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Daylight Savings Time Puts Kid in Jail for 12 Days

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the yeah-that's-a-woops dept.

The Courts 881

Jherek Carnelian writes "Cody Webb was jailed for calling in a bomb threat to his Hempstead Area high school (near Pittsburgh). He spent 12 days in lockup until the authorities realized that their caller-id log was off an hour because of the new Daylight Savings Time rules and that Cody had only called one hour prior to the actual bomb threat. Perhaps it took so long because of the principal's Catch-22 attitude about Cody's guilt — she said, 'Well, why should we believe you? You're a criminal. Criminals lie all the time.'"

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881 comments

Can you say... (5, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766625)

... wrongful imprisonment? I thought you could.

Re:Can you say... (5, Informative)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766657)

Feel free to tell his principal how you feel about the whole guilty until proven innocent thing she has going on.

k.charlton@hempfieldarea.k12.pa.us

Re:Can you say... (1)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767045)

Oh, I'm sure Cody's lawyers will be having her for breakfast. Along with the school board, the cops involved...

Re:Can you say... (3, Insightful)

szook (318848) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767101)

Crap like this is why we chose to homeschool....

why tell the principal about it when you can be the principal?

Re:Can you say... (4, Insightful)

DieByWire (744043) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767105)

Feel free to tell his principal how you feel about the whole guilty until proven innocent thing she has going on.

Email address removed

...so that you, too, can try, convict and punish on less than complete evidence.

Sheesh. Leave it to the lawyers and courts, please.

Wrongful impronment indeed - but who is to blame? (4, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766667)

While daylight savings is a somewhat interesting factor & the school's principal sounds like (frankly) a raving nutter - shouldn't the blame for incarcerating this kid lie with the local police? What were they thinking?

Article doesn't contain too much information, but the reg (byo grain of salt) sez [theregister.co.uk] :

Webb refused to confess, was arrested "on a felony charge of threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction and related misdemeanor counts" [emph mine]
wtf? WMDs? I guess they just can't be found anywhre huh?

Re:Wrongful impronment indeed - but who is to blam (4, Funny)

Intron (870560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766835)

I've eaten in the Hempstead cafeteria. They definitely have WMDs.

Re:Can you say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766683)

This is america, you should be grateful we released you instead of executing you or putting you in a cell with big bad bubba.

you should worship those in authority positions...

RESPECT MY ATHORATAY!

Those who can, teach, those who cant become principals.

Re:Can you say... (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766739)

Those who can, teach, those who cant become principals.
 
um - no.
 
Those who can, do.
Those who can't, teach.
Those who can't teach, teach phys. ed.

Re:Can you say... (1)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766869)

And those who can't teach phys ed become administrators.

Those who can't administrate get elected to the school board.

Re:Can you say... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766737)

Yes. I hope they nail them for wrongful imprisonment; and hopefully find a way to add kidnapping charges on top of it.

And not that this isn't just 12 days for the kid. It will have a lasting effect on his whole life. And no, I'm not exaggerating. Remember how even the pretend jail for 6 days in the Stanford Prison Experiment had life-long-lasting effects on much older kids than this guy.

I hope the kid and his parents sue and get rewarded as well as seeing criminal charges that get the people who did this to him locked up.

Be careful what you wish for (4, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766631)

This kind of draconian, presumptive, knee-jerk response is exactly what people seem to be calling for from Virginia Tech...after all, "what if" this could have been a real bombing? Maybe even the worst school bombing in US history? They needed to react vigorously and without thinking and full consideration of the situation, right? I mean, after all, the daylight savings change is just a minor oversight. They could have been saving lives, right?

I mean, we should be able to, within less than two hours, have an overly aggressive "lock down" a 700 building, 2600 acre, 30000+ person city-like area because of an isolated domestic incident in a dorm, but we shouldn't have an overly aggressive response against this kind of possible school violence?

To anyone who thinks Virginia Tech has ANY culpability here,

1. Remember what your response would be to ridiculous "zero tolerance" tactics on any topic, and

2. Read the below first.

Commentary included from here [slashdot.org] , here [slashdot.org] , and here [slashdot.org] .

And yes, I believe this is "on topic" and highly related given the accusations that are being levied against VT.

-----

When what is believed to be a single, isolated shooting in a dorm happens on a 2600 acre public, open campus with hundreds of buildings, you can't assume that you're about to have the worst shooting incident (of any type) in US history.

Yet, people are already blaming Virginia Tech.

Would we close or "lock down" a city of 40000 people if there was a shooting? Because that's exactly what a campus of this size and type is (including students and faculty/staff).

No, but people are already calling for siren/PA systems in EVERY of HUNDREDS of buildings, of varying ages and constructions, centralized door locking/control and camera systems for not just outer building doors, but ALL doors.

The University reacted in a reasonable way. Yes, a shooter was "on the loose". Someone who had shot a person in a dorm, and the University immediately sent out notifications that such an event occurred; to be cautious and aware, and to report any suspicious activity to campus police. The area was "locked down", but after over two hours elapsed, there was no reason to believe that a madman was about to go on a random killing spree across campus.

This is not an elementary school. This is not a high school. This is a massive, open research campus with tens of thousands of people spreading over 2600 acres, with private, residential, and other buildings intermixed.

The only person to be blamed here is the shooter. And yes, he's dead. But Virginia Tech is not at fault.

-----

Colleges and universities do have the same kinds of procedures.

But a hospital is typically one building. Virginia Tech is hundreds of buildings - I believe close to 700 - of varying types, purposes, and ages. There is no central PA system or door locking system. Most of the buildings are wide open. They're intermixed with non-university lands and buildings, and span 2600 acres. Some of the buildings are over 50 and 100 years old. Do we retrofit literally tens of thousands of doors with centralized locking and cameras and install central warning/PA systems in all buildings, just because you might be the site of a madman's rampage?

There's security and prudence, and there's waste and ridiculousness.

And the area in the vicinity of the shooting was locked down and blanketed with police. It was determined to be a domestic-type, targeted incident. And by the time VT had a handle on the situation, thousands of students were already on their way to campus. Nothing happened for over two hours. Then what do you do when you have no means of directly communicating with everyone? Should the university have had a knee jerk to a shooting in one dorm, and before they even knew nearly anything about the situation, have canceled classes within the first 15 minutes? Even if they decided that, how do you contact everyone? Email? Facebook? The web? There would have been no practical way to notify everyone, meaning literally thousands of students would have made it t campus anyway, and then what do you do with them once there?

Lockdown is simple in a controlled setting or a high school or elementary school. But at a 40000-person public land-grant university with hundreds of buildings? I'm sorry, but Virginia Tech simply has no culpability here. This is going to result in a lot of additional security measures that are either artificial and useless, or not representative of a free and open society, or both. I'm sure it will result in several multimillion dollar lawsuits by families against VT, too. After all, you can't be angry at a dead killer.

This tragedy has exactly one culprit: the killer. The alternative is locking down something that is essentially the equivalent of a city when something bad happens, because there is a chance that something else bad might happen. And even if we wanted to do that, it's barely possible or practical on this scale. Even assuming it is or should be represents a failure to understand the scope and logistics here. It's not just "oh, it's just a little bit of money" or "how about mass SMS messaging?" It's nowhere near that simple and there simply would have been no way to reach anything but a fraction of the students even if they had wanted to immediately after the first shooting. Even the "delay" in notifying students of the first shooting, which is now being bandied about, is meaningless, because it would have told them nothing different: there was a shooting today in the dorms. It is being investigated. Be cautious and aware, and remember to always report anything suspicious to the police.

When you have a shooter in a hospital or elementary school, you lock it down.

When you have a shooter in one of several hundred buildings on a sprawling city-like campus with 40000 adults, you don't lock anything down unless you want to live in a vastly different society than I.

-----

So, if there's a shooting in a city of, say, 35000 people, what would you do with, say 700 or so buildings across over 2000 acres in the city center?

How would you communicate with those people? (Email is really the only practical different option for the university.)

Would you go into a temporary state of quasi martial-law because a "killer is on the loose"?

I can see locking down a high school. I can't see anything different Virginia Tech could have done, especially since thousands of students would already have been on their way to campus or class by the time the university even figured out what the response to the first situation was.

And no, the appropriate response isn't to immediately close and evacuate what is essentially a good-sized city at the first sign there might be a shooting (which would have been the only thing they could have even tried at 7:15am, which would have been ridiculous).

Any claims that Virginia Tech could or should have done something to prevent this represents a massive misunderstanding of the scope and logistics of the situation - and I mean massive - and represents the worst in 20/20 hindsight armchair quarterbacking. Not to mention a worrying tilt toward apparently wanting the kind of police state infrastructure we'd need to even THINK of "locking down" a 2600 acre campus with hundreds and hundreds of buildings.

Re:Be careful what you wish for (1)

jimbobborg (128330) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766747)

Having actually gone to VT, 2600 acres includes the FARM that's attached to the school. The main campus rings the drill field. Locking down the buildings would have been trivial, and everyone in the dorms could have been notified.

Re:Be careful what you wish for (2, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766831)

No, it would not have been "trivial", by any stretch, and the area with several hundred buildings is still some 500 acres. Claiming it would have been "trivial" represents a massive misunderstanding.

I'm glad you clearly don't grasp anything I said and just latched onto "2600", though.

But if you think that a campus of this size and scope could have been, or, rather, should have been "locked down", it would require a pretty comprehensive (and much larger) police and central monitoring/camera/locking and building access infrastructure, which itself would be extremely costly and far from perfect, and also pretty much requires you to support the knee-jerk like response to "school violence" that we're talking about in this article.

Re:Be careful what you wish for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18767001)

Locking down the buildings would have been trivial
BS. My wife works there, I've spent countless hours on campus. Locking down an entire campus is far from trivial; it is damn close to impossible. There are many ways to get on/off campus and in/out of every academic building. They did the best they could in the time span in which things occurred.
I guarantee you that VA Tech, the pres. and the Tech police chief will be blamed for this just as your post implies. Of course if the shooter was still alive and in custody no one would be pointing fingers at the officials, even if the same number of people were killed.
One of the questions asked at the press conference is (approx.) "What will you do to guarantee this wont happen again?"
Unless people want to send their kids to a college run like a police state, there's no guarantee.

This is not on topic. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766753)

There's already a thread for the VT shootings.

Re:Be careful what you wish for (5, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766837)

This kind of draconian, presumptive, knee-jerk response is exactly what people seem to be calling for from Virginia Tech...after all, "what if" this could have been a real bombing? Maybe even the worst school bombing in US history? They needed to react vigorously and without thinking and full consideration of the situation, right? I mean, after all, the daylight savings change is just a minor oversight. They could have been saving lives, right?


I think a morning show radio personality here in Tampa said it best: "These kinds of things (referring to the shootings at VT) happen in a free society. And that's that unless we all want to live in a police state."

It's along the same lines as the infamous, possibly misquoted, possibly misattributed Ben Franklin quote: "They that would trade essential liberty for a little temporary safety deserve neither."

So what is it? Do you want free society, where safety is sometimes an issue, or do you want a police state, where you might possibly be safer, but have no rights? Because those are your choices.

Re:Be careful what you wish for (1, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766937)

I thought if 9/11 taught us anything, it's that Americans are perfectly content to live in a police state in order to keep this sort of thing from happening.

Re:Be careful what you wish for (3, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767073)

Really? Do you think you are any safer in a police state? Ask the citizens of China if they feel safe. And if there's one thing the fall of the Soviet Union has taught us it's that people prefer a free society where chaos sometimes happens to any sort of totalitarian regime.

Re:Be careful what you wish for (1)

AxemRed (755470) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766863)

Thank God! Someone who has common sense. I was arguing this with people at the bar yesterday. I asked them, "Do you think that, if there is a shooting in this bar, the Wal-Mart (which is about a half mile away) should close?" They told me that "it's not the same thing." Somehow, I doubt that they had ever seen a university though...

Re:Be careful what you wish for (2, Insightful)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766871)

This kind of draconian, presumptive, knee-jerk response is exactly what people seem to be calling for from Virginia Tech
I don't know what they've been calling for, but if I were there, I would have liked to have been emailed at 7:30 instead of at 9:30.

A proper response is quick, not clumsy. This is both quick and clumsy. VT was slow and clumsy (though clumsy seems unavoidable given VT's size).

Re:Be careful what you wish for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766975)

But would you have done anything even if you got the email? I know I would have thought it was just a domestic dispute and headed off to my engineering class feeling safe knowing all the guys there don't have girlfriends so none of them could have been the shooter in the domestic dispute. ;-)

Re:Be careful what you wish for (3, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767037)

I don't know what they've been calling for, but if I were there, I would have liked to have been emailed at 7:30 instead of at 9:30.

So, you think you should have been emailed that something happened 15 minutes after it occurred, when chances are the police themselves didn't even have a handle on what happened yet, much less University administrators? Acting without thinking, right? Just like the school officials did in this case.

And if they'd emailed out something, it wouldn't have been to close the university because there was by all appearances a domestic shooting in a dorm - which do happen at universities, by the way. Hell, it probably takes a minimum of 15 minutes to even coordinate a mass email, knowing the bureaucracy of a campus that size. Within a couple of hours of what is believed to be an isolated incident with no real reason at the time to believe otherwise is perfectly reasonable.

A proper response is quick, not clumsy. This is both quick and clumsy. VT was slow and clumsy (though clumsy seems unavoidable given VT's size).

Your parenthetical statement at least shows some understanding of the situation here. Even IF they'd decided to cancel classes and close the University, that email probably wouldn't have been able to go out in any practical sense, and after having a very minimal handle on the situation, for at least 45 minutes to an hour. And even then, many students, and even faculty, would either never see it that morning, or already be on their way to class. And even if you could muster enough police presence to start going around locking buildings, how do you, in one hour, lock several hundred buildings, clear them, and then what do you do with the thousands of students already on campus?

Even in the best case lockdown scenario, if we're playing the "should have, could have, would have" game, what if there was then an outdoor shooting that killed 5 instead of an indoor one killing 32? 5 is better than 32? Except all we'd know about is the 5, and Virginia Tech would get raked over the coals for having a lockdown without thinking about it. Not to mention that we can't live in a state where we think that the worst shooting in US history may be about to occur, so we'd better react accordingly.

That's why I'm saying be careful what you wish for. We look at a daylight savings time story like this and scoff at its ridiculousness, and at the same time, believe that Virginia Tech should have made the same kind of reactive knee-jerk decisions without thinking and full consideration.

Nice Trolling (0)

giafly (926567) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766951)

This kind of draconian, presumptive, knee-jerk response is exactly what people seem to be calling for from Virginia Tech...after all
  1. The people over-reacting over V Tech are different people than those criticising this boy's mistreatment.
  2. +5 Insightful?!! 4ailchan was more insightful about this.
  3. Off Topic

Re:Be careful what you wish for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18767013)

The University reacted in a reasonable way. Yes, a shooter was "on the loose". Someone who had shot a person in a dorm, and the University immediately sent out notifications that such an event occurred; to be cautious and aware, and to report any suspicious activity to campus police.

Two hours later is "immediately"?

I knew about the death of Anna Nicole Smith faster than that and I was 1200 miles away and in no way associated with her.

If it weren't for all the cries for gun control over this people would instead be outraged by the time and tons of slashdotters would have scoffed at the time it took to send a simple e-mail. Why is this such a hard concept for people?

Hot news from Virginia Tech (0, Offtopic)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766637)

Penury of Iraqis

People advised to kill obese idiot students instead...

YRO??!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766649)

Uhh..what does this story have to do with my rights online?

Re:YRO??!! (1)

Hrothgar The Great (36761) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766775)

The kid's phone probably has wireless internet access. Plus, I guess the article is posted online!

In conclusion... INTERNET.

Re:YRO??!! (1)

Alchemar (720449) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766925)

It is about someone that was locked up for making a phone call (using a phone line), and then having no one believe that there was a computer error, even though there was public notice to double check anything that had a timestamp until it was verified that it handled the time change correctly. This error was caused by a tracking/surveliance system that was put in place to eliminate having to "run a trace" when someone called and someone needed to know for where. If you make a phone call, then it could very easily be you that is mistaken for a terrorist, though it is statistically unlikley. I think that taking blind faith in a computer system that automatically monitors your phone calls instead of doing investigative work to verify that a suspect is or is not lying because of something they did on a comminication network classifies in losing your right to "innocent until proven guilty" while online, but others may disagree.

Re:YRO??!! (2, Insightful)

LordEd (840443) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766927)

For most of us who have real IT jobs, the DST update was a pain. The article is about how an online nuisance to us has caused a real-world nuisance to this kid.

Re:YRO??!! (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767029)

Well, for one thing if you use any anonymous services like freenet, they may well do things like correlate bandwidth usage to downloads. If you use strong encryption to protect your communication, they may correlate message ties to events -- it's elementary spying.

It also points out something very, very important. The presumption of innocence does not really protection you from cops. For practical purposes cops work on the presumption of guilt, only the nicer word for this is "suspicion". Falling under suspicion has been found by the courts NOT to be a deprivation of liberty. As long as they don't step over the line into a technical presumption of guilt, or violate narrowly drawn limits on unreasonable searches and seizures, it means they're pretty much within their powers to investigate you and in some circumstances detain you for varying lengths of time.

In a highly technological society, suspicion takes on a very different aspect. It is both less personal and more pervasive. Whereas once the redneck sheriff might have had it in for you, now every transaction you take part in exposes you to suspicion. This case is an example of somebody who was swept up into suspicion because of an electronic correlation in a system he was using -- faulty it turns out. Which points out another problem with electronic suspicion. It may not be subject to the kind of personal animus the Sheriff might have toward you, but it also lacks common sense.

An actual example of BEGGING THE QUESTION! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766655)

'Well, why should we believe you? You're a criminal. Criminals lie all the time.'

I'd laugh, but... (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766659)

My history in K-12 is that most school staff (secretaries, teachers, administrators) really are that impervious to logic.

Re:I'd laugh, but... (4, Interesting)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766817)

Why, yes they are!

Back in my HS days I found a VCR in a locker. The VCR had been stolen from a classroom. I reported it to the administration office. The VP promptly accused me of getting "cold feet" about the theft and called the cops on me, even though I was in class when the supposed theft occurred two days prior (there was an exam, thus I had a reasonable alibi). None of my explanations mattered, nor apparently did the B&E that I committed in opening the locker. She was fixated that I (or my buddy who was with me) had stolen the VCR. Cops were called and we were separated and interviewed by the sheriff.

Funny thing, we both told the sheriff the same story, but when pressed we both confessed to the B&E portion (which was a crime as there was a lock on the locker). I actually did it, but out of some sense of loyalty he confessed to it. Ultimately the VPs single mindedness that we stole it was in our favor, as once the unit was dusted for prints, ours were nowhere to be found. No charges on the B&E because the VP continued to insist that we must have stolen it somehow, and simply wiped our prints off it. You can't argue with people like that. They're nearly as fanatical as those FSM creationist folks :-)

-nB

Re:I'd laugh, but... (1)

visualight (468005) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766855)

I'd like to add to your comment that kids are not very articulate when they have to stand up for themselves. This is obvious with the elementary school children (and the adults act accordingly) but in high school a teenager is often on his or her own in a confrontation with one or more adults.

I recall a few situations where I was presumed guilty of an infraction when in fact my only crime was to react emotionally and illogically to the accusation.

Re:I'd laugh, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766857)

[i]My history in K-12 is that most school staff (secretaries, teachers, administrators) really are that impervious to logic.[/i]

The logic was flawless, it was the initial axiom "1. This kid is a criminal" that was the problem ;P.

Re:I'd laugh, but... (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767103)

The logic was flawless, it was the initial axiom "1. This kid is a criminal" that was the problem ;P


No, it was actual lack of logic. It's, in fact, a classic fallacy called "Begging The Question". It's circular logic in which the conclusion is also used as the (or one of the) axioms it's based on.

In effect, "the kid is a criminal" was _also_ the conclusion there. And choosing which facts to base it on, was based on the notion that the kid lies (so let's not even hear his side of the story), which in turn was based on the same "the kid is a criminal".

I don't know, even bigotry and block-headedness I'd somewhat tolerate there. But the principal is being a mental midget who can't even apply the most elementary logic. Someone like that should't be allowed to teach. Heck, she shouldn't even be allowed within 100 yards of a school.

Re:I'd laugh, but... (1)

GmAz (916505) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766893)

I work in a high school as a computer tech and yes, the staff at K-12 schools lack logic and a bit more. The simplist of issues, as they like to call them, are nothing more than them not looking at the screen. For something like not putting the daylight savings time change to the caller id timestamp, its quite easy to realize that they could do that. However, on the police department that arrested the young man...it was totally in their wrong for doing a half ass investigation and not seeing this. But in the light of things, I would rather see someone put in jail for 12 days on a small mistake such as this because they acted promptly and in the best interest of the school's populus than to dick around for months trying to figure out what to do.

Let the lawsuit commence! (3, Interesting)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766673)

Unfortunately, the school forgot that the clocks had switched to Daylight Saving Time that morning. The time stamps left on the hotline were adjusted by an hour after Day Light Savings causing Webb's call to logged as the same time the bomb threat was placed. Webb, who's never even had a detention in his life, had actually made his call an hour before the bomb threat was placed.

These are the people we want teaching our children? Or we want our children to become/emulate? I'm not sure which is more shocking -- the fact that they jumped to conclusions based on a couple of pieces of evidence or the fact that it took 12 days for some bright person to remember the switch in Daylight Time.

Re:Let the lawsuit commence! (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766813)

Sadly, in my experience public school administration has become like the Presidency.. if someone really wants the job, they are almost definitely insane and unfit for the position.

Re:Let the lawsuit commence! (1)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766915)

What I don't udnerstand (and doesn't seem to be properly explained) is that surely the log of the phone call made by the 'kid' and the bomb threat won't exactly 1 hour apart to the second? Also, surely the phone calls logs would have showed different call duration figures.

If the kid has protested innocence and stated his earlier use of the phone, then by noticing the times were probably slightly off and that the call duration was almost certainly completely different, surely someone should have realised that a mistake had been made!

I agree that I would not want these people teaching my kids.

Re:Let the lawsuit commence! (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767023)

Well, keep in mind, they had to pull the LUDs (local usage details) to do this. That means they had to go through the phone company. And what could have been the phone company? VERIZON! So any hope at understanding simple logic, was gone.

first! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766675)

first fart.

Money! (5, Interesting)

Taelron (1046946) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766687)

This kid is not going to have to worry about college tuition... His family will sue and they will be awarded a large settlement because of this... Just you wait and see...

Re:Money! (1)

texastexastexasdfw (1057110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766909)

Heck, just demand his diploma with honors to go along with that. The folks who tried to pin this on him are going to need to shake out their shorts if his parents do not go after them.

Re:Money! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766991)

This kid is not going to have to worry about college tuition... His family will sue and they will be awarded a large settlement because of this... Just you wait and see...

This is precisely the type of incident where litigation is not only warranted, but a moral imperative. It's too bad our courts are abused so much that folks want to put restrictions on litigation that would eliminate the possibility of a suit like the one you mentioned.

*sigh* Hopefully, the BAR will keep things in perspective and eliminate any knee-jerk legislation. It also helps that many politicians are lawyers.

Re:Money! (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767097)

The problem is that the settlement will be paid by the town's taxpayers (IE, the kid's friends parents and neighbors), and the person responsible will get off with, at worst, the loss of her job.

Stupidity should be painful... (1)

duh_lime (583156) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766691)

At least then the principal would have known it was time to buy a clue...

Tag This Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766693)

tag this article DaylightSavingsTimeIsStupid

or better yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766921)

PeopleAreStupid

Incompetence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766707)

in law enforcement should be punished - it would provide some pressure for them to improve themselves.

Principal owes public apology (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766719)

Schools seem hell-bent on denying kids due process... at least in this case they were exposed. Sounds like he's got a big payday coming!

Re:Principal owes public apology (2)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766853)

Yeah! Public Apology! It's not like intentional denial of due process is worthy of prison time and never being allowed in a position of authority again or anything, he should say he's sorry, and he should mean it!

Sarcasm is the highest for of wit.

Re:Principal owes public apology (2, Insightful)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766939)

and typos are the most annoying form of spelling error :/

Re:Principal owes public apology (1)

eriklou (1027240) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766929)

Schools seem hell-bent on denying kids due process... at least in this case they were exposed. Sounds like he's got a big payday coming!
Its more then schools nowadays, sadly we're losing all that we originally fought for.

Re:Principal owes public apology (1)

visualight (468005) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767027)

I think the woman who was yelling "We got him! We got him!" needs to have her picture on a bunch of newspapers for a few days so everyone will know what a ninny she is.

Give the Students More Credit (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766735)

Disclaimer: I have yet to rear a child.

Perhaps it took so long because of the principal's Catch-22 attitude about Cody's guilt -- she said, 'Well, why should we believe you? You're a criminal. Criminals lie all the time.
I like to believe that, in America at least, we avoid this "Catch-22" wherein we assume from the get go that the alleged criminal is innocent until proven guilty. Which gives them no motive to lie. After the fact, it may be revealed they were lying but you have to prove it first. Most of the time, they are caught within their lies and their guilt is exposed that way.

Relying on one instance of evidence that relies heavily on technology, is a pretty shaky case in my opinion. The principal has graciously illustrated why this is a risky assumption to make. I don't think I need to expound on my general feelings of how the RIAA uses the same techniques in their settle out of court cases but there is definitely a direct relationship here.

I feel that, as a society, we don't give our children enough credit. I've posted about this before [slashdot.org] and I'm sure I'll post about it again. If you don't apply the same ideas of justice & freedom to children, how can you expect them to grow up with those same virtues instilled? You can't, really. Once they turn 18, they still remember a lot prior to being 18. Any injustices they suffered are probably not forgotten.

While I have not raised a child, I have volunteered at local grade schools to teach the children about engineering. I go and set up some sort of challenge that involves engineering with limited resources. One of my most horrific experiences wasn't watching some child verbally or physically assault another child, it was actually a teacher/student exchange. The challenge was to build a tower out of cards and after several failures and few successes, I decided to wrap up with some basics in mechanical engineering. I asked the class why they chose a square structure to build their tower in. One particularly energetic imp told me it was clearly the most stable. I corrected him and said that actually a dome is a more stable structure. But he persisted and asked why were 99% of buildings made in a square formation. I really didn't have an answer ... so I kind of filibustered. But the teacher cut off his questions and told him he was flat out wrong. And the kid responded with something on the order of, "You say that because that's all you ever expect out of me. You just like it when I'm wrong and the other kids are right. That's what you like." And I waited for the teacher to correct him. To tell him that this wasn't the case. But the teacher just sat there and stared at him. After an awkward minute, I proceeded but I never forgot that exchange. The kid had clearly demonstrated a very astute analysis of building structure so much so that I couldn't reply to him intelligently. I don't care what his history was, the teacher seemed to pigeonhole him back into being "just wrong."

I pretty much blame myself for not encouraging the kid to research it on his own. But I thought about it a lot afterwards and wondered if we don't give our children enough credit. Does this happen often? Do children get stereotyped as "the problem child" with no possible second chance? Are they doomed once teachers look for this type of behavior. I hope not but this story with the principal assuming the kid was wrong is just another example, though my personal example is probably a case of no exoneration.

Re:Give the Students More Credit (4, Informative)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767017)

I know it's not really the point of your story, but in case it comes up again, the main reason that most of our buildings are generally rectangular is because it's much easier(read: cheaper) to build them that way.

Re:Give the Students More Credit (1)

mikearthur (888766) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767021)

I'm afraid I think one of the reasons this happens with teachers now is that, as beautifully parodied by the Simpsons, they rely on textbooks rather than actual solid knowledge of subjects.

One of my high school computing teachers repeatedly became annoyed with me for helping other kids with problems and expanding on his answers when he didn't know. He has never had any computing education, was a Latin teacher who just ended up teaching computing somehow.

As you astutely say, teachers don't seem to encourage innovation and discovery and hate to admit they might know less than the pupils in an area.
I was considering becoming a teacher last year but the main thing that put me off was the sheer lack of real personal growth through the job. Having taught Computing for 40 years, I probably wouldn't know as much as a current 1st year college student. I think the type of people attracted to teaching as a result don't have the same craving for knowledge that some of their kids do, so can't understand the need for explanations outside of the syllabus.

Re:Give the Students More Credit (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767031)

Being a child sure doesn't help, but I would tend to beleive that being innocent is the worst possible defense strategy: you don't have any aliby (moreover can anyone remember what he was doing just two weeks ago if he had no reason to in the first place?) and you don't know what they are talking about, so whatever you say cannot match what they are expecting from you and sounds like a lie.

Re:Give the Students More Credit (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767033)

Heh. Square isn't most stable, but it is more easily constructed, and more space efficient. In a place where stability is paramount, you'd see a lot more domes.

I understand what you're saying though. I've seen things like that myself, where teachers are so dogmatic and so set on their tiny subset of information that anything that's not on their holy fact list is completely incorrect.

Re:Give the Students More Credit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18767047)

You should have told the kid that domes are harder to construct because they are not stable until they are completed and that circular floor plans waste space when the buildings are tightly packed together.

Re:Give the Students More Credit (1)

Retric (704075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767063)

I would like to point out that most building are constructed as square boxes because it cheeper and strong enough.

Anyway, when dealing with children you need to understand on average they are smarter than you are. IMO the problem with public schools is they operate under the assumption that children are stupid and need extremely simple explanations. This creates a situation where children are constantly provided inaccurate lists of pseudo facts to memorize which basic critical thinking skills tend to expose as wrong.

EX: Columbus discovered America.

Conflict, people where already living there.

Resolution from the European perspective Columbus discovered America.

IMO we should just teach it that way in the first place.

Re:Give the Students More Credit (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767099)

99% of buildings are square because it's cheap and easy to build them that way. Also, when you push your cheap couch or bookshelf against the wall in a round building, there is perceived "wasted" space.

The kid was making a proper observation about the world around him, but was drawing an incorrect conclusion. Buildings aren't built that way because it's better, they are built that way because it's cheaper.

B.t.w. Kudus to you for helping out at your local schools.

Re:Give the Students More Credit (5, Interesting)

MojoRilla (591502) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767119)

I think teachers lashing out at students who are more intelligent than them is common. A relation of mine was in a grade school science class and the teacher said that liquids are always less dense than solids. My relative said that the teacher was wrong, and that ice is less dense than water. Instead of the teacher admitting she was wrong, she sent my relative to the principal's office.

Re:Give the Students More Credit (1)

Saxmachine (1045648) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767125)

Would mod this up again and again. Why do we have so many parents and schoolteachers who think that it's okay to ban Harry Potter from the library? Because their parents and schoolteachers taught them that it was okay to ban books from their libraries when they were kids. No amount of civics lectures or self-esteem-boosting mantras will undo the very real ACTIONS that kids see and, sometimes, are the victims of.

Look at the bright side.. (-1, Offtopic)

zyl0x (987342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766743)

At least we all saved a bunch of money on our energy bills!

Oh wait...

Egg/School Principle In Massive Collision. (1)

Zygamorph (917923) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766751)

Principal meet egg, egg meet face.

At least they figured it out.

Re:Egg/School Principle In Massive Collision. (2, Funny)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766833)

And in other news, "Zygamorph expelled for inciting violence against principal because school doesn't understand common expression, 'egg on your face' and assumed the principal was to be assaulted with actual eggs." ;-)

Please Explain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766763)

Can someone please explain this story? What call did Webb make exactly? How does the time of the call mean anything?

Re:Please Explain (2, Informative)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766807)

I live in the area and have known about this story for a week or two...

We was calling to see if school had been canceled due to weather. He called an hour before or after the bomb threat. When they matched the phone records versus the actual time of the call they found his number erroneously because of DST problems and the time difference.

More details (5, Informative)

scottennis (225462) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766767)

There is a more detailed account of the story here [pittsburghlive.com] .

Cannibis ObJoke... (1)

Corporate Drone (316880) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766777)

Actually, it's Hempfield, not Hempstead. Insert your favorite cannibis joke here...

Re:Cannibis ObJoke... (1)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767075)

Uhhh, there was, uhh, hehehe, um, this guy. No wait he was a priest, hehehe, and uhhh, wait, was he a priest? No it was a chick priest. Anyway, uhhhh, hehehe, so she lights up a... hey! Don't bogart that just cause I'm tellin' a joke!

Ssssssssss.

Wait. What were we talking about?

When did the RIAA... (5, Funny)

robinsonne (952701) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766779)

"Well, why should we believe you? You're a criminal. Criminals lie all the time."

When did the RIAA go into the education business?

Re:When did the RIAA... (1)

jefu (53450) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766899)

See also todays article [slashdot.org] in which it is stated repeatedly that customers are always liars.

Daylight Saving Time (1)

Chickan (1070300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766787)

It's Daylight Saving Time, there are no "Savings" only a stupid attempt at "Saving" the daylight ... And in other news, as long as it affects "security" the police/whomever can basically lock you up for as long as they would like. Where is your "Freedom" now?

Schools..... (1)

ThreeDeadTrolls (944446) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766805)

I know here in Arkansas, students are pretty much presumed guilty before proven innocent. Acually I had a run in, not as severe, but basically the same senario. Kid gets blamed for something, gets locked up, kid is proven innocent after lockup, when its over. But here is how screwed up things are. Kid gets In School Suspension (basically, you stay in school, away from any other students, and get treated like the dog crap of society), Parents know 100% that the student did not commit the act, so parents want to take the kid out and goto another school, because of racism (which if you have ever been to a Pulaski county (Little Rock area) in the administration, taking an athlete's word over a normal student, or some other act, but of course, you can't do anything about it.... Because If the student is a Criminal, so are the parents, why should they listen to them. Criminals lie all the time. Not to mention, if you try to take your student out of his current school when he has ISS, they wont release his records. Which again, is crap.

But what does the principal have to do with it? (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766811)

The principal is an ordinary member of the public. She didn't arrest the kid or charge him. She supplied mistaken evidence that this was the culprit, which was pretty inept, but the rest of the system should have caught this.

