Comments about ‘Turning the table on bullies: Student fights back with recordings’

Return to article »

Published: Sunday, April 27 2014 8:30 p.m. MDT

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
B ob
Richmond, CA

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.

Provo, UT

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.

Austin Coug
Pflugerville, TX

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.

san antonio, TX

"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.

Bountiful, UT

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.

Layton, UT

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.

JoCo Ute
Grants Pass, OR

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.

Casa Grande, AZ

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

Buena Vista, VA

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.

Cinci Man

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

Midwest City, USA, OK

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.

Provo, UT

We have got to fight back!

Start the "Bully the Bullies" campaign now!


Indianapolis, IN

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

Desert Aire, WA

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.

Weber, UT

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.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

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

Sugar City, ID

@ 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?

Clovis, NM

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.

Fate, TX

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.

Provo, 00

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.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments