pressing charges against a student

Discussion in 'General Education' started by sk8enscars311, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. sk8enscars311

    sk8enscars311 Companion

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 4, 2008

    I have a question about my husband's current situation. I've posted on here before about it (class from hell). In a nutshell, the kids are awful, administration does little about it.

    My husband teachers at a middle school in DC. A student intentionally shoved him and punched him in the stomach today. The student was removed and given 10 days suspension. The police officers at the school asked my husband if he "wanted the kid in cuffs". My husband said "What? You mean like press charges?" Officers said yes and my husband said he wasn't going to press charges since the kid who did it was only in 7th grade and it didn't actually hurt him. Now he's second guessing his decision and would like to press charges... mainly so the student doesn't try to get away with something in the future. We know nothing about the law and our rights (We've never had this happen before!). Is it too late for him to press charges? Is the statue of limitations? It'll be less than 24 hours since it happened. Can he do it even though he already said no?

    Please don't think he's some awful teacher who couldn't handle a temper tantrum. This student spent the first 15 minutes of class running around the room, cussing my husband out, throwing things and smacking another student really hard in the bad of the head. The school did suspend him for 10 days but it just doesn't feel like enough...
     
  2.  
  3. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Messages:
    2,061
    Likes Received:
    2

    Nov 4, 2008

    I would say your husband should follow up with the police department if hes not sure. I think I would press charges, as well, if the kid was being a brat and not acting out because of a disability or a major issue at home.
     
  4. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,054
    Likes Received:
    222

    Nov 4, 2008

    He can probably still press charges. Technically, keep in mind it's not him pressing the charges, it's the state. The court case would be "District of Columbia vs. Unruly Student", not "Upstanding Teacher vs. Unruly Student".

    He might consider a civil suit instead. This gives him a lot more control over the outcome and ability to negotiate what happens. Probably gives a better chance of winning, too. The drawback would be actually having to pay a lawyer.

    Maybe he should consult with a lawyer first and lay out his options. The statute of limitations is unlikely to be a barrier here.
     
  5. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,019
    Likes Received:
    19

    Nov 4, 2008

    Your husband's union can probably tell him how to proceed.
     
  6. sk8enscars311

    sk8enscars311 Companion

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 4, 2008

    Yeah, that's the kind of things we're worried about. If he says "Yes I want to press charges"... is this something else now we have added to our plate of things to deal with. He just wants to teach the kid and also show others that he means business. (He's been assaulted many times this year by students he doesn't know.) What all is involved by pressing charges?
     
  7. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,881
    Likes Received:
    159

    Nov 4, 2008

    If any student physically touched me in an agressive or harmful way, you'd better believe I'd press charges, the day it happens. No kid should get away w/ anything like that.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Nov 4, 2008

    I think he should run it by the administration. They may surprise you and be helpful, now that someone ELSE is actually doing something that resembles discipline. At the very least, they'll need a heads up.
     
  9. Mrs.A

    Mrs.A Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 4, 2008

    I would look into your union. I know our union went through the local police and district attorney to set up a policy for teachers pressing charges. If administration does not agree to have the police on the premises our teachers are still allowed to press charges for something that happened on school property. Your union may have more information than you think. If they don't, it sounds like something they need to start working on to support your teachers. If the administration is going to do nothing then your union really needs to be stepping in and letting teachers know their rights.. There is no excuse for students getting away with these kinds of behaviors.
     
  10. SuzieQ

    SuzieQ Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 4, 2008

    Is this child from a special ed class? My husband works with emotionally disturbed students and students have been known to hit , cuss etc..to their classmates as well as teachers. I'm not saying it is right or o.k. but...with his kids you kinda have to expect the unexpected. Either way they still need a concequence.
     
  11. sk8enscars311

    sk8enscars311 Companion

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 5, 2008

    No, not special ed. Just a hot head.
     
  12. Crzy_ArtTeacher

    Crzy_ArtTeacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    351
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 5, 2008

    This just happened in my district. A high schooler punched our Union President in the head and he went straight ahead and pressed charges immediately.

    We are educators, not students punching bags; no student should ever lay hands on a teacher in an aggressive or violent manner.

    I got bit by a student last year and I was furious. I understand that there are special needs students that can't control outbursts, however when my own safety is tampered with I become very upset. I worried about whether I was going to have to get vaccinated, yet I was lucky enough that he (just barely) did not break the skin.

    For this situation I believe it is a good idea to press charges, to show the other students that he is serious and that he will not deal with violence in the classroom. Maybe he'll finally get that support he needs in his school by showing he's going to take a very serious stand against what is happening to him.
     
  13. Mathfan

    Mathfan Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 5, 2008

    We had a student last year who was very loud and extremely disrespectful to teachers. He had been like this for years and nothing had been done. One day, he spat on a substitute teacher and pushed him. The sub pressed charges and had him taken in handcuffs.

    As a result, the student's parents decided to transfer their son to another school where he didn't know anybody. In the new school, he found himself in a different crowd and his attitude changed.

    IMO charges should be pressed so that he realizes that there are strong consequences for his actions and he thinks about it next time he wants to loose his temper.
     
  14. hatima

    hatima Devotee

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,081
    Likes Received:
    2

    Nov 5, 2008

    I think maybe your husband should try to press charges, at the least to get the student help.

    Reason 1: In high school a student brought a gun, loaded with several extra clips, he was D-level and faced no concequences because of his D-level placement. However, he was very smart, and a known violent gang member. If he was helped properly in elementary and middle school for infractions that caused no injuries he may not have ended up so mixed up in a gang.

    Reason 2: Again the kid may need help. A fifth grader (now in eighth grade) threatened the life of the teacher in the classroom. The admin, did absolutely nothing about it. The kid said, "He was joking" as did his mostly absent mother. I was a witness, this child was NOT joking. If he did get the gun, which he did have access to, the teacher would have been injured. No doubt in my mind about that.

    Our society needs to stop letting children "off" who commit adult crimes. We need to start getting these kids help. Anger management or whatever, not just say...oh you're just a kid....I hate that.

    Reason 3: My cousins were both like that as a younger children. The oldest is in her 20's I have no clue how she is doing. He younger brother is every teacher's nightmare! He needed proper help years ago which he did not get. He is now in middle school and may get kicked out for harrassment (justly kicked out). Everyone just kept letting it go since he was "just a kid" I fear for my aunt's safety over the next 10 years.
     
  15. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    6,809
    Likes Received:
    190

    Nov 5, 2008

    I taught first & I had student punch me in the belly while teaching. My hubby called the police... we did not press charges, but we wanted it on record, so that if something else did happen we could show it wasn't an isolated case. The police officer was very nice & said that it was a good idea.

    Just wanted to share my 2 cents. I would definately have it on file at the police station.
     
  16. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,233
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 5, 2008

    Just my two cents....I'd file charges after notifying the administration what my intentions were.
     
  17. stonesthrow

    stonesthrow New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 5, 2008

    PRESS CHARGES! Do not send the message that this is an allowed behavior because I promise it will get worse! I would seek medical atention as well!
     
  18. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    870
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 5, 2008

    Your husband must contact his union immediately. They will take over the case and tell him how to proceed.This child is a danger to himself and everyone around him.The problem cannot be ignored.It is a disgrace that the administration does not break up this class or take measures to put an end to their destructive behavior.By the way after assaulting a teacher the child is usually transferred out of the school and not allowed back into the school where the assault occurred.Once again check with the union.IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT YOUR HUSBAND TRANSFERS TO ANOTHER SCHOOL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!!
     
  19. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,159
    Likes Received:
    166

    Nov 5, 2008

    Didn't hurt him? How far does a student have to go before an assault is considered an assault? Is it bruising? Blood? Broken limb? Is it the "number" of peers and adults assaulted? I can see the court decision: "Student pushed teacher but due to good physical shape and coordination the teacher was able to catch himself just before hitting his head on sink. The student punched him but teacher was able to move just enough so no vital organs were struck. In all, no real bodily harm was done. Ruling in favor of student."
     
