A Pennsylvania high school sophomore took a recording device to school so that he could capture audio of some fellow students bullying him, but when he brought it to school officials, instead of questioning the alleged bullies, administrators reportedly tried to get the student charged with felony wiretapping. Just last month, the student was found guilty of disorderly conduct.
According to BenSwann.com, the boy and his mother, Shea Love, testified that the boy had been shoved, mocked, and almost burned with a cigarette lighter on numerous occasions. The student tried to explain why he recorded the incident in the first place.
“I wanted her [his mother] to understand what I went through,” said the boy. “Like, it wasn’t like I was over exaggerating it. I wasn’t lying. It was really happening. I was really having things like books slammed upside my head. I wanted it to stop. I just felt like nothing was being done.”
The student and his mother claim that when they brought the recording to school officials, it was destroyed, and Principal Scott Milburn called in a police officer to proceed with charging the student with felony wiretapping.
(Photo credit: Photography Is Not A Crime)
Despite what seemed to be a valid reason for recording the bullying, a judge still found the sophomore guilty of disorderly conduct.
“Normally, if there is — I certainly have a big problem with any kind of bullying at school,” said District Judge Maureen McGraw-Desmet during the hearing. “But normally, you know, I would expect a parent would let the school know about it, because it’s not tolerated. I know that, and that you guys [school administrators] would handle that, you know. To go to this extreme, you know, it was the only alternative or something like that, but you weren’t made aware of that and that was kind of what I was curious about. Because it’s not tolerated, but you need to go through — let the school handle it. And I know from experience with South Fayette School that, you know, it always is. And if there is a problem and it continues, then it is usually brought in front of me.”
According to reports, none of the bullies were reprimanded for their actions, despite evidence proving that they were harassing the student, and those kids still remain enrolled at the school.
“I refuse to be threatened,” said Love, the boy’s mother. “I just want my son to have a chance to bloom and not fall so far behind in a totally disruptive environment.”
Love says they plan to appeal the conviction.