A South Fayette High School sophomore claims to have been bullied all year at his new school located in McDonald, Pennsylvania. In February, the student made an audio recording of one bullying incident during his special education math class. Instead of questioning the students whose voices were recorded, school administrators threatened to charge him with felony wiretapping before eventually agreeing to reduce the charge to disorderly conduct. On Wednesday, March 19, the student, whose name we have agreed to not include in this story, was found guilty of disorderly conduct by District Judge Maureen McGraw-Desmet.

Before the defendant was able to give a statement, McGraw said, “Normally, if there is — I certainly have a big problem with any kind of bullying at school. But normally, you know, I would expect a parent would let the school know about it, because it’s not tolerated. I know that, and that you guys [school administrators] would handle that, you know. To go to this extreme, you know, it was the only alternative or something like that, but you weren’t made aware of that and that was kind of what I was curious about. Because it’s not tolerated, but you need to go through — let the school handle it. And I know from experience with South Fayette School that, you know, it always is. And if there is a problem and it continues, then it is usually brought in front of me.” (emphasis added)

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.

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.

The school board’s bullying policy pledges no retribution for reporting suspected bullying. Its policy for abuse of electronic devices is disciplinary action and/or confiscation of the device pending a conference with the parent. South Fayette High School’s policy guidebook on the discipline of disabled students states, “Students with disabilities who engage in inappropriate behavior shall be disciplined in accordance with their Individualized Education Program (IEP), positive behavior support plan in place, each building’s Code of Conduct, and Board policy.”

The School’s Response:  “Could Be Charged With Felony Wiretapping”

Love says that upon fielding her complaint, Principal Scott Milburn called South Fayette Township police Lieutenant Robert Kurta to the school to interrogate her son in the presence of Associate Principal Aaron Skrbin and Dean of Students Joseph Silhanek. The defendant testified before Judge McGraw-Desmet that he was forced to play the audio for the group and then delete it. Love says by the time she arrived at the school, her son was surrounded by school officials and the police officer and was visibly distraught. She says

Principal Milburn advised her that her son was “facing felony wiretapping charges” because he made a recording in a place with an expectation of privacy, and that Officer Kurta agreed.

Milburn defended the teacher’s response to the classroom disturbance.

Kurta testified before the magistrate that Milburn requested his presence at the school on February 12 at 8:20 a.m. The officer said, “He believed he had a wiretapping incident.” Upon his arrival, Kurta said Milburn advised him that Silhanek fielded a call that morning from Love notifying him “that she planted a recording device in her son’s backpack to record the activities in one of his classes.” According to Kurta’s testimony, after Milburn consulted with the school district’s attorney, he advised reporting the incident to the police and treating it as a crime. The officer then admitted he did not hear the audio file in question or do an investigation into the recording, presumably because the student was ordered to erase it prior to his arrival at the school. Silhanek testified, “Mr. Milburn asked (the defendant) to delete it (the recording) after we heard it and (the defendant) complied.” The defendant clarified that the recording was still on his iPad when Lt. Kurta arrived at the school. He said of the recording, “Mr. Milburn told me to delete it, and I just felt, like, really pressured to do it. I didn’t want to. I just think that it wasn’t really right. Like, I’m getting prosecuted for trying to seek help…If I had known it was illegal, I wouldn’t have done it.”

Love testified, “ I didn’t believe it (the bullying) was as bad as what it was. And when I heard the recording, I flipped out. He did not want me to say anything to anybody, but I wanted to be able to say something because what I heard was not right. It was not okay.”

In his defense, the student testified as to why he made the recording. “I wanted her (Love) to understand what I went through. Like, it wasn’t like I was overexaggerating it. I wasn’t lying. It was really happening. I was really having things like books slammed upside my head. I wanted it to stop. I just felt like nothing was being done.” Love testified that she was aware of the bullying but, “I did not tell him to record. I did hear the recording. …I’ve emailed her (the special education teacher) several times on this incident with other kids.”

Kurta said, “After I left the school, I wasn’t sure what charge to file so I contacted the district attorney’s office. This would fall under a wiretapping violation, which is a felony.” He later answered as to why he thought the disorderly conduct charge applied to this case by saying, “Because his (the student’s) actions — he engaged in actions which served no legitimate purpose.” He then read the statute as, “Creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by acts which serve no legitimate purpose.”

Love’s attorney stated during the March 19 proceeding, “I’m not so sure that there wasn’t a crime committed by that evidence being destroyed. There’s no recording here that anybody’s introduced into evidence.” He continued in his closing arguments, “We’ve shown that there’s a legitimate purpose for the recording. And there’s no physically offensive or hazardous condition that was created by this recording. I don’t see how a recording of students that are bullying my client could be physically offensive or dangerous to anyone, other than potentially the people that are bullying my client.”

Disorderly conduct is defined in Pennsylvania as “the intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof” such as by engaging in “fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior, unreasonable noise, obscene language, obscene gestures,” or creating “a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.”

Convicted of Disorderly Conduct

While Love’s son was never officially charged with felony wiretapping, the magistrate pronounced him guilty of disorderly conduct. This occurred after the administrators gave the student a Saturday detention to serve and he completed it as asked.

The 15-year-old defendant, whose favorite class is Civics, plans to appeal the conviction. His next court appearance is April 29 in Pittsburgh. When asked if she was afraid of retaliation by school officials or harassment by the police, Love said, “I refuse to be threatened. I just want my son to have a chance to bloom and not fall so far behind in a totally disruptive environment.”

The school immediately removed Love’s son from the special education math class. The students whose voices were caught on tape remain enrolled.

Transcripts of the court proceedings were made by a court stenographer hired by the defense team. The school will not comment on the matter.

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Priscilla Jones

Priscilla Jones is a business writer and communications strategist based in Washington, D.C. The long arm of the government and its subsequent corruption, abuses, and self-serving bedfellows make for good old-fashioned journalistic fodder. Help the sun shine into the dark corners. Send leads to Priscilla.Jones@muckrack.com or @PatriotWriter on Twitter. Desired anonymity will be always be honored.

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  • Dave Jones

    Straight up bullshit. Keep your kids far away from “public” schools.

    • Shea Love

      He has special needs and I cannot afford a private school. This is the only HS in the district.

      • Dave Jones

        Shea, I’m for you. Don’t take my post the wrong way. Parents with special needs kids should keep them out of public schools, if possible. Kids are cruel, parents don’t seem to care. And public school officials are blind to reality. Your child is in danger every time he walks into the school building. This is why I posted the pithy comment.

      • angela

        First, this is an outrage, who cares one red cent if what your son did what against the law, which I don’t know how it could be. The big problem here is he’s not safe at school, aren’t you also suppose to have the right of being safe at school. I thought schools were responsible to provide you with that right of safety. I have never heard of such bull crap in my whole life. My daughter has had problems with bullying, but so far the public school she attends has taken care of my complaints about the issue, probably because I went to the school and told them either they take care of it or I will be on the bus and finding out who’s parents to talk to myself. Everyone says, oh bullying has been around since the beginning of time, well it’s about time to stop it. If that means I have to go to my daughter’s school and give them a piece of my mind to protect my child I will be there. Do we not see what it does to our children? School shootings and stabbings have skyrocketed because they finally get tired of putting up with junk and take justice into their own hands. If we as adults/parents say enough is enough and start punishing these bullies it would be a better place for all. I hope you sue these idiots for every dime they have. I wouldn’t give them a moments rest, just keep hounding them and get other parents involved because you know it’s happening to their kids too! We have to make this world a better place, because right now it’s going to hell in a handbasket.

      • MacGhil

        Look into online charter schools. There are several in PA. He can start the day you sign up: http://www.k12.com/participating-schools/pennsylvania#.U0g64hbLn5M

        My son was bullied, and no one was doing anything to stop it, so I pulled him out, and he started K12 online the next day. He’ll be graduating in Dec., a semester early.

      • Gwen62

        Hopefully, once you have won all the lawsuits, you will be able to place him in a private school. I sincerely hope you are able to kick their asses.

  • Richard

    Home schooling is up 75 percent the last 10 years. I wonder why.

  • Glen Snyder

    The school should be ashamed of itself for such bad behavior. The magistrate should be removed and disbarred. Seems the ‘Thin blue line” that police have enjoyed r so long has now infiltrated every governmental agency including the schools.

    • Shea Love

      They could care less. Mr. Milburn(the Principal) is a bully

  • Tim M

    Glen , Richard , Dave ,
    I completely agree with all of you.
    Absolutely appalling.
    Ms. Love should bring civil suit to All of these bastards.
    A system completely out of wack with No common sense.
    I would Own them.

    • mikeyb

      And she would have the ability to if she possessed the recording. The civil suit is likely not gonna happen cuz the little b****rds would commit purger if asked if they bullied him. maybe the teacher would refrain from committing purger but she would choose not to testify as she can be incriminated.

  • Jake Dixon

    damn… I graduated from a school in Pennsylvania a few years ago. Our highschool had a horrible problem with bullying. Our teachers were apathetic and did not care, its so disillusioning to see kids bullied in front of teachers and either have them ignore it, or in the worst cases join in on it. I don’t think parents understand how bad it is, sometimes it feels very similar to prison.

  • tarandfeatherthecrooks

    Imagine that the bullies were tormenting Obama in the Oval Office in the same way and imagine what would happen to the bullies. The press wouldn’t be quiet about it and the judge wouldn’t rule the way he/she did. This is a public place. Taxpayers pay for all of it.

  • Gregory Alan of Johnson

    Since the individual being bullied did everything possible to prove the situation, and himself was charged with a crime for doing so, there are two main options left: 1) Home School. 2) Nuke the entire city and start all over again.
    I’m beyond appalled/livid at this.

    • Shea Love

      Look at what happened yesterday in PA. We have to start recognizing and helping our children(yes this means you too, school systems)

  • josh fergen

    Something not right here. This is a public school. Video or audio taping in the public domain is permissible. The school has the authority to search lockers and ‘pat down’ or detain students. Where does this expectation of privacy come in? There was none. It is also stated the mother did notify the school multiple times. How did the judge just gloss over that?

    • Draken

      Searching lockers is more in line with en loco parentis, the legal concept that gives the school the ability to stand in as a parent normally would. A parent can search your room, and discipline you, thus a school can search your locker and discipline you. Not the best analogy mind you. I’m just trying to point out that there is more to consider when privacy of a minor is involved.

      That said, I agree that the school is wrong on this one. The problem is that because a child is evolved, and there needs to be a level of classroom decorum/control it is not as clear cut as it normally would be if two adults were involved.

      Children don’t have the same constitutional rights as adults. Well technically they do, but to a different extent or rather they are applied differently between age groups.

      Still I agree the school is wrong as applied here, however in general I agree that students should not be allowed to record things at school.

  • illuminarch

    Magistrate, cop, principal, and school staff should all be hanged. Words cannot express how furious this makes me.


      I agree that capital punishment should be applied swiftly to judge, DA, and all police involved here.

      The school admins should, fired, arrested and incarcerated for at least a month. They richly deserve the scarlet letter of a felony conviction that will keep them away from jobs at any school. Death penalty is a bit harsh. Teacher(s) involved should be fired.

  • asmith1234

    Government employees are only interested in making sure they’ve all jumped through the hoops for documentation for federal grant money. They are NOT interested in the truth of any matter. This case reminds me of one that I’d read several years ago. A woman in Florida owned a small children’s petting zoo and continually had a panther problem. She kept complaining to Fish and Game, but they blew her off and dismissed her claims that it was panther that was attacking and killing her animals. (FWIW, all across the country, this is typical behavior for Fish and Game… they would rather claim aliens landed and attacked farm animals rather than admit that the owner has a predator problem. That would go against the agenda to repopulate our rural areas with dangerous predators) Anyway, the woman got fed up with contacting Fish and Game so she put up a video camera in her barnyard and recorded the panther coming in and attacking her animals. The government’s reaction was to charge her with illegally recording wild life. Don’t remember reading the outcome, or any news about the outcome, but the reaction from this judge and school is just typical behavior for government entities when caught with their deception.

    The main goal of the school was to get that evidence erased.

    In this case, the mom would have been wise to have made several copies and also to have posted it to YouTube.

  • Tim

    The school and that judge could use some public bullying. If you live in that town, get the Principle’s name and the Judge’s name. Then, when you see them in public, harass the hell out of them in the store or on the street. Get in their space and intimidate them. Let them know that that is how that kid felt. Get them to strike you then press charges against them so that they know what it’s like to be the victim TWICE in the situation.

    The people involved in messing with that kid deserve NO LESS than what I described as justice.

    • mjhoop

      You want to bully and harass? How long do you suppose you’ll wait in jail for a trial date? Ad 20 people voted for this foolish idea….the minds boggles……

      • Tim

        Judges in our society need to be held just as accountable as anyone else when they engage in the abuse of the law. That judge honestly SHOULD be socially SHUNNED by his community and made to feel like a pariah in his neighborhood. He deserves no less than to feel social ostracism if we cannot remove him from the bench directly.

  • James Hale

    To charge the student who is being bullied for proving his case in a non-violent way while allowing the actual bullies off with a slap on the wrist is highly inappropriate. THIS is why kids go in and shoot up schools. Not saying it’s justified to shoot up schools but what other recourse is there when the adults who are charged to protect you refuse to do so and you are being assaulted on a daily basis. Common sense truly is the least common thing on the planet these days. I hope the kid wins the appeal and I hope the adult administrators contract super-herpes.

  • livefree1200cc

    There is no expectation of privacy in a public classroom so the charge would have been a lot of hot air – the family should have stood their ground

  • Daniel K. Berg

    Judges are just as corrupt as politicians. You can’t win when the perps, police, prosecutors and judges are all in cahoots with each other and none of them seem to know the meaning of justice.

  • cooperbry

    So sad that this is what school has turned into. What a shame. It’s just like the government thought, the school is only interested in preserving itself and couldn’t give a rats @$$ about the students.

  • Peter Horak

    Forget justice in USA. Rich killers go free, poor victims go to jail. Un-fucking-believable.

  • aladythespian

    “Disorderly conduct is defined in Pennsylvania as “the intent to cause
    public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk
    thereof” such as by engaging in “fighting or threatening, or in violent
    or tumultuous behavior, unreasonable noise, obscene language, obscene
    gestures,” or creating “a hazardous or physically offensive condition by
    any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.”

    Sounds to me like the boy’s mother should counter-sue. Because, by the definition above, weren’t the bullies engaging in “disorderly conduct?” It just isn’t fair that this poor boy felt he had no other recourse to prove the bullying and then he got bullied by the system. Furthermore, why didn’t the teacher bring the abuse to the attention of the principal. I used to teach at a charter school and I had three boys who were continually bullying one of my special ed students. After my attempts to stop it failed, I went straight to the principal and told her what was happening and she brought the three boys in and it stopped.

  • Bill Bradsky

    From the transcription above, it would seem that the teacher was bordering on participating in the bullying. And they have the gall to accuse him of felony wiretapping for defending himself with a recording? Obviously he needed to go to these lengths before these brain dead public employees would heed what he was saying. In my opinion, the teacher and any school administrator who participated in the further bullying of this child is guilty of child endangerment. They should all be locked up so they can no longer do harm to children.

  • Tempered Enterprises

    How can the students have an expectation of privacy from student recording them but not school administrators. Whenever the school does this stuff they say there is no expectation of privacy.

    • Draken

      I think the school is just trying to put up their best argument. I also think that the schools is wrong but that is probably why the charge was dropped.

  • Pragmatic Statistic

    By what legal authority does a school administrator have to order the student to delete evidence of bullying that can be used in court? And, how is this voice recording any different than a homeowner using a video camera to record a crime in their home such as violence against their children by a caretaker? The problem here seems to be that the teacher was recorded in the incident and that created a legal problem for the school because the teacher did nothing about the bullying she had witnessed.

    • Draken

      I for one would like to know how did they determine that there was an expectation of privacy when the event took place in a public school building? Yes there is an amount of en loco parentis that gives the school the ability to stand in as a parent normally would, but what does privacy have to do with any of that?

      So because they control who has access to the class that gives them privacy? I don’t think this would pass the reasonable expectation of privacy test set by Justice Harlan in Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967). Yeah you might get the individual expectation prong of the test, but I don’t see how a class filled with kids could pass the societal expectation prong of the test.

  • Dejahthoris

    They will do what school administrators always do. Sweep it under the rug. They never get to the bottom of anything, and they do not care about your child as an individual. All students are is statistics. And special needs kids are even less: they are liabilities.

    • Draken

      Agreed, zero tolerance leads to zero common sense…


    Any lawyer-types know what (if any) state wire-tapping statute applies here? Also, is it possible to apply criminal charges against the school administrators – color of law for threatening student? Hopefully the family will have a fat lawsuit to pursue, at least.

    It sounds to me as though this kid and family were railroaded pretty egregiously. It seems like the people being arrested should be the school P and VP, all the police involved, the DA, and the drunken judge.

    • drksilenc

      pa is a single party state. I live here and have read up on it. Also the school is a public location with no expectation of privacy so those admins are stupid.

    • Johnny Dogma

      They were in a public forum. School is NOT considered private, ask any student who has ever had their locker opened by admin. The problem here is, they got caught with egg on their face and don’t want to take the shame…. or, an admin;s kid is involved and they are protecting them. Otherwise, why erase the evidence against the special ed kid? Alarm bells are ringing, Willie,

  • Andrew

    “the student, who’s name we have agreed to not include”

    Should be: WHOSE name…

    If you want to be taken seriously, you need to get these simple rules right.

    • Matthew Foldenauer

      This article is full of grammatical and spelling errors. When every man is a journalist, you see a much lower mean reading level. When even the so-called professional journalists eschew any semblance of professional integrity or quality standard, the median becomes measurably degraded. Notwithstanding the deplorable situation described in the article, the quality of the article itself suggests that perhaps the author was a fellow student? Perhaps not special education level math, but rather english as a second language?

      • Jeffrey Wimmer

        It’s called RGL, Reading Grade Level, not mean reading level.

    • Cameron

      Copy editors have been largely replaced by automated spellcheckers, so if it’s spelled correctly, the context is never checked by a human. Automation is ruining our nation.

  • Data Schmata

    Schools refuse to help kids time and time again. One of the points of public school is to create social neuroses in the population. This can be seen in the psychological issues that come from segregated classroom dynamics.

  • Tim M

    I just came on here to check the additional comments after the one that I made yesterday. I see a very common theme here. Unbelievable. You are all as outraged as I am. mikey , you may be right , civil action May not be possible. But….assault and battery , harassment , destruction of evidence , intimidation. And all involving a MINOR ? Some action needs to be taken here. And Ms. Love SERVED FOR OUR COUNTRY ! I’m damn ready to drive over there from Illinois and help her find a solution. This is one of the most unacceptable and upsetting situations that I can recall in recent memory

    • Gwen62

      Well said. My exact sentiments.

    • Shea Love

      Thank you!
      So did his father! 14 years!

  • Mike

    This is outrageous!

  • fred

    welcome to america

  • DanielS

    We are living in an era where even a minor issue can balloon into criminal charges. As long as public schools keep playing games like this, a parent’s only option is to teach children to assert their rights (especially fourth and fifth amendment rights) when confronted by even the principal. Had the kid taken that recording to his parents rather than the principal, I can assure you the outcome would have been very, very different. Don’t trust school administrators!

  • anon

    And you wonder why kids flip out and bring guns to school

  • Gary Seven

    This reeks of special protection of school administrators and incompetent teachers. I remember when teachers used to look the other way when bullies pulled this kind of shit. School should be free from all of this. Bullies and smart asses always seem to get away with picking on kids with disabilities or non-conformists. There are good teachers/admins and bad ones. The system always protects itself from scrutiny. Where are the so-called “fair minded teachers” to defend this kid from the bullies? Perhaps they are looking the other way? I thought teachers loved their students. Perhaps they like only some of them.

  • Peter

    What a disgusting School with filthy teachers and a bag of garbage posing as a principle i hope Principal Scott Milburn does the world a favor and neutralizes himself so we don’t have to be disgusted by his existence anymore.

  • drksilenc

    its to bad those admins are idiots pa is a single party state…

    • Fed Up

      what does a single party state mean?

  • SomeNewYorker

    Boys don’t have cunts (“c**t”) and twats (“t**t”).

    • Jeffrey Wimmer

      The bullies aren’t very smart…..but they are thugs.

  • Fed Up

    I can’t wait to see this school get an overhaul after the deluge of complaints it will undoubtedly receive.

  • PSD

    If anyone should be convicted of warrant-less wiretapping it’s this kid. I dont care if the government does the same to everyone everywhere. This is crossing the line.

    • TH

      Are you for real? A minor in a Special Ed class tries to get evidence of bullying so he’s taken seriously and you want him charged with felony wiretapping?

      • qwetrty

        Ever heard of sarcasm?

        • Otterpop68

          Huh? This “sarcasm” should be obvious, but it’s not.

  • Shea Love

    This is my child. Please feel free to contact me with any questions and updates. This whole ordeal has been very painful for my son and I. I appreciate all of your thoughts -Shea Love

    • ian807

      I was a bullying victim throughout my high school career in the 70s. My heart goes out to you and your child.

      • Shea Love

        It wasn’t right then, either

    • Texsquire

      This is absolutely shameful. I am a lawyer (although not a criminal lawyer), and I just can’t see how on earth they thought they had a disorderly conduct charge, let alone a wiretapping charge! And why weren’t the bullies charged with disorderly conduct? I really hope (and would expect) that the magistrate’s ruling is overturned. I just don’t see how it could stand. The description of the event doesn’t fit the statutory definition of disorderly conduct. Once your son wins his appeal, I hope you find a vicious lawyer out there who will just absolutely take these school administrators down. How are we supposed to trust them with the care of our children for 8+ hours a day when we see incidents like these go unpunished, and worse–adulterated to turn the attention away from the failings of the school and the administrators. As a parent, my heart goes out to you. Keep up the good fight! Our children need strong advocates like you and your son!

    • Paul Van Osdol

      Shea this is Paul Van Osdol at WTAE. Can you please contact me – pvanosdol@hearst.com

    • Tim Livolsi

      Shea, my name is Tim Livolsi. I believe you know my mother, Pam. I would be more than happy to talk to your son (or even meet with him when I’m home from college) to help him if he is struggling with the adversity that he has been facing. I was in a similar situation with South Fayette several years ago, and have first-hand experience with the hateful and authoritarian administration of South Fayette. My email address is tplivols16@wabash.edu. Feel free to contact me or my mother. I hope your son is doing well.

      • Shea Love

        Hi Tim!!!!!!
        Your mother is truly remarkable and a godsend to me. You are remarkable! You have changed my life. Thank you!

    • Guest

      Just saw this on Facebook and looking for opportunity to send encouragement to this young man. There are many people who support and believe in you! I worked as a school speech therapist and would love to teach a kid like you – smart and great initiative to do the right thing and stand up to bullies. The guys in charge have done the wrong thing and let you down, but you have many, many people on your side! Hold your head up high and be strong. You have many supporters and you are in my prayers – I believe in you!

      • Shea Love

        Thank you!!!

    • The Sports Police

      Shea please contact me at garofalo.dave@gmail.com. I am interested in starting a petition to have the principal and vice-principal removed from their posts immediately.

      • Elizabeth Cary

        I too would be interested in helping getting a petition going to have the school administrators removed from their positions. They obviously don’t have the best interest of any of the children if this is how they handle that situation.

      • Shea Love
    • Paul S

      Shea – I’ve already sent an email to the board of the school district and am happy to see the outpouring of support you have received. I was an awkward kid with ADD who was picked on viciously, but I got through it and made it all the way to being a barred attorney. You’re doing the best thing for your son – loving and supporting him to help get through this horrible situation. Keep fighting the good fight!

      • Shea Love

        Thank you!

    • MagratG

      Shea, I hope this all gets resolved and that everyone shares your story, I saw this on another web page about this story and would like to share it in case anyone would like to get in touch with the people involved –

      For all it’s worth, here is a site where you leave a review for the judge.


      The number to the courthouse is (412) 221-3353.

      Principal Scott Milburn, who ordered the deletion of the audio and should be criminally charged with tampering with evidence, can be reached at (412) 221-4542 extension 265. Or email him at smilburn@southfayette.org.

      Contact the South Fayette Township Police Department, who charged the kid with disorderly conduct, at (412) 279-6911.

      There should be an investigation, charges against your son should be dropped and a full public apology made by the school. The students who were bullying your son should be dealt with, their parents should be called in as well, I think you are a very brave woman, who has taught her son well, he was being abused and he spoke up.
      My thoughts are with you and your son xxx

      • Shea Love

        Thank you!

    • Otterpop68

      I thought this story was a leftover April Fool’s joke when I saw it today. No way in heaven or hell should your son have been charged, let alone convicted. Not even here in California, where nutty decisions abound, have I ever seen anything so outrageous against a student (I’m a teacher, and have a special needs child). Please take all this support and run with it. These teachers, administrators, judges should be legally slapped. So sorry. Hope your son is reading all of these articles and is proud of himself and his mom. You are making national news.

      • Shea Love

        Thank you. He is and it is helping him re-group :)

    • Chris

      Shea, I’m with the Pittsburgh Trib and we’d like to talk to you. Email me at ctogneri@tribweb.com to let us know the best way to contact you. Thanks, Chris

    • Calliope Technicolor

      This should have been immediately thrown out upon entering a courtroom. The scope of the exact wording of the statute doesn’t even come CLOSE to covering the facts of the case as we have heard them presented. There is no excuse for this. The backlash needs to extend far beyond the school officials; the police officers involved need to be fired, and the judge needs to be removed from office.

