Mom puts recorder in child’s backpack to catch bullying, now faces felony charge

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by guavaball, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. guavaball

    guavaball Well-Known Member

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    So a failed school system doesn't protect her child. She takes steps to prove the bullying and now she's facing charges? Is this the message we want to bring to our children? Protect your child because the system wont and we'll come after you?


    The mother of a Norfolk student turned to television station WAVY after she was charged by police.

    “I tried to be fair, but it’s not fair,” Sarah Sims said. “There is nothing fair about this.”

    In late September, Sims said she had enough. She said her 9-year-old daughter was getting bullied at Ocean View Elementary. She said repeated calls and emails to the school went unreturned.

    “The thing that bothers me the most is that I am yet to get a response from anyone in the administration,” Sims added.

    Sims says she took actions into her own hands. She wanted to prove that nothing was being done to help her fourth-grade daughter. She put a digital recorder into her daughter’s backpack in hopes of catching audio from inside the classroom.

    “If I’m not getting an answer from you, what am I left to do?” she asked.

    The recorder was found. The 9-year-old was moved to a new classroom and, about a month later, police charged Sims.

    “I was mortified,” Sims said. “The next thing I know I’m a felon. Felony charges and a misdemeanor when I’m trying to look out for my kid. What do you do?”



    http://wishtv.com/2017/11/22/mom-pu...ck-to-catch-bullying-now-faces-felony-charge/
     
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  2. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    This is the classic one-sided story of course. The woman is free to claim anything she wants at this point but the school is legally prevented from having the right to reply.

    We don’t have any details about the bullying she says her daughter suffered and we don’t know what steps she (and her daughter) took to report it beyond the “repeated calls and emails”. I do find it hard to believe that a parent would be unable to get any response from the school or, if necessary, the school district so there are definitely gaps in the sequence of events as they’re being reported.

    Basically, I’m suggesting not jumping to any conclusions. There is clearly a legal process ongoing and the chances are investigations at the school level as a result. Why not wait at least until more independently reported details are available (of course, you’d have to seek them out because they probably won’t be reported with the same profile as the headline-grabbing accusations have been).

    Or you could just leave it at this to maintain your stereotypical image of incompetent schools and heatless prosecutors regardless of what the actual facts of the case might be. <<MOD EDIT - Rule 3 - Removed Flamebait>>
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2017
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  3. guavaball

    guavaball Well-Known Member

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    Yes I'm sure she's lying since we have absolutely no evidence of any kind she is.
     
  4. FreshAir

    FreshAir Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    remember this one

    "Student’s Recording of Teacher’s Views Leads to a Ban on Taping"

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/01/nyregion/01tape.html

    "After a public school teacher was recorded telling students they belonged in hell if they did not accept Jesus as their savior, the school board has banned taping in class without an instructor’s permission"
     
  5. mdrobster

    mdrobster Well-Known Member

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    on this issue i agree with the mom.
     
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  6. Professor Peabody

    Professor Peabody Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    If the daughter consented to being recorded, Mom's in the clear.
     
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  7. btthegreat

    btthegreat Well-Known Member

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    delete see my further research.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
  8. Antiduopolist

    Antiduopolist Well-Known Member

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    There must be more to the story; the mother wouldn't have been charged for the recording.
     
  9. Stuart Wolfe

    Stuart Wolfe Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I always tell the new teachers coming in to always act as if they're being filmed, because they very well might be. We've had kids at my own school post multiple vids on social media both inside and outside the classroom. Especially when there's a fight.

    Y'know, the funny thing is that one time I took out my cell to take a picture of a kids art and I got a score of my students whining that I was recording them (I wasn't). And it was funny because the week before I had broken up a fight and I distinctly saw two of those very kids filming the whole thing. They got real sheepish when I pointed that out to them.
     
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  10. btthegreat

    btthegreat Well-Known Member

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    Its definitely more complicated than that. here is a lot more about the details and definitions in this Tennessee statute. http://corporate.findlaw.com/law-library/intercepting-wire-and-oral-communications.html

    Your biggest problem is that the daughter is too young to give legal consent. If she did not give legal consent which 'party' of age, could have in a classroom full of 9 year olds? Momma sure as hell cannot call herself a party!
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
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  11. FreshAir

    FreshAir Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    it's a tricky one, can't mom give consent for the child
    we are a one party state too, so I can record incoming calls without notify the other party, some states are two party so you can not record scammers without telling them first

    I have often wonder about the legality of things like the ring doorbell, if it records sound and video, is it illegal - I have security cameras, but disable audio
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
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  12. btthegreat

    btthegreat Well-Known Member

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    Oh yes she will! See post #10!
     