  20. motheroftwo

    motheroftwo New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 5, 2008

    If it were me I would press charges immediately! I work in an urban school in an Ohio city of 82,000....and sadly this behavior is NOT only occurring in DC. I work with special education - CD, LD, and emotionally disturbed students. Regardless, charges need pressed so 1. The child learns that this is wrong. 2. To get him the help he needs. Many times it takes the leverage of the courts to get a child the emotional or mental health supports that he/she might require. Violence will not be tolerated in the larger community and it shouldn't be tolerated at school. A student stole $75.00 from me several years ago...premeditated, planned, and carried out...three times over a two week period....taking a little bit here and there. He had to purposefully open my door, walk across the room, open my closet, unzip my purse, and take it. I pressed charges and he spent 17 days locked up and came back to me a little more humble! I've never regretted it.
     
  21. blessedhands

    blessedhands Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 5, 2008

    If I was in your husbands' shoe I would:

    File an incident report. Notify admin.
    As the union on what to do.
    I would not press charges because not because a kid is bad now means he won't be better later.
     
  22. sk8enscars311

    sk8enscars311 Companion

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 9, 2008

    follow up

    I hate to say it but when my husband went back to school the next day the police officer who was on duty at the school pressured him into not pressing charges. So he didn't. The officer made it seem like "Well, gee, yesterday you didn't want to press charges. You must've talked to people last night and now you've changed your mind. Do you REALLY want to ruin this kids life???????" My husband is one of 2 white people in the entire school. Attitudes are very different in the city. I'm certainly not playing the race card here because other teachers, black and white have told him that the problems he's having is mostly because he is white. My husband is a great guy. But he's not big and mean enough to get the kids' "respect". He would put so much into his students if they just showed a trickle of respect.

    He's still considering talking to the VP about it. Even if he doesn't press charges, 10 days suspension is not enough. (My school suspended a kid for 15 days for spraying some spray paint on the wall.) And for those who suggested the union... anywhere else that would be a great idea. In D.C. the union is laughable.

    Basically I think my husband is afraid to follow through with it. The little bit of support that he does have from security/police/administration he doesn't want to lose by doing something they don't approve of. (No school in DC can afford bad publicity right now... it's pretty intense.) He fears for his life when he goes in everyday. Just Friday he had a student (who he's written 7 referrals on already) walk by him and pretend to shoot a gun in his face with his fingers. (This student has an older sibling in a gang.) Everyday we're looking for a way to get out of this situation. Thanks for all the comments.
     
  23. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    870
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 9, 2008

    Your husband is in a situation that is dangerous and it will not improve. No job is worth it!
     
  24. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,881
    Likes Received:
    159

    Nov 9, 2008

    Woah, how scary! It's just like when witnesses are afraid to come forward w/ info regarding a crime because those & friends involved in committing the crime will come back & retaliate.

    I'd be afraid for these punk kids to know what kind of car I drive & be able to follow me home one day. No one knows what kind of loose canons these kids are & what they'll do next!

    Well, I certainly hope your husband stays safe. This kind of thing is the last thing one in the teaching profession hopes to ever have to face.
     
  25. blessedhands

    blessedhands Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 9, 2008

    And Admin is not supporting your husband by disciplining this child? This is even worst if the Admin is not on the teacher's side bad enough he has hostile students to deal with.

    I am sorry for your husband's troubles and I sincerely hope he stays safe.
     
  26. hatima

    hatima Devotee

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,081
    Likes Received:
    2

    Nov 9, 2008

    sk8enscars311 I am really sorry to hear about that. I wish your husband the best in the future.
     
  27. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,233
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 10, 2008

    I hope he can find another job elsewhere. Too much to expect of anyone. You are both on my prayer list.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. SchoolDataLists,
  2. graduatesengine
Total: 346 (members: 3, guests: 325, robots: 18)
test