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Posts tagged Thomas Swittel

Public schooling #2: Criminal texting

(Story thanks to a private correspondent.)

In Wauwatosa, Wisconsin (a suburb of Milwaukee), a 14 year old girl was detained by the police at her high school, interrogated, searched by a male police officer, arrested for disorderly conduct, then body-searched by a female police officer, in order to find a cell phone that it turns out she was hiding in her pants. The charge is that she was sending text messages in class after the teacher told her to stop, and then hid her phone from the teacher when the teacher tried to confiscate it.

Oh my God! Quick, call the cops, before somebody gets hurt!

As far as I know, there has not yet been any public mention of why the Dean Of Students And Head Football Coach thought it was appropriate to escalate the situation into a police interrogation or to launch this ridiculous investigation of a student’s inattentiveness in class. Here’s how Jeff Griffin, the school’s pig-in-residence, justified browbeating, busting and humiliating a 14 year old girl over a minor classroom management issue:

Back in Mr. Swittel’s office [REDACTED] was confronted with the fact that her teacher and two friends said she had a phone out in class. [REDACTED] continued to deny having a phone. She stated she does not own a phone and her dad’s phone is at home.

[REDACTED] was advised she was under arrest for disorderly conduct. She was told her disruption in class with the phone out, the refusal to obey the teacher, and her not telling us the truth is what got her arrested. [REDACTED] was asked again about the phone and she was also told she would be searched incident to the arrest.

— Jeffrey S. Griffin, Wauwatosa Police Department Incident Report Number 09-003386 (2009-02-11), courtesy of The Smoking Gun

Please note that in the view of School Resource Officer Jeffrey S. Griffin, disrupting class by silently sending text messages, or disobeying a teacher’s requests in the classroom and then lying about it to try and cover it up, is not a pedagogical matter; it’s a police matter, and in fact a criminal offense for which you can be forcibly detained, hauled off, arrested, and fined up to $5,000.

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