  13. btthegreat

    btthegreat Well-Known Member

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    She is not one of the party's to the conversation under the statute. She is a mile away. See post number 10 with the link

    "
    Tennessee's invasion of privacy statute is found at T.C.A. § 39-13-601 et seq. Under that statute a person commits a criminal offense who, among other things, "ntentionally intercepts ... any wire, oral, or electronic communication..."

    Definitions

    "'Intercept' means the aural or other acquisition of the contents of any wire, electronic, or oral communication through the use of any electronic, mechanical, or other device." T.C.A. § 40-6-303(11). An "'electronic, mechanical, or other device' means any device or apparatus which can be used to intercept a wire, oral, or electronic communication other than" a telephone used in the "ordinary course of business;" or a "hearing aid ... being used to correct sub-normal hearing to not better than normal." T.C.A. § 40-6-303(9).

    If Momma recorded it. She is guilty because she is not a party. If she intercepted it after the child did so, she is guilty because she is not a party. If she encouraged the minor daughter to commit a criminal offense or made her a party to a conspiracy... its a more serious matter.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
  14. Cubed

    Cubed Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Absolutely terrible. Hopefully she gets off and can get a nice civil settlement out of this whole debacle.
     
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  15. Your Best Friend

    Your Best Friend Well-Known Member

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    So, speaking of heartless prosecutors, what part of putting a recorder in a child's backpack would justify a felony charge of any sort?
    I'm very curious what the thinking is here.
     
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  16. sawyer

    sawyer Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    What could the other side of the story possibly be?
     
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  17. Yulee

    Yulee Well-Known Member

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    So much for Make America Great Again.

    Mabye they should live feed every classroom.
     
  18. btthegreat

    btthegreat Well-Known Member

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    see posts 10 and 13.
     
  19. Stuart Wolfe

    Stuart Wolfe Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I would be DAMNED happy if that were to happen. Heck, I'd install the cameras myself if given the chance. LET the parents see what happens in our classrooms. Not only are the teachers held accountable for what we do with video evidence, so are the students. And when some idiot kid acts up, it'd be comedy gold when momma, who'd been defending her sprog as a future brain surgeon is watching them steal anything not bolted down. I've seen stuff like that before - it's amazing how quickly they shut up after watching video evidence. Heck, society as a whole might be shocked at what we deal with on a daily basis and demand some real change take place.
     
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  20. guavaball

    guavaball Well-Known Member

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    Amen. Aside from the legal questions I think some here are missing the point. Your kid is being bullied. The school will not respond to you. What alternative do you have other than to gather evidence and expose it?
     
  21. FreshAir

    FreshAir Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    and if recording is illegal.... we never will hear of these stories as all the bully has to do is deny deny deny
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
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  22. FreshAir

    FreshAir Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I think teachers would like that too, then they woudl have evidence of children that need to be removed from school because they are a threat

    win\win for both sides
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
  23. FreshAir

    FreshAir Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    she is guilty cause of bad laws that should not exist in public places in these instances
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
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  24. Aleksander Ulyanov

    Aleksander Ulyanov Well-Known Member

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    I've never understood how these laws passed muster anyway. i was always told that it was a common-law consensus that you have no reasonable expectation of privacy in a public place and/or your right to privacy ends at your front door and when you answer your telephone. If this mother cannot tape her child throughout the day then how do we get away with surveillence cameras everywhere? This needs to be ruled on as I can see no reason for these privacy laws anyway except that you are victimising someone and don't want to be caught at it. IE these are mugger's protection statutes.

    And how about having a 360 camera in your car to record accidents or possible police abuse? These laws are complete violations of our basic rights IMO.. what are they going to do next? Arrest you for having a good memory?
     
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  25. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I've no idea (and neither does anyone else posting here). As I said, I see no justification in jumping to conclusions. As reported it sounds very harsh but we don't have all the information; the fact what we're being told doesn't make sense is actually more reason to question that information. That's why we have courts, judges and juries who will hear all of the relevant information, in detail and uncoloured by media or political bias so they can hopefully reach the correct conclusion.

    Entirely hypothetically, there could be no bullying or the daughter could be the bully herself but the mother was unwilling to accept that fact. Should could have had a response from the school and be lying about it or she could have been offered contact, say a face-to-face meeting with the teacher but turned it down. It could even be something more obscure, maybe some long-running conflict with a teacher or other pupils and she wanted the recording for untoward reasons, with the bullying claim being just cover.

    It's equally possible that everything she said is entirely valid and accurate, in which case she shouldn't be seriously punished and the schools response to the bullying accusations should be urgently investigated and improved (including replacing staff if necessary). My only point is that we don't know and should assume anything either way.

    Unless it's especially serious bullying, we shouldn't hear about it regardless. Day-to-day handling of bullying at school is a private matter between the parents, children, school and wider education authorities. Systematic issues with those processes are of relevant public interest but individual cases most certainly aren't.
     

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