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(IN) Student in trouble after finding bullet

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Drizzt, Oct 8, 2005.

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  1. Drizzt

    Drizzt Member

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    Student in trouble after finding bullet
    Henry Hernandez found a bullet on his school bus, and then ended up in trouble

    Posted: 10/07/2005 04:29 pm
    Last Updated: 10/07/2005 08:47 pm

    Story filed by NewsCenter16 Reporter
    Robert Borrelli

    Michigan City, IN - After a Michigan City middle school student found a bullet on-board his bus, he thought he might get a thank you. Instead, Henry Hernandez’s family says he was nearly kicked out of school.

    Unexpected discovery
    Tuesday morning while riding to school, 14-year-old Hernandez found a bullet on the floor of his bus.

    He thought he did the right thing by turning it in.

    Hernandez is a Barker Middle School 8th grader, whose parents are happy with what he did.

    His mother, Constance Rightsell, says, "I'm very proud of him for picking up the bullet and taking it to an adult."

    Hernandez says he tried to give the bullet to the bus driver and a substitute teacher, and he finally gave it to an administrator.

    Hernandez’s parents say that Michigan City schools originally wanted to expel their son, but instead settled on a three-day suspension. A court hearing Thursday added another five days in an after-school detention program. But, his parents say he shouldn't be punished at all.

    Hernandez explains, "I tried to do something right but then it came out as a suspension."

    Rightsell says, "How can he be punished when he did a good thing?"

    Hernandez's mom says school officials didn't investigate where the bullet came from, but instead focused on punishing Hernandez.

    Rightsell says, "They didn't search the lockers, they didn't search the students immediately, which should have been done.”

    Hernandez has attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD and he was suspended from school for a time last year.

    Hernandez’s father, Gary Rightsell, says, "And now he has something on his record that I will fight all the way to the top to have taken off."

    Constance Rightsell adds, "Everyone needs to fight for their children and that's what we're doing."

    No comment
    Michigan City school officials say they can't comment on the situation because it involves student privacy.

    Hernandez’s parents say they've contacted an attorney and intend on doing what they can to clear his name.

    http://www.wndu.com/news/102005/news_45215.php
     
  2. mr.trooper

    mr.trooper Member

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    A BULLET! OMG!!!!!!! ITS A FREEK'N BULLET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111 OMG!!!

    How can people be so stupid? :banghead:
     
  3. c_yeager

    c_yeager Member

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    Sounds pretty unfair on its face. On the other hand i have head some parents make up some pretty wacky stories to explain away outrageous behavior by their own children. And the fact is that the school *cannot* (and should not) comment on the case, so there is no counterpoint here at all.

    When you look at the big picture consider this; The school appears to have *not* flipped out and put the place under lock-down upon the discovery of a "bullet". the kids 'reasonable' parents, on the other hand, had this to say: "They didn't search the lockers, they didn't search the students immediately, which should have been done.”

    When you look at this aspect of the story the school officials come out looking like the one's with their head's on straight in contrast to this child's parents.
     
  4. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Ummm, it's squirrel hunting season here in Indiana. There are loose .22s in the pants and jacket pockets of many 14 year old boys.

    Not unusal for me to find loose ammo in my clothing at school. Of course, we carried pocket knives and no one cared then. :uhoh:

    Search lockers and students because someone finds a loose round? Geez, among the East Coast Eloi or the West Coast sure I could see it, but let's not have such hysteria here, thank you. :)

    BTW, I have represented all kinds of people that "find" things--store merchandise, drugs, stolen booze, etc. :D :D
     
  5. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    >> Michigan City school officials say they can't comment on the situation because it involves student privacy. <<

    Sure ... Even when its come out in the media ...

    This is the more likely reason ...

    >> Hernandez’s parents say they've contacted an attorney --- <<

    I wonder if any of these Zero Tolerance codes ever carry instructions saying what a student should do if the come across any firearms or ammunition?? I highly doubt it because then some responsibility might shift back where it should be - on the school's staff.
     
  6. MikeIsaj

    MikeIsaj Member

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    It's scarey when you realize these people have custodial responsibility of our children for five hours each day. If this is the hysteria they exhibit over a bullet, how will they react if a real threat presents itself?

    What's being missed in this whole thing is the opportunity to teach a lesson. They should commend the boy for doing something about a danger. They then should instruct the whole school to not touch a danger but report it to an adult.

    Also they need to think about unintended consequences. I imagine the word is running all over the school about the boy who got hammered for trying to do the right thing. Will the administration be aghast the next time something "dangerous" is seen and ignored for fear of getting in trouble?
     
  7. Remington788

    Remington788 Member

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    It's things like this that remind me of why me father always said to avoid trouble, "keep your mouth shut and your eyes and ears open" ;)
     
  8. Car Knocker

    Car Knocker Member

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    We're only getting one side of the story here. Federal privacy laws severely limit what schools can disclose about students.

    Did anyone note that there was a court hearing that added after-school detention? I think that there may be a lot about this incident that is not in the news article.

    I'll reserve judgement until more facts are available and both sides of the story are heard.
     
  9. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Member

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    Yes, given a couple of unsupervised hours in the school's metal shop he could have built a gun for it.
    Interesting suggestion from a mother whose son is being hammered by an overbearing zero tolerance policy.

    No good deed goes unpunished.

    Pilgrim
     
  10. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    They go to school for it.
     
  11. thorn726

    thorn726 Member

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    these parents should call the local police dept, and get a REp. of the police to straighten out this school.

    any LEO on here think that might have any impact? ??
     
  12. Telperion

    Telperion Member

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    Looks like the kid got a valuable lesson on dealing with authority. Probably a good thing he got it now while the stakes are low, only a few days suspension from school.
     
  13. Firethorn

    Firethorn Member

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    I think that the mother's suggestion to search lockers and bags was an attempt, however ill-thought, to deflect suspicion from her son.

    My thought on this:

    What a great idea to instill mistrust of government, of authority in these kids!

    They're all going to know the details through the news and grapevine. Don't report to the authorities! You're the easiest one to blame. I bet you'd be able to register the drop in likelyhood to report criminal activity, terrorist activity, for the whole school in complete percentage points.
     
  14. Joejojoba111

    Joejojoba111 Member

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    That mother supports a police state as much as any other fascist, so I don't really know what to do but laugh. Lol. Her love for authority and subservience, and whilst trying to suck up her son was punished by the grinding gears of authority she helped empower.

    And she learned nothing. Lol. It's perfect. Poetic.

    If you don't see the humour, then it's just frightening and tyrannical and scary and sad.
     
  15. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Firethorn has a good point. While on one hand these schools are trying to get the students to report any knowledge they may have about other students planing some kind of shooting, they are also telling the same students that turning in firearms' related objects or even reporting something about them may get one into trouble.

    So on one hand they want the students to be open and trust them, but on the other they build a wall between themselves and the student body.

    I am sure that the students in this school will be VERY careful about getting involved, and that might turn out to be very serious.

    If I was a parent I would be thinking, "is this policy protecting or endangering my child?"
     
  16. Lupinus

    Lupinus Member

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    If it were my kid I would be asking for the forms I need to sign to remove him from the public school system and if I could afford it send him to a decent private school that wasn't so idiotic or if I didn't have the money figure out a schedual so I could homeschool him.
     
  17. Don Gwinn

    Don Gwinn Moderator Emeritus

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    What most people don't know about these zero-tolerance policies that require expulsion of any child found with anything even resembling a weapon is that they're not even required anymore. The feds worked that requirement into some bill years ago; it would have denied funding to schools that didn't comply. School boards across the nation rushed to put these policies into place because, hey, that "free" federal money is too important to jeopardize over whether we're willing to be stupid or not.
    Then the feds quietly killed that provision, knowing it would never stand up to serious legal challenge, but the work was done, and it was all on the much-coveted "local level." Yay!