Why wasn't he interviewed by the police in the prescence of an adult immediately? Isn't there meant to be some advocate protecting the accused rights, especially with a 15 year old?

Surely a decent investigation should have gone something like:

cop: We have this recording of the threat.
Defender: Uhm. That doesn't sound much like this kid. Are you sure you got the right guy?
Defender and cop disappear. Re-appear later.
cop: Sorry about that. You're free to go.

Stupid Time Change! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766815)

I almost missed a connecting international flight because the Boeing 777's clock had not been updated. Had to run like @#%! to reach the next flight.

What idiot came up with the idea to move the daylight savings time change anyway? What idiot came up with the idea of daylight savings???

Sounds like (2, Interesting)

SuperGillies (762897) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766851)

Wow. Sounds a lot like America's attitude to terrorists.

-1 Clueless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18767061)

Yeah, you.

Asshole.

Miscarraige of Justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18766875)

Did they actually look at the numbers on the Caller ID?

Sounds like the local police and principal are the ones who need to spend a few years behind bars.

Slashdot Effect.. (-1, Offtopic)

Heem (448667) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766881)

Don't forget to visit the School District's website, you know.. for background information and such.

http://www.hempfieldarea.k12.pa.us/ [k12.pa.us]

Re:Slashdot Effect.. (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766995)

... and the quarterback is toast!

Guilty until proven innocent has CONSEQUENCES (1, Flamebait)

redelm (54142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766885)

... just look at France (where guilty is the rule). People because very mistrustful of authorities and evade them and laws as much as possible. A lot of potentially productive activity is stillborne by fear [prior restraint].

This is a clear case of police malfeasance, however accidental, there was serious harm. Police are in the business of making people pay for their mistakes and harm to others. Will they accept their own? Or evade it? Criminals prey upon civilians. Police prey upon criminals. What should happen when police reach too far down the food-chain?

Ideally, the police chief admits wrongdoing and reaches some financial settlement, min 10 k$. If this _doesn't_ happen, the police have loudly shouted they're nothing but bullies and will attack whomever they wish.

Re:Guilty until proven innocent has CONSEQUENCES (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767035)

... just look at France (where guilty is the rule).

Huh? From Wikipedia:

In France, article 9 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, of constitutional value, says "Every man is supposed innocent until having been declared guilty." and the preliminary article of the code of criminal procedure says "any suspected or prosecuted person is presumed to be innocent until his guilt has been established". The jurors' oath reiterates this assertion.

And interestingly...

Although the Constitution of the United States does not cite it explicitly, presumption of innocence is widely held to follow from the 5th, 6th and 14th amendments. See also Coffin v. United States


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guilty_until_proven_i nnocent [wikipedia.org]

The principal didn't put him in jail (5, Insightful)

GoatMonkey2112 (875417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766891)

Last time I checked, high schools do not have jails. Maybe the principal pointed his finger at this kid, but it's the police who were dumb enough to believe him without doing the proper investigation.

Re:The principal didn't put him in jail (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766971)

I'd say there's plenty of blame to go around.

Re:The principal didn't put him in jail (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767041)

My high school had a "resource" officer with a SUV with lights & a cage in the back they'd stick your ass in if you so much as got into a fight. This was 11 years ago in a very, very rural town BTW.

What a shocker! (5, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766933)

A public school worker who doesn't believe in the rights that our forefathers shed blood for and died for? Anyone actually surprised by this?

The public school system is the love child of 1984 and Lord of the Flies. I would have thought that people would have learned by now that it is unfixable.

Re:What a shocker! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18767003)

It's only unfixable because the Christians keep trying to put God in there.

Innocent until proven guilty (1)

Luzumsuz Lazim (603227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766979)


> she said, 'Well, why should we believe you? You're a criminal. Criminals lie all the time.'


Constitution says, people are innocent until proven guilty. I guess, the idiot was confused "suspect" with "criminal"

I bet the video games made him do it! (3, Funny)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 7 years ago | (#18766983)

Can we please blame this on video games? Maybe the educator assumed that since he played video games he was a bad kid.

Damn, we coulda got a gold medal for sure... (5, Funny)

Two99Point80 (542678) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767007)

...if only "Jumping to a Conclusion" was an event in the Olympics.

Call for Healing (1)

MoronBob (574671) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767065)

The only thing that really matters is that we begin now to call for Healing. The sooner the healing begins the better everyone affected by this incident will be. So I am calling now for the healing to begin.

All the time... (1)

StarfishOne (756076) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767091)

Criminals lie all the time.


And especially in Daylight Savings Time! :P

That's no Catch-22 (4, Informative)

JerSully (824068) | more than 7 years ago | (#18767095)

"Well, why should we believe you? You're a criminal. Criminals lie all the time."

That's no catch-22. A catch-22 is a situation whereupon two actions are dependent on one another. A chicken-or-the-egg sort of thing. This quote is close, but it's not a catch-22.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catch-22_(logic) [wikipedia.org]

Sorry to pick a nit.
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