As if I needed another reason.....

…to appreciate homeschooling, I’m archiving the following article as a reminder. Of late, I’ve noticed an increase in what I consider to be VIOLENCE against children in our society by those who should, instead, be protecting them. Another aspect of these increasing incidents – where children are treated as adults, instead of minors in need of admonition and instruction – is this may well be the result of the trend in America to give a minor child “rights”, equal with that of an adult.

When organizations – whether federal, state or local – IGNORE the Constitutionally-protected relationship between a parent and child, by-passing or ignoring the authority of the parent, or seek to usurp the parental role, we no longer live in a Republic, but instead, a fascist society.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Citation for ‘skipping class’ puts student on edge

A school cop cited him during an unauthorized restroom visit; he says he just forgot his coat and left lunch period to get it.
Christine Ferretti / The Detroit News

BELLEVILLE — Cameron Coleman has been anxious for weeks.

He is having trouble sleeping. He is failing his science class.

And he is fearful each day when he goes to school, ever since he was ticketed by a school resource officer for “skipping class” while retrieving his jacket from the bathroom during his lunch hour.

Now, the 11-year-old South Middle School student must appear in court on Dec. 6 with his parents for a mandatory interview with a juvenile probation officer to determine his penalty for the disorderly person charge, a misdemeanor offense.

“You don’t charge an 11-year-old kid with anything,” said Cameron’s father, William Coleman. “If it was a gun or knife or a threat to the school I can see it. But that’s a bit too much.”

Cameron, an average student who has missed three days this year for having the flu twice and a Staph infection last month, has been tardy only a handful of times, Coleman said. Most times, it’s because he takes too long in the bathroom. Frequent trips are a side effect of medication he takes to control his genetic condition – chronic granulomatous disease, a rare illness that causes repeated bacterial infections.

Coleman said he’s made many trips and phone calls to the Van Buren Public Schools seeking answers since his son was instructed to bring home the appearance ticket.

On Oct. 29, Coleman said, Cameron was permitted to use the bathroom at the start of his lunch period. Afterward, while waiting in the lunch line, he remembered he’d left his jacket in the bathroom and returned to retrieve it. When he exited, school resource officer Kris Faull of the Belleville Police Department ticketed and detained him. Cameron was held in the school office for several hours, deprived of lunch and forced to miss a make-up test in his science class, which resulted in a failing grade for the marking period.

Even worse, Coleman said, his concerns have been ignored by district officials and the officer who wrote the ticket.

“I wanted to know why it was so important to punish him this way,” Coleman said. “The cop was belligerent and told me she’d take me downtown and press charges against me.”

Officer Faull, a seven-year veteran of the police department, was not available for comment.

Belleville Police Chief Gene Taylor said he could not comment on the case, but did confirm the department has a working program with the 34th District Court on some misdemeanor charges such as disorderly person, which can be reduced to civil infractions. The district judges can work with the students and give them an option to “straighten up,” he said, and the “charges can disappear.”

“She (Officer Faull) not only gives guidance and counseling, she has to enforce laws of the city, county and state,” Taylor said. “Officers don’t charge every child. We’re there to help kids.

“If they (officers) do issue a citation, it’s for a good reason,” Taylor added.

Van Buren Public Schools Superintendent Pete L. Lazaroff Jr. said he’s already contacted the court and is arranging a meeting for Monday with the officer to discuss the ticket. He plans to meet with Coleman by Wednesday to discuss a resolution.

“This was not a situation that warranted an appearance ticket,” he said.

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