    My 9-year-old son Donovan took some empty cases and a couple of bullets (not cartridges, bullets) to show his babysitter the other day. Just stuff he picked up on the range a long time ago. He claims he forgot he had them and got on the bus with them still in his pocket; his brother says he was offering to sell them to the other kids. :rolleyes:
    One way or another, he managed to bring the "contraband" to the school and get caught with it. The principal is new this year and she called the Superintendent, a gold-plated fool if ever there was one. That genius' idea was to call the police and have an officer come to school to read my son the riot act. :eek:

    That would have been interesting. First, Donovan would have had a meltdown thinking he was going to jail. Then, we'd have had a LONG meeting where they explained exactly who thought it was a good idea to call the cops because a minor school rule was violated.

    The new principal is a lot more sensible than that, though. She took the offending items and threw them away, then called my wife at work while Donovan was with her and made sure he knew we would handle it. In other words, she handled it as if he'd brought gum, a cell phone, or some other item he isn't allowed to possess at school, not as if he had pointed a gun at somebody. I explained to Donovan that he simply has to follow that rule if he wants to attend that school; it's run by the school board and they have the right to make the rules.

    I'm on her side for good now.
     
  18. dpesec

    dpesec Member

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    I did some teaching with emotionally disturbed children. I remember one child brought in a 10x rifle scope to school one day. Everybody was concerned, not about the scope itself, but that this child must have taken it off a rifle. This meant the chjild had access to the rifles in the house. Ths is what concerned me. The child was violent at times and that could spell problems. I strongly suggested that the administrators should contact the partents and let them know what happened.
     
  19. Lupinus

    Lupinus Member

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    Good call by the principle and that is how such thing's should be handled.
     
  20. Lupinus

    Lupinus Member

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    DP

    Perhap's spare scope's are not locked up. Perhap's all the rifle's have trigger lock's. If the rifle's arn't locked perhaps the ammo is or it is at least hidden away someplace the kid can't get it. Maybe he asked his parent's if he could bring it to school.

    Any number of explination's beside's the kid just has unlimited access to gun's and is at time's violent.

    Now if it had been an actual gun or a bullet or something like that absoloutly. But just a rifle scope wouldn't cause nay of my alarms to go off.
     
  21. hoppinglark

    hoppinglark Member

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    my thoughts

    If a "kid" finds a bullet and decides to turn it in.
    He must 1. NOT want to keep it
    2. Think it's important that the school know
    3. Think that someone had the gun for it, and that person rides the
    bus, (see 2.)

    I think his actions are exactly what would make Sarah Brady, and Wayne LaPierre proud, he did the right thing, wouldn't you say?

    He could have kept it
    he could have thrown it in the trash or out the bus window
    but he didn't
    the school is a bunch of morons
     
  22. Kurush

    Kurush Member

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    The parents' story sounds suspiciously like defense attorney boilerplate :rolleyes:

    I think this is called the "rush to judgement" defense.

    In other words the parents' attorney contacted the media to make sure their version of events got out first.

    I think the real question is whether this was a just a bullet or a complete cartridge. Unless the father is a reloader it's fairly unlikely that there are plain bullets sitting around, so it may well be that it was a live cartridge and the journo doesn't know the difference. I'd say surreptitiously taking a live cartridge to school is pretty serious business myself.
     
  23. hoppinglark

    hoppinglark Member

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    BUT WHAT IF he really did just find it on the bus?
    Don't you think you'd be a little bit upset if your son was suspended for doing the "right" thing?
     
  24. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    duh

    By the only account he found it and turned it in.

    It is not like it was found on him and he tried to
    explain it away by saying he found it, as some
    are implying.

    It appears that the school found out about
    because he turned it in. And he was punished.

    From the time I was ten (1958) I carried a
    boyscout knife and even sharpened pencils
    in school with it. My god have we turned into
    a nation of complete ninnies?
     
  25. bamawrx

    bamawrx Member

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    This story reminds me of last xmas when visiting family I bent over to pick up something off the floor and bullets started falling all over the place. I though nothing of it and bent over to pick up the bullets and you guessed it more bullets fell out. A guy from calif was sitting there and his eyes where wide open in suprise. Are those... BULLETS! uh uh real bullets! :what: I camly said they were and kept trying to pick up the bullets. Dang they just kept falling out of everywhere. I must have filled every pocket I had with .22's. Its amazing how "some people" just flip out over stupid inanimate objects. Its not like a gun fell out of my pocket....it was secure in my holster :D
     
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