Our society has become increasingly interested in curtailing instances of verbal and physical abuse within schools. Simultaneously, however, the rights of individuals have been attacked by an authoritative government and activist judicial system.
Unfortunately, when these two trends collide, the effort to subvert bullying comes up short.
As a case in point, a developmentally disabled high school student in Pennsylvania recently decided to fight back after facing prolonged torment at the hands of his classmates. The 15-year-old was reportedly shoved, tripped, and otherwise targeted by bullies and, at one point, attacked by a student with a cigarette lighter.
In response, the boy decided to gain evidence against his abusers by surreptitiously recording their actions. When his mother discovered what her son had been exposed to at school, she immediately confronted administrators with the recording.
While most rational parents would assume this would lead to swift disciplinary action against the bullies, the teenaged victim was punished instead. Outrageously, he was threatened with a felony wiretapping charge. The boy was subsequently tried and convicted of disorderly conduct.
Quite the contrary, the majority of similar cases have resulted in financial windfalls for the victimized students’ families and decisive action against bullies and school staffers.
During his testimony, he claimed his only intention in recording the other students was to prove the abuse was actually occurring.
“I was really having things like books slammed upside my head,” he explained, saying he “felt like nothing was being done.”
Unbelievably, reports indicate the recording was erased by school officials, though the victim’s mother was able to recount much of the disturbing and profane dialogue in court. Since Pennsylvania requires universal consent to record conversations, however, the content of the recording was deemed inconsequential. Therefore, even with concrete evidence that the students were engaged in the harassing behavior, none received any punishment.
The teen is not accepting his conviction without a fight, though. He is set to appeal the court’s ruling later this month.
Photo Credit: Facebook/The BULLY Project
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom