Kid Arrested For Burping at New Mexico School
I remember getting sent to see the principal when I cheated on paper in high school. Apparently, times have changed drastically. In New Mexico, a middle schooler was arrested and taken to a juvenile detention center for…wait for it…burping in class. The student’s burp during gym class must have been devastating loud because the teacher called an officer who then took the boy away for disrupting class. After being arrested, the student did what any 13 year old would do, he contacted his lawyer and is now suing his teacher, the principal, and the school cop. Surprisingly, this was not this student’s first run in with school officers and inappropriate punishments. According to lawsuit, there was a separate incident that occurred on November 8; the same boy was caught selling marijuana to other students and instead of being charged with anything, was reportedly forced to strip down to his underwear while five adults watched. Shannon Kennedy, the attorney handling this lawsuit as well as another similar one, has been crusading against the school district and police for their unwarranted use of force with children. In the other lawsuit, Kennedy’s clients (parents of a child with autism) are suing the school for unlawful arrest because one of the school officers handcuffed their 7-year-old child to a chair after he became agitated during a class.
This directly violates New Mexico law, which prohibits all school officials and officers from restraining any students under the age of 11. Recently, Kennedy has become to the go-to woman for these kinds of matters regarding school officers arresting children. Last year, she led a class action lawsuit against the district for the arrest of a young girl who, “didn’t want to sit by the stinky boy in class”. In addition to the 3 aforementioned cases, Kennedy is also working on numerous other cases involving mistreatment of Albuquerque students by school police, sheriffs, city, police, and school officials. According to a review she found of the school and the Bernalillo County records, in the last three years, 200 school children have been handcuffed and arrested for completely non-violent misdemeanors, at best. Above all, Kennedy blames the principals much more then the police. “It lands in the lap of the principal. There are good schools and bad schools. The principals … who are handling their schools properly don’t need to have children arrested. It’s ridiculous” she said. Lorenzo Garcia, a member of the school board, said he believes that these incidents are due to schools getting too wrapped up in their zero tolerance policy. He went on to say, “Really, in my opinion, this really increases the whole idea of the schools-to-prison pipeline”. Seriously, what is going on with New Mexico; kids are young, they get into shenanigans. School is place intended for education, not a fast track to jail.