Georgia Middle School Student Suspended for Video Recording Fight

Discussion in 'Civil Rights & Privacy' started by Carlos Miller @ PINAC, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. Georgia school officials confiscated a student’s cell phone after he video recorded a fight between two girls on a school bus last week, refusing to return it unless he deleted the video.
    They also suspended the student for five days, saying he violated school policy and claiming his behavior might lead other students to do the same.
    Obviously, evidence of violent assaults are frowned upon at Conyers Middle School in Rockdale County.
    Fortunately, the kid’s father knew something wasn’t right with their actions and contacted CBS Atlanta who looked into the matter.
    Dover said his son received five days of in-school suspension for videotaping a fight on the school bus with his cell phone, a fight Jason said he wasn't even involved in.​
    "I was very shocked," Jason said.​
    Jason said the fight was between two girls and no one else. Still he received a discipline report and was told that he violated school policy for photographing the incident. As a result, Jason said faculty confiscated his phone and told him he would have to sign the discipline report and delete the video to get the phone back. Needless to say, Jason was without a cell phone for days.​
    "Say if I go to basketball practice tomorrow and I feel dehydrated and about to pass out after practice, I don't have a phone to contact my parents or if I stay after school for tutoring, I can't call them to let them know to come and pick me up," Jason said.​
    CBS Atlanta News contacted the school district, and within minutes the principal of Conyers Middle School contacted Jason's father, asked to meet with him and then returned the call.​
    That was enough to get the school district to return the student’s phone and remove the suspension from his disciplinary file.

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  2. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    People complain about how parents always side with their kids "these days" instead of with teachers, of how being a teacher means defending yourself from angry parents, think of the poor schools, parents spoil their kids, wah wah wah, and on and on.

    This is one of those cases where I'd be the angry parent, threatening fire, brimstone and bloodthirsty lawyers if I don't get my property (the kid's phone, assuming it's on a family plan and technically legally mine) back by the time my blood pressure returns to normal.

    I think I'd be using this as a teachable moment for my kid, too - to teach them about the importance of always using TapIn to record these things (and have a posse of dedicated downloader-sharer friends watching for new content) so that there is no way it can ever be lost no matter how much the thuggish, authoritarian school administrators want it to be.
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  3. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Shouldn't have called the school, just file a police report for a theft.
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  4. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    Can still do that, even though the property has been returned. Lots of criminal charges to pass around.
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  5. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    There may have been a more innocent motivation here. The first thing that came to mind when I read this was the "bum fights" videos.

    I doubt if the courts would rule the inside of a school bus or a school as a strictly public place. School administrators can limit cell phone usage during school. Camera-in-the-cell phone usage? Or a camera itself? I won't venture a guess except to submit that there more grey here than some might think.
  6. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Civil Rights & Privacy seems a better home for this thread.

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