When a Pennsylvania sophomore with learning disabilities could not get help from his teachers, he decided to take matters into his own hands. The boy, who was not named, had been regularly tripped, shoved, nearly burned with a cigarette lighter, and generally tormented since moving to the South Fayette School District, just 20 minutes outside Pittsburgh, PA.
According to sources,
[box type=”shadow”]”The student and his mother, Shea Love, testified before the magistrate that the boy has been repeatedly shoved and tripped at school, and that a fellow student had even attempted to burn him with a cigarette lighter. The defendant is, according to school records, a well-behaved student with no history of disciplinary action. He was, however, previously diagnosed with a comprehension delay disorder, which is a slower processing speed for information than is normal, ADHD, and an anxiety disorder. He says the bullying treatment is especially harsh and academically disruptive during his special education math class, in which students with behavioral problems are also placed. On February 11, after doing research on several anti-bullying websites, he used his school approved personal iPad to make a seven-minute audio recording of his classroom experience. He played the recording at home for his mother. Outraged, Love, a former Air Force Morse code operator, transcribed the audio before calling school administrators.”[/box]
[box type=”shadow”]”According to Love, as the teacher is heard attempting to help her son with a math problem, a student says, “You should pull his pants down!” Another student replies, “No, man. Imagine how bad that (c**t) smells! No one wants to smell that (t**t).” As the recording continues, the teacher instructs the classroom that they may only talk if it pertains to math. Shortly thereafter, a loud noise is heard on the recording, which her son explained was a book being slammed down next to him after a student pretended to hit him in the head with it. When the teacher yells, the student exclaims, “What? I was just trying to scare him!” A group of boys are heard laughing.”[/box]
The boy had been diagnosed with comprehension-delay disorder, anxiety disorder and ADHD. According to his testimony, he recorded the audio to show his mom that he “wasn’t lying” about the continuous abuse.
“I was really having things like books slammed upside my head,” he said. “I wanted it to stop. I just felt like nothing was being done.”
Angered by what she saw, she took the audio recording to the school principal, Scott Milburn. What Mr. Milburn did next is nothing short of shocking.
[box type=”shadow”]”After listening to her son’s evidence, Love eventually reported it to the South Fayette High School principal who, instead of disciplining the bullies involved, called the police to interrogate her “visibly distraught” son. When Love arrived, the principal said the student was facing felony wiretapping charges because he had made a recording in a place where there is an expectation of privacy. The officer agreed but eventually reduced the charge to disorderly conduct on the basis that the student engaged in offensive actions ‘which served no legitimate purpose.'”[/box]
Despite the abuse that the boy had to endure, he was eventually found guilty of disorderly conduct by District Judge Maureen McGraw-Desmet. This marks the first time that a bullying victim recorded abuse, and was later charged with a crime.
They plan to appeal the ruling on April 29. The bullies were never punished.