney's Family Court Act, § 305.2.
Currently, I think, only Alabama and Arkansas have laws that prohibit police from interrogating 16 or 17 year olds before they have had the chance to consult with a parent or guardian. In other states ... well you can research that on your own. But I'm quite sure that reading the miranda rights to the interrogated is mandatory in every state, even if the interrogated is a minor.
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Mar, 2013 10:33 pm
@MP4LIFE,
Boomer - I think you are so right. I am now thinking it would be prudent to do the same thing with my boys...

Quote:

I'd advise your child to basically just ask 3 things. 1) Am I a suspect of a crime? 2) Am I being detained? 3) What is the nature of your questioning and probable cause? If he's too young for those kind of questions, I'd advise the same as you have, except adding that if they won't let him call you or that teacher, then refuse to comment.


I think this is wise.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Mar, 2013 07:04 am
@MP4LIFE,
It seems like "personal consent" gets tricky when they question kids at school because the kid can't just walk away -- if they leave the school they'll get in trouble for that.

In the past the police were usually called to schools because the school felt there was a possibility that a kid was being abused. It makes sense that a parent shouldn't be there for that since they're most likely being the ones investigated. But now that the police are being called in for things the principal used to handle parents need to be involved in any questioning.

I think you're right about asking if you're being detained. A kid needs to understand that they're free to leave if they aren't under arrest. Schools need to account for that in some way.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Mar, 2013 07:08 am
@Ice Demon,
I think you could be right -- that they now have to read Miranda rights to students -- at least that's my understanding of the decision in JDB v. North Carolina.

I've barely scratched the surface of finding out what the laws are in my state. There doesn't seem to be a law, or even a rule, about how it all happens. Crazy!
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  2  
Reply Sat 2 Mar, 2013 01:46 pm
you should begin with the school policy first. The school board determines when and where the outside officials come in - otherwise, they settle things "in-house.'

If police have been called in to a school setting, you are talking about serious stuff i.e. drugs, weapons, etc.
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Sat 2 Mar, 2013 01:57 pm
@boomerang,
as you know that I am a free-range parent, but even so I would tell my kids to call me first before talking to the cops. if they can not get ahold of me then to use their own judgement. I am far too familiar with the practice of abuse of power to teach my kids that all authorities must be complied with. the state has the power to destroy families and lives and can not be trusted to use this power with discretion, thus care must be taken in all dealings with agents of the state.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Mar, 2013 02:26 pm
@hawkeye10,
the guidance to give on dealing with school bosses and the police is exactly the speech we commonly give to try to immunize our kids from sexual abuse as the major threat in both cases is abuse of power.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Sat 2 Mar, 2013 04:39 pm
@PUNKEY,
PUNKEY wrote:

you should begin with the school policy first. The school board determines when and where the outside officials come in - otherwise, they settle things "in-house.'

If police have been called in to a school setting, you are talking about serious stuff i.e. drugs, weapons, etc.


Wrong, the police are called for all manor of alleged trivial offenses, as the school bosses atempt to bully their charges into compliance with their dictates. Just a month ago the police were called when a kindergarten student made what was considered to be a verbal threat as I recall. I will attempt to find a link when I am home.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Mar, 2013 01:02 am
@hawkeye10,
not what I promised but I have had a long day. From today's news:

Quote:
Yet another student has been suspended for having something that represents a gun, but isn’t actually anything like a real gun.
This time, it was a breakfast pastry.
Josh Welch, a second-grader at Park Elementary School in Baltimore, Maryland, was suspended for two days because his teacher thought he shaped the strawberry, pre-baked toaster pastry into something resembling a gun. WBFF, the FOX affiliate in Baltimore, broke the story.
Welch, an arty kid who has reportedly been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, said his goal was to turn it into a mountain, but that didn’t really materialize, reports Fox News.
“It was already a rectangle. I just kept on biting it and biting it and tore off the top of it and kind of looked like a gun,” he said.
“But it wasn’t,” the seven-year-old astutely added.
The boy’s teacher was not happy with his creation.
“She was pretty mad, and I think I was in big trouble,” Welch told the FOX affiliate.
According to the boy’s father, school officials say Welch also said “Bang, bang” while holding the breakfast pastry.
School officials sent home a letter saying, in part: “One of our students used food to make inappropriate gestures.”
Beyond the letter, school officials offered no further comment on the incident, citing privacy concerns.
“They said they had to suspend Josh for two days, because he used his breakfast pastry and fashioned it as a gun,” the elder Welch told WBFF.
The boy’s father described the events leading up to his son’s suspension as “insanity.”
No one was hurt during the incident, he noted.
“It’s a pastry, you know,” he said.
Josh Welch is adamant that he didn’t say “bang, bang.” He does admit pointing his breakfast pastry sculpture at the ceiling.
This incident is the latest in a growing line of extraordinarily strong reactions by school officials to things students have brought to school — or talked about bringing to school, or eaten at school — that are not anything like real guns.
At Poston Butte High School in Arizona, a high school freshman was suspended for setting a picture of a gun as the desktop background on his school-issued computer. (RELATED: Freshman suspended for picture of gun)
At D. Newlin Fell School in Philadelphia, school officials reportedly yelled at a student and then searched her in front of her class after she was found with a paper gun her grandfather had made for her. (RELATED: Paper gun causes panic)
In rural Pennsylvania, a kindergarten girl was suspended for making a “terroristic threat” after she told another girl that she planned to shoot her with a pink Hello Kitty toy gun that bombards targets with soapy bubbles.
At Roscoe R. Nix Elementary School in Maryland, a six-year-old boy was suspended for making the universal kid sign for a gun, pointing at another student and saying “pow.” That boy’s suspension was later lifted and his name cleared. (RELATED: Pow! You’re suspended, kid)
In Sumter, South Carolina, a six-year-old girl was expelled for bringing a clear plastic Airsoft gun that shoots plastic pellet to class for show-and-tell. The expulsion was later revoked.


http://news.yahoo.com/second-grader-suspended-having-breakfast-pastry-shaped-gun-205636619.html
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Mar, 2013 08:17 am
@PUNKEY,
It isn't always serious stuff, Punkey. Police are being called on little kids. In one instance they were called on a kid for burping in class:

http://www.truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/item/11455-yes-there-is-a-kindergarten-cop-and-its-not-arnold-schwarzenegger

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/10-disgusting-examples-of-very-young-school-children-being-arrested-handcuffed-and-brutalized-by-police

I also remember the story of the judge who was getting kickbacks from some detention facility who was sending kids off to jail for really minor things.

I don't blame the police. I'm sure they don't like being called in and asked to arrest kids for such things.

I don't think Mo will be getting in trouble but I do want him to know what every adult knows -- that he has the RIGHT to remain silent.

0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Mar, 2013 08:21 am
@hawkeye10,
I'm pretty free range too, hawkeye but from what I've been reading kids very often feel compelled to talk when they're questioned at school. The school environment is a different animal than anywhere else, kids think they have to answer questions.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Mar, 2013 01:00 pm
@boomerang,
Which will be encouraged by authorities because it is in their interest to do so. I see your job as a parent in large part to be drilling into Mo self ownership skills, and questioning authority is a part of that. I fully support the idea of making sure that he knows now what his rights are.
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Mar, 2013 03:42 pm
@hawkeye10,
In my reading I've learned that kids are often questioned about things while at school -- even things that didn't happen at school -- because it's easy to find them there and because kids are more likely to talk in a school setting.

I think questioning authority is important on a lot of levels. I think it helps kids AVOID getting into trouble in the first place if they are used to questioning people, including themselves.
Mame
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Mar, 2013 04:33 pm
@boomerang,
For me, it would be an infringement of their rights, depending on the age of the child and the nature and cause of the questioning.

If they weren't involved in the incident, however, I would recommend cooperating.

If they were, I'd say not. They are entitled to counsel in that event, so any questioning should be answered by "I'm taking the 5th" or "I'm not saying a word until my parents get here".

You can't trust everybody and police can be and are intimidating to children. I think it would be entirely inappropriate to question a child who might be involved without giving that child some support (parents).
hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Mar, 2013 05:27 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

In my reading I've learned that kids are often questioned about things while at school -- even things that didn't happen at school -- because it's easy to find them there and because kids are more likely to talk in a school setting.

I think questioning authority is important on a lot of levels. I think it helps kids AVOID getting into trouble in the first place if they are used to questioning people, including themselves.

Yes, the state uses school staff and medical staff as agents in collecting intell on families, so that the police state will better know where to aim its assets. Mame is of course correct, but such coaching will serve to raise the suspicions of the state that this family needs to be investigated. A knock on the door by a cps agent demanding to inspect the home can be expected, which will be a fishing expedition. A refusal will bring a order from a court of the state and even more certainty on the part of the state that this family needs be be the subject of police action.
 

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