Turning the table on bullies: Student fights back with recordings


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  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    April 30, 2014 12:23 p.m.

    This. Is. Total. Garbage!

    If you ever wondered why 99% of Americans hate lawyers and judges, THIS is why.

    I typically don't believe lawsuits, especially lawsuits with monetary damages, are justified,but in this case, I'd sue for damages/emotional distress and I'd start on the low end at enough money to set this kid up for life. Learning disability?....to me that means I'd sue for $2 million, at least.

    I'd demand that the judge resign for being an idiot.

    I'd demand the school board FIRE the principal.

    I'd demand the person that told the kid to erase the file be fired.

    I'd demand the kid(s) involved in the bullying be suspended for a month, to be made up in summer school. And I'd make danged sure they understood if they bullied anyone again, I'd fail them and make them repeat that entire year of school, and, no, I don't care what their academic grades are because they clearly "failed" in the more important lessons of life.

    America: at least 50% of us lack common sense.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    April 30, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    And to think.

    Sending our children to school, to be bullied, and hit with peer pressure,--is Mandatory.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    April 29, 2014 8:03 p.m.

    I was bullied from fifth through 8th grades. However, we didn't have high tech means to extend the bullying after school hours. If we had, I think I wouldn't have survived. I made up my mind I would never be bullied again, and for the most part I have managed to stick to that conviction. When our children were bullied in the local school, we switched them to a private school. When my elderly parents were bullied by rental tenants I sought help from social services. Home schooling is a wonderful alternative and I commend any parents who have the dedication to keep their children out of the adverse environment that most public schools, and others, provide for the unfortunate children who don't quite have the means for combating bullying. Anytime we are aware of bullying, we need to do something proactive.

    April 29, 2014 11:33 a.m.

    Yet another incident that shows who we hand our kids over to each day. I really hope that parents quit assuming the best and get involved in their kids' schools.

    I am sure that most on this board are not even aware that they cannot take their child off school premises without permission, but the school can take your child for medical and phychological exams without your knowledge or consent.

    My kids are not the State's property. They were given to me by God, and I am accountable to Him, not some administrator who barely passed college.

    Thankfully there is a great option - Home Schooling is increasing in Utah and is often a better alternative. How may 14 year olds in public school are doing Trigonometry? Mine left public school after 4th grade unable to do 3rd grade math. Now he is working on Trig, and he does not get bullied every day...

  • daver Provo, 00
    April 29, 2014 11:21 a.m.

    My email to Principal Scott Milburn: YOU are the criminal and a freaking monster. YOU are why kids commit suicide and shoot up schools. My proudest moment as a parent was ratting out my own kid (who was a bully) to the school police when he came home and bragged about what he and his friends did to another kid. (He never did find out who told) :-)

    You are what’s wrong with school today and would lose your job if you were in my district.

  • Sethdawg Fate, TX
    April 29, 2014 9:02 a.m.

    As a kid I have been bullied and fought back and got in trouble so I'm tempted to snap back because of there blindness.

  • Rustymommy Clovis, NM
    April 29, 2014 8:00 a.m.

    How could a school administator with a resposibility to report dangerous behavior make a mistake like this? It doesnt sound like a mistake at all....just a cover up. A certain amount of bullying reported is not truly bullying at all but is reported by kids or parents who need to learn to deal with life without assuming they are always right or otbers are out to get them. But in this case where it is ridiculously obvious who the bully is...how could an administrator not have taken steps to.protect this child? He was a classic case of a child who is at high risk for being bullied because of his limited capacity. To expect him to understand legalities Bout taping conversations but not expect an administrator not to see bullying? Outrageous.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    April 28, 2014 6:11 p.m.

    @ Jamescmeyer. Children can get excellent educations in the home schooling environment. But, what about their social development? If you don't allow crude language in your home, where will your children learn these terms? If you don't allow drugs and alcohol in your home, where in the world will your children find access to these drugs? If you teach your children to be law abiding citizens, where will they find gangs to hook up with? If you don't allow pornography in your home, where will your children find access to it? If you teach your children to behave in a sexually responsible way, where will your children find promiscuous friends?

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 28, 2014 2:00 p.m.

    sounds like the NEA is in complete control of this school district with such an unjust outcome.

  • TdkAggie Weber, UT
    April 28, 2014 11:16 a.m.

    WOW! Coming from a teacher/school administration background I saw many times when bullying was difficult to prevent. When a student came forward saying that he/she has been bullied, without any other evidence than their word, it was difficult to do more than have a conversation with the alleged bully and let them know that they were being watched - it was then our responsibility to watch! This is totally different - if a student came to me as a school admin with a video, that would have given me evidence to nail the bully to the wall (figuratively of course...). In fact, I would be obligated to do it. At most I would have to ask the bullied kid for a COPY to keep in records. It amazes me when I hear these kind of stories the gross violations of trust. I felt that I needed to comment to let people know that this is NOT my experience with schools. I have been in similar scenarios both as a parent and as a school employee and have had positive results.

  • ScarletPimpernil Desert Aire, WA
    April 28, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    The boy and his family need a COMPETENT attorney - one familiar with the Public Duty Doctrine.

    Schools demand you release your children into their care, or suffer the wrath of law. However, there is that thing called the Public Duty Doctrine, also known as The Fireman's Clause. Under the doctrine, government entities develop a duty of care making them liable for insuring the safety and well being of people under their care.

    For example:

    1) A 911 operator taking a call does not create a duty, but a statement she/he is dispatching help can create a liability for, for example, the county where the 911 service is located.

    2) A cop, by placing someone under arrest, MUST insure their safety, including insuring they get needed medical care, if aware of the need.

    Under the doctrine, the boy and his parents can sue the sue for negligence and other breeches of its/their fiduciary responsibility.

    Since the school is an imaginary thing unable to do good or ill, except through the people working for it, those responsible for the boy's protection can be named in the suit, along with the bullies and their families.

  • lixircat Indianapolis, IN
    April 28, 2014 9:25 a.m.

    I've never understood why teachers and principals routinely side with the bullies. Are they really that blind?

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    April 28, 2014 9:03 a.m.

    We have got to fight back!

    Start the "Bully the Bullies" campaign now!


  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    April 28, 2014 7:19 a.m.

    And people think I'm dumb for wanting to homeschool my children.

    Unfortunately legislation and systems don't stop bullying; just one reason is that you can't rely on others to enforce it, as we've seen here.

    Whether the bully is in the schoolyard, neighborhood, or from a different country, there's has only ever been one way to stop a bully: teach people to be righteous and wholistic.

    If people embrace good things instead of sitting around arguing whether or not they're really good, or whether or not "good" objectively exists, perhaps some otherwise-bullies will turn to what is good instead. And for the ones that don't then the ones that do are physically and legally capable of stopping it as it happens. There's little incentive to stand up for yourself or someone who can't stand up for their own self when you're the one who'll face penalty, but if you don't, the problem will not disappear.

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    April 28, 2014 6:57 a.m.

    Most parents could write a book about the difficulties with school administrators and teachers.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    April 28, 2014 6:33 a.m.

    dan76 said: "During a recent HS reunion we found it interesting that most of the HS bullies entered into law enforcement careers."
    Dan76, I am not surprised. I have a feeling based on many things I have seen over the years on the news (about abuse by cops caught on camera, for instance, or police misconduct that is covered up by peers -- and for each case that comes to light, there is probably many more that don't), and in experiences of friends who are good and honest people but who have had bad experiences with cops, that some(not all!, but some) cops go into the profession because they like to throw their weight around, be the boss, and bully people. Cops who do not like this reputation must end it, by ending their silence when they know about police misconduct.

    General comment: The principal at this school and the cop that cited the kid must be fired, at the very least.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    April 27, 2014 6:00 p.m.

    We should all record everything. These laws that make it illegal to record public employees are an obvious attempt to keep dirty secrets secret.

  • JoCo Ute Grants Pass, OR
    April 27, 2014 2:36 p.m.

    This case has drawn national attention. Comments from bloggers and reporters include some harsh words for those involved;

    "After enduring a year of torment at the hands of two classmates Stanfield decided to fight back."

    "He (Stanfield) activated his IPad as tormentors launched another verbal attack. . .references were made to pulling down his pants, a book was slammed down making a very loud noise and crude sexual references were added."

    The adults involved in this situation have been disappointing. District Judge Maureen McGraw-Demsmet's ruling has been called "rambling" and "incoherent." The teacher involved is identified as a "do nothing" authority figure. And the administration at the high school have been labeled as "bullies" for forcing Stanfield to delete his recording.

    Thankfully the District Attorney injected some common sense into this situation and withdrew all charges against Stanfield.

  • Izola Layton, UT
    April 27, 2014 2:29 p.m.

    I sat on the front row of the audience at the band concert, watching as the boy next to my son in the trumpet section tormented and used every foul word he could think of on my boy; all the while smiling and looking at me in the eye. He knew....KNEW.... that he would never be held accountable because my son, who was in school with a behavioral IEP related to a birth injury, was never taken seriously when he complained. The "good" kids were always given a pass, even when caught in the act by an administrator. It always came down to a rule that stated that if one kid is suspended, the other had to be also. And if your kid could not afford that because of previous incidents, well perhaps you should not complain. Riding the bus was like running a gauntlet,just walking down the hall was miserable.
    It has not been very many years, and I am willing to bet big money nothing has changed. Articles like this lend legitimacy to that thought. I see no proof that anti-bullying campaigns have had any effect.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 27, 2014 2:20 p.m.

    Its schools and district attorneys like this that invite school attacks, and then when they happen they go after the guns of good people who use them to defend themselves and their families.

  • dan76 san antonio, TX
    April 27, 2014 2:00 p.m.

    "Wow. Hard to imagine that any school and judge would react this way to someone reaching out for help. I am usually not one for litigation but this school needs to know that they handled this VERY poorly."

    I too saw similar instances as a high school student but without a recording of the event. The victim fought back once, suffered a beating, and then was suspended as an aggressor. However as the bully was ' sports star' little was done to him.

    During a recent HS reunion we found it interesting that most of the HS bullies entered into law enforcement careers.

  • Austin Coug Pflugerville, TX
    April 27, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    Wow. Hard to imagine that any school and judge would react this way to someone reaching out for help. I am usually not one for litigation but this school needs to know that they handled this VERY poorly.

  • timpClimber Provo, UT
    April 27, 2014 7:25 a.m.

    Unfortunately there have been similar incidents in the public schools in Utah where I have taught over the past 25 years. It can only be controlled if every teacher, administrator, parent and student is educated and proactive to stop it in its early stages. When students know from the first day of school that this not acceptable it can be reduced. PTSAs are a great help because they can be a concerned a set of eyes and ears in each school.

  • B ob Richmond, CA
    April 27, 2014 2:05 a.m.

    Until students harassing students in the lunch room is taken as seriously as teachers harassing teachers in the staff room…we will continue to fail our young people.