      • Wade Tritschler

        Add the prosecutor to that list. This is an absolutely appalling situation showing a complete lack of any reasonable sense of justice on the part of whole justice system involved and school officials.

  • ian807

    Punishing the bullying victim has been the pattern of high school adminstrators since the 70s when I was in high school. It’s easier to isolate, or punish one unpopular kid than say, go after the popular athletes who may have been beating up that kid for years. Victim blaming is quick, easy and covers their asses. The victim is a disposable commodity. In a few years, he/she’s out of school and out of their life. As long as the money rolls in, they couldn’t care less.

    What that kid had done is what anybody who’s recorded a crooked cop on a highway stop has done. School, in case, nobody has noticed, is public property, much like a highway.

    The best thing that could happen is mandatory high resolution recording at all times and all places in public schools, accessible by anybody, at any time. It’s the only way to stop this crap.

    • Shea Love

      This is so true of this school. It is a very populat “football” school here in PA.
      That is all the Principal and Vice Principal care about. They have the boys will be boys attitude. Great role models gentleman, for the bullies at least.
      Guess what…you cannot bully me- Momma Bear

    • Are you a teacher?

      Having recordings accessible to all in schools would be such a terrible disaster. Please. Awful, awful idea.

      • Imnot George

        That is what police and law enforcement said of recording officers doing their duty too. Look how many crimes committed by police (when they didn’t delete the recordings) it has exposed.

  • Mitch

    The principal and those involved in prosecuting this boy deserve a sound thrashing. People must stop these buffoons from hurting children.

  • Josh

    Scott Milburn (smilburn@southfayette.org) decided to have the kid arrested, rather than help him. He is a jerk.

  • Common sense

    Government employees used their power to compel a minor to destroy evidence that could have been used in a civil or criminal case, and that’s no big deal?!

  • katon51

    If a person has been threatened, hit or harassed, it’s a criminal matter. Go to the police. Let the police speak with the principal. The school is only concerned about the school. And then, file a civil complaint against the children and their parents. Get a restraining order. All the school funds spent on anti-bully programs are simply a feel-good waste of good money. I just don’t understand why, if those boys act and speak the way recorded, they are even allowed in school. They certainly don’t listen to the teacher.

  • brenda


    • Imnot George

      Please learn to type in something other than all caps and pick up some grammar while you are at it?

  • apeon

    Should be a lawsuit in Federal Court for violation of civil rights and the law on special needs people

  • ace

    How is there “an expectation of privacy” in a PUBLIC school? (It’s a PUBLIC classroom, not a bathroom) If someone had recorded a teacher making inappropriate remarks in a church school, it’s likely the recording would be used as evidence and not erased.

  • ace

    Would this have happened if instead of a SPED student it was a popular athlete (say the star quarterback) who has just come out about his sexual preference and was now being called names, and the audio recording was made in the locker room?

  • Christopher Dobrose

    Bizaar. The magistrate had to make up a crime to charge him with. His recording clearly didn’t meet the requirements of the disorderly conduct statute. As to the wiretapping charge it is not illegal to record people in Pennsylvania if you think you will obtain evidence of a crime being committed, as his attorney alluded to. Sounds like the accused is the only one who didn’t commit a crime in this case. The principal clearly tampered with evidence by making the boy erase the recording of evidence of crimes (battery) being committed in his school. The police officer interrogated this student improperly. It doesnt sound like he was Mirandized.

    • Jeffrey Wimmer

      As a minor, the kid shouldn’t have been spoken to by the police UNTIL his mother was present. I would sue the police dept, and the district attorney, as well as the school for fostering an environment of harassment by allowing the thugs to remain enrolled in class.

      • Shea Love

        Interview and searched before I got there. Oh and forced my child to erase the audio prior to me arriving

  • Shea Love

    Our children have the right to thrive, not just survive!
    This story is about my child.
    I appreciate all your support!
    Shea Love

  • yivvie

    Somebody needs to take this to Change.org, so that a signed petition of supporters can go with Love and the appeal! This is so messed up! 1000000% serious: you should look into creating a petition.

  • Shea Love

    An enviable life is a universal aspiration that we all share whether we live with a disability or not. We all aspire to live with dignity and free from fear. We all need to have freedom and exercise choice in the small and large decisions of our daily lives. As human beings we need to be surrounded by loving people who keep us in their thoughts and in their hearts. We need to look forward with hope that we can accomplish the goals we set out to achieve!
    -Aaron Liebowitz

    • Gwen62

      Ms. Love, can you tell us if you have tried getting the ACLU involved? I feel so bad that your son has to go through this. Please let him know that he has a lot of support from all over the country.

      • Shea Love

        Aclu refused the case unless a group of people would come forward and say the same thing

        • Bullies get theirs

          Useless as tits on a boar hog, the ACLU. Something tells me if your son was a neo-nazi, ACLU would be all over this case.

  • Caitlin Abel

    If you are bullied at South Fayette and take it to the administrators, they specifically ask you for proof. My brother has been bullied up until graduation this year and no matter how much my mom and him fought the school, nothing ever happened because he has never had “physical proof”. I hope the Love’s win because I know too many students who have just given up in school because they never got help from the South Fayette Administrators.

    • Jennifer

      Same. My Brother Was Bullied A Lot There And They Never Helped.

    • Shea Love

      The vice principal said in court to be blunt he doesn’t consider what my son went through to be bullying. They have a boys will be boys attitude.

      • http://blog.waynemolina.com Wayne Molina

        With all due respect ma’am, unless the story posted here missed some details I can’t believe that the dialog mentioned is really bullying. Perhaps mean and with foul language, but bullying? I’m 31 and when I was in high school I had my fair share of people call me names, some frequently, and it was never once addressed as bullying. I even once had a kid steal my folder and draw hate speech and swastikas on it just to be a jerk, and once had a kid I knew threaten to blow up the school (and this was after Columbine). Do you know what happened to him? Nothing; we all laughed at it because nobody took it seriously – not the students and not the teachers. Compare that to the present day when a kid would be locked up for it, even when it’s so utterly ridiculous that it’s obviously in jest, because our society and schools are completely paranoid and have no balls or common sense.

        I can sympathize with what your son went through, but I wouldn’t consider it to be bullying in the slightest, just typical kids picking on someone who is “different”. That’s called being a kid.

        • nunzma

          These days we know that behavior is wrong and actually damages some kids. Folks with your attitude area a big part of the problem. Not all kids will laugh it off, and it is, in fact, bullying.

  • Edward from cali

    Speaking as a rando from california, where do i sign to get these admins/judge/popo/bullys removed/disbarred/expelled?

  • Dan Vike

    I am a school administrator and I wanted to respond to the story and a few of the comments. First, I need to preface this by saying that we don’t always get the full story in a article. However, I never allow a police officer to talk to one of my students without a parent present unless the student is 18. If this story is accurate, the district made mistakes. But it was the board attorney who advised them to file wire tapping charges. I am unsure of why the board attorney would advise the school administration to file charges against the victim instead of investigating the bullying charge. Personally, I would have first asked the victim to identify the bullies, then I would have called the aggressors’ parents to explain that I was investigating an accusation of bullying against their child. I would have played the recording to the accused and asked them what they were thinking and asked them to write an account of what happened. I am a firm believer that it is my responsibility to make sure all 2000 students are able to come to school every day without feeling stressed and anxiety because they are worried about being bullied or picked on. I wish you best of luck and hope that through all of this, the bullying will stop and your child will enjoy the rest of his school years.

    • Gwen62

      Thank you Dan. I wish we had more administrators like you.

    • Shea Love

      I am mom. I can give you the full story.

      • Chuck Thom

        No, you can’t. You can only give your side of the story.

        • Shea Love

          You are right. Call the school and get their side, then.

    • Imnot George

      Thank you for this large chunk of sanity in a seemingly crazy story. I too hope for the best for Ms. Love and her son. They didn’t ask for or deserve this as far as can be told.

  • Chris

    Please someone correct me if I am wrong here. So, in summary, a minor records a conversation to which he was a party, in a public location (I am sorry, but I don’t consider this warrant-less felony wiretapping!). A government employee, the teacher, was totally out of control of the situation in that classroom. Another administrator, in an apparent effort at a coverup, orders the minor to destroy evidence in a possible civil or criminal case before law enforcement has a chance to review it. An officer of the law interrogates the minor without the presence of the minor’s guardian and possibly not having informed him of his rights. In the absence of lawfully obtained evidence, the minor is charged with a crime that does not fit any of the facts. A sentence is handed down by a judge who has no command of the English language.

    Sounds to me that the only one who did not commit a crime was Shea Love’s child. Thank God for gubment schools. What would we ever do without them?

    • Otterpop68

      Agreed, excellent summation. How is it “wiretapping” for a wireless device?. Recording was done in a public place with dozens of witnesses to the conversation but there is an “expectation of privacy?” Principal deleted the recording so how could he prove it was ever made? The boy was convicted on officially destroyed evidence. PA is crazier than CA.

      • Chris

        “PA is crazier than CA”

        I wouldn’t have thought so but, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, I have to heartily agree.

    • Imnot George

      You got this right, but it could have happened in a private school just as easily. This has nothing to do with government or not government, private or not, just very misguided individuals doing the wrong things in a bad situation. Shea Love should have consulted a good attorney ASAP so she isn’t completely blameless either.

      • Chris

        Ok, let’s say for a moment that it could happen in a private school. I doubt it would be allowed to get that far in a private school. To be fair, while there are cliques in private school like anywhere,
        there would be none of the types of behavior exhibited in this
        classroom. So, it’s a little difficult to say with 100% certainty but,
        very near it. If I am paying for school and my children do not feel safe, I would have a greater chance at recourse. Not to mention, if a teacher is that out of control of a private school classroom, that teacher does not last long. Contracts are much different than tenure.

        I am wondering why you are giving government a free pass. Aren’t you the one who said that disorderly conduct is a “junk charge”. How exactly could the boy be charged in the absence of any evidence of a crime? I have seen no discussion that he disrupted the classroom at any time with
        the recording or when it was presented to the school administration. If the Principal ordered the recording erased, there was no evidence. At that point, the officer should have charged the principal with something also if he believed that there ever was a crime.

        That judge has no business in a courtroom. Was she a lawyer before? If she was able to pass the Bar, then the bar has been set too low. First, she should have thrown this case out because it had no merit. Not one of the government employees in authority got it right. In private enterprise/education, you cannot make mistakes like this.

        I do not know Shea Love’s financial position or her education level. Hind sight is 20-20 right? She definitely needs a good attorney now to set this straight.

        • Imnot George

          I’m not giving government a pass, but this is a human problem and probably more so a bureaucracy problem. Bureaucracy is useful and exists in both public and private sectors, but it creates problems too (bureaucracy is a human creation in all human organizations). I’m just against this “blame the government” trend because it is so mindless and stupid.

          No matter your education and financial level, there are two simple rules when you get involved with law enforcement – shut up and ask for a lawyer. Once police, prosecutors and sometimes judges get involved in charging someone with a crime and all the process that follows on, they are NOT your friend and will use anything they can to convict you (even to the point of making it up sometimes – therefore if you can categorically state, “I asked for my phone call and an attorney and said nothing else” it is some defense against misconduct) if you give them a chance.

  • Saw The Light

    This is what happens when he have a bunch of left wing rats running the school system, the victim becomes the criminal.

    • Kate Cooley

      Unfortunately, it’s got nothing to do with right-wing or left-wing. Public schools have a long and storied history of doing nothing about bullies, regardless of the administration in charge. It has nothing to do with political affiliation and everything to do with administration not wanting to have to do work.

      • yinzer

        I’m sorry but you’re wrong. Public schools (ESPECIALLY in PA) are run by the teacher’s unions. And we know what political party they’re affiliated with. I agree that the Republicans are useless and complicit with what goes on, by no means do I want to champion them, but schools are absolutely run by leftists.

        • Kate Cooley

          Unfortunately, it’s not just here in PA (yep, I’m here, too) – this is a plague all over the public school system regardless of which side has a hold of them.

        • Imnot George

          They are run by administrators and school boards just as they are here in Texas and most school districts nationwide. Teacher’s unions play a part, but don’t make this a right left thing or an anti-union rant when it is a plain injustice in almost anyone’s eyes.

      • http://rasmusen.org/ Eric Rasmusen

        You mean there actually exist school systems run by right-wingers?

  • crossdotcurve
  • yinzer

    I’m not sure who I’m more disgusted by in this story, the bullies, the school staff who tried to get felony charges hung on the victim instead of protecting him, the cop who seemingly just pulled a random charge out of a hat and stuck it on the kid, or the magistrate who is less articulate than the special ed kid. All I can say is APPEAL APPEAL APPEAL. As you can see, some of the local magistrates in PA are dumb as rocks, and somehow manage to fall into those positions because they graduated law school. Hopefully appelate judges are a little brighter. Or maybe it will go in front of a jury. No jury would have convicted that kid.

  • Kate Cooley

    I have to ask – there’s an expectation of privacy in a classroom full of students in front of a teacher? PA has some restrictive recording laws (and is one of 12 states that requires consent from all parties), but really, do they expect privacy if they’re yelling their bullying taunts in front of a teacher? The teacher should’ve (a) kicked them out of class, (b) told the principal and (c) reported it. None of this happened. It took the parents going to the principal for anything to happen. And what a surprise, they found a way to punish the victim.

    Public school has a terrible track record of dealing with bullies. They ignore it until someone’s shooting up the school or there’s a lawsuit. I hope this family sues them stupid.

    • Gwen62

      In Oregon, as a special ed assistant, we have mandatory reporting laws. I am bound by law to report incidents like this. I can barely respond to this article …. my blood is boiling! I think the ACLU needs to get involved.

      • Kate Cooley

        I can’t imagine there aren’t mandatory reporting laws where this school is involved as well. But the whole thing smells of wanting to brush it under the rug and then punishing the squeaky wheels.

        And ACLU nothing. They need a trial attorney who enjoys going to court.

      • Shea Love

        The ACLU doesn’t want to touch the case unless I can ralley a mutitude of students that have been bullied

  • Saw The Light

    Time to bring on lawsuit.

  • Is this legit?

    Why has this not been reported by any actual media source?

    • Shea Love

      It was. Channel 11

      • Hmmmm.

        Where? I sure don’t see anything.

        • Shea Love

          It’s “odd” right.
          Local news covers it and a day later it is gone from the site.
          Key word is local.
          I have it on my facebook if you want to add me.
          Shea Love

          • http://rasmusen.org/ Eric Rasmusen

            South Fayette, you’re famous now!
            You can respond in two ways: Confirm the nation’s belief in your idiocy as a town, or show that the idiots are atypical by repudiating them. (That means, punish the principal, in case “repudiate” is too big a word.)

  • Travis
  • Travis

    And here’s the phone number for Maureen McGraw-Desment, the District Justice who convicted the child:


  • Matt Stafford

    She should demand that the principal and the school officers face charges of the following.

    Aiding and abetting. The kids assaulted and battered the child. By attempting to delete the recording she tampered with valuable evidence.
    Tampering with evidence
    Obstruction of justice.

  • Shea Love

    Please do not forget Officer Bob Kurta.
    The school can call the Police.
    The officer chooses to charge or not.
    The judge knows better, or should.
    These two have the power and they abused it!

    • Bullies get theirs

      With a little luck the story will go viral. Have your ducks in a row, ready to crush the people that crapped on your son when it does. Offer up as much info as you can on the net. If you have a copy of that video from your local news you need to back it up on Youtube right now across multiple accts. Make a twitter acct.

      I’m sorry this has happened to your family. I hope you get some justice.

      • Bullies get theirs

        If you still have access to the Ipad, Miss Shea, DO NOT USE IT. Get it in the hands of a forensic computer scientists the entirety of the recording may be recoverable. But if you continue to use the machine the area on the memory / drive where that recording still exists may be overwritten.

        • Shea Love

          too late. He uses it for school daily

          • Bullies get theirs

            That’s ok. This story is about to have some legs. Be ready. You’re about to receive a flood of support – but there will be apologists for the state / authority looking into you, trying to find any handle they can to criticize and discredit you. Be strong.

    • @Mactavish

      I’m sorry, but this story seems really hoaxy to me. Can you provide any primary documentation? Copies of the court transcripts? The charge? The lack of mainstream press on such an egregious incident seems suspect.

      • Shea Love

        Not to sound rude but this is an ongoing case. If you would like to attend the appeal April 29th, your are more than welcome. I am not sending our documents to an unknown person.

        • ciphersupreme

          I honestly can’t find much information on the dockets. I would like to see both sides of this case, but it seems like so far we are only hearing yours. Do you have the link from the channel 11 coverage that you spoke about in another response?

        • Imnot George

          Once your son was charged, they aren’t “your documents” they are public documents. Though some parts may be withheld because he is a minor or it is an ongoing case, there will be documents, case numbers and perhaps testimony and evidence that can prove the veracity of this article and also your position. This would probably be a good thing to do to get more public support and pressure the authorities who mishandled this so severely.

          • Shea Love

            He is a minor and yes they are

      • Mancave Heywood

        Oh right like any of the other lack of lame stream liberal media on other topics! Most sites are still talking about that airline that went down and not how this govt is systematically destroying and selling this country out to other countries! How about the race hate crimes that have been happening to whites in this country but just end up being called something else. The lamestream only cares about getting the sheep tuned in for ratings and not actually the truth anymore. This is though a great example at how things are going down hill in this country and people should try to homeschool their children.

      • ciphersupreme

        I agree. I would like to hear both sides. Not to say that anyone is lying. I simply like to hear both sides of a story before making any judgements.

      • Shea Love
      • Padpaw22 .

        The MSM doesn’t report on a lot of things, mostly it just reports on things that make those in charge of the country look good. Might I suggest you try some alternative media to balance out what you believe from the MSM.

  • Mark Richard Jones

    At least Joe Silhanek seemed to help and he understood the situation. I am a graduate of South Fayette and I can give hours of praise for the kindness, knowledge, professionalism, and dedication of Mr. Silhanek. Skirbin, on the other hand, does not appear to use human judgment.

    Speaking of judgment, I am ashamed that my taxes are paying the salary of a positively incompetent magistrate that is unable to form a single coherent thought. I hope for her sake that she was drunk when she issued that “statement.” Otherwise, I’m not entirely sure how she is able to clothe herself.

    • Shea Love

      Unfortunately he did not help. He was the person that I placed the first call to explaining the situation. He stood with the principal and vp. He was present for the whole thing including my child’s conviction. He did have the look of misery and shame all over his face, though.

    • jerried96

      I am not from SFHS, but I am from a small school in Pennsylvania where I can say without

  • Danny C

    Are there ways to contribute to the finances of appeals? Or petitions requesting an investigation?

    • Shea Love

      At this point I am hoping the disorderly conduct conviction is overturned, April 29th. I hoping to find specialists in the area that can provide specialized tutoring and counseling for him.
      Thank you for your thoughtfulness.

      • Bullies get theirs

        Miss Love, this may be of use to you:


        This is a legal precedent set in Illinois that asserts eavesdropping / wiretapping statutes are unconstitutional. Other useful court precedents are cited within the document.

        “Defendant Annabel Melongo was charged with violations of section 14-2 of the

        Criminal Code of 1961 (720 ILCS 5/14-2 (West 2008)), which defines the offense of

        eavesdropping. The circuit court of Cook County found the statute unconstitutional.

        Thus, appeal lies directly to this court. Ill. S. Ct. R. 302 (eff. Oct. 4, 2011).”

        • Shea Love

          They didn’t charge him with the wire tapping. They said they did us a “favor” a dropped it to disorderly conduct. He was convicted on that charge.

          • Bullies get theirs

            While I understand that legally, this is a very important distinction…Ethically? A distinction without difference. They used the mechanisms of authority to institutionalize victim blaming and intimidate your son. They did you a favor like a mugger does you a favor by not stabbing you after he’s taken your belongings. Screw these people. For what it’s worth I apologize for the irrelevancy of the precedent I’ve linked.

          • Imnot George

            Wiretapping implies a “wire” or phone (at least cell phone) or in the case of PA a “conversation”. I wouldn’t say a classroom bullying situation (a crime in many cases) is a “conversation”, but only PA courts would be able to say definitively. I would definitively say that wasn’t the intent of the law (to protect abuse) and they did you no favors.

            Disorderly conduct is a junk charge when they have nothing specific and I doubt it fits the situation either.

            I would hope you would have grounds for a great big civil suit and the principle, teacher, police officer and magistrate would be subject to disciplinary review.

          • Scare Crow

            How nice of them. Of course now you realize, they weren’t doing you a favor, but rather themselves, in expediting this little “problem” going away. They terrorized you with a charge they couldn’t prove only to silence you with a charge the magistrate barely needed them to prove.

            You were scammed, in a nutshell.

            I would surmise that one of your child’s tormentors was related to a person of authority or standing in your community.

      • Dnihebmorf

        Shea, good luck on 4/29… I don’t see any reason your son should be charged with disorderly, let alone convicted of it, esp when the bullies got off with nothing. Talk about blame the victim mentalities. Schools try to cover up stuff like this all the time. Shame on them!

      • jbird669

        This is frickin’ horrible on so many levels. I hope that this is overturned and that you are able to sue the school, if you so wish and have a case, for this asinine and totally reprehensible situation.

    • Nick.H

      A Change.org petition supporting Christian and Ms. Love has been created. Please take a moment and sign.


  • Solaire of Astora

    Administration Building
    3680 Old Oakdale Road
    McDonald, PA 15057-3544
    412-221-4542, Ext. 411
    Fax: 724-693-2883

  • http://blog.waynemolina.com Wayne Molina

    Stupid, but then again this country has become increasingly wimpy in regards to so-called “bullying” – in my day if somebody called you names you didn’t go crying and “tell teacher” like a kindergartener.

    That said though, trying to charge the kid with wiretapping for recording people being mean to him is just as stupid.

    • Tech Law

      In “your day” were women allowed to vote? In “your day” were there separate water fountains for the “colored?”

      Some behavior which might have been acceptable in the past isn’t accepted now – and for good reason.

      The hope is that society will make better decisions based on the lessons from the past. That doesn’t mean that they always get it right – but bullying is not acceptable behavior – somebody being bullied is not “crying” or acting like a “kindergartener” because they have the cojones to do what is right. Faulting a reasonable approach to bullying only serves to legitimize the bullies’ actions and re-victimize the victims.

      The “kindergartener” solution is to respond in-kind; It is much much easier to just pick up a stick and beat the tar out of those bullies than it is to report it to a teacher.

    • Mayne Wolina

      I will shit in your mouth in your day.

    • Andrew

      It’s a level beyond being mean. It’s verbal abuse and it’s bullying.

  • Constance Chapman

    PULL YOUR KIDS OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • roblimo

    You should not call him “the 15-year-old defendant,” when “the 15 year old victim” is a more apt description. I live a good ways away, and have a heavy work schedule, but this summer I might be able to come to Pennsylvania, see how I can help.

  • Robert Bradshaw

    Until such time as someone pursues this to the Supreme Court, this protect the thug attitude will continue. Honoring the bully has ancient precedent. The “Divine Right of Kings” was institutionalized honoring the thug.

  • Godweiser

    The principal was covering for the kids doing the bullying. That’s the bottom line as to why that recording was deleted after he heard it.

  • http://rasmusen.org/ Eric Rasmusen

    Post those court transcripts on the web! Also, the mom’s transcript.

    The deletion of the recording was clearly destruction of evidence, wasn’t it? It could have cleared the boy of the disorderly conduct charge. Someone should ask the prosecutor, now and when he’s up for re-election, why he didn’t charge the principal.

  • Tech Law

    FYI: This story has made it to Techdirt (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140411/16314926883/bullied-student-records-bullies-gets-threatened-with-felony-charges-violating-wiretapping-law.shtml)

    As has been pointed out by others the “wiretap” threat was mis-placed. Although Pennsylvania has fairly strict recording laws which require “consent of all parties” to a conversation, it also states “that such communication is not subject to interception under circumstances justifying such expectation.” In other words, if some bullies are taunting a kid in front of a classroom of other kids as well as a teacher, there is no expectation of that conversation being private. For a district attorney to suggest otherwise is pitiful.

    It appears – based on available info – that the school administration realized:

    (1) the teacher of that class had no control over the classroom or students;
    (2) the bullies were engaging in behavior that was likely criminal (not to mention the case for a civil suit);

    (3) the fact that the teacher was allowing (or was unable to prevent) these criminal acts make the school (and possibly the entire district) liable; and

    (4) they had the recording deleted as their attempt at damage control.

    Some comments indicated that this is a “football school” – is it safe to assume that the bullies are involved in the football program? If so, just another reason for the school to attempt to sweep this under the rug (and more fodder for a civil suit against the school itself).

    The fact that you transcribed the recording should help considerably. It will be interesting to see if the school administrators who heard the recording will admit that the transcript is an “accurate and truthful representation” or not.

    I hope that you are already talking to a competent (and ethical) lawyer who will handle this either pro-bono or take it on contingency (to include paying out of pocket costs).

    It is great that your son – and you – both are doing what it takes to do the right thing. Hopefully the school, the administrators, the judge, and the community will learn a valuable lesson from this – certainly better than any lesson being taught in that math class.

    Best of luck!

  • archer52

    If the principal said that, he’s an idiot and probably doing CYA as Tech Law has pointed out. If I had been the mom, I would have said, “copies are everywhere, let’s go to court and talk about it in an open setting…on the record.” That principal would have sh*t!

    As for the police talking with a student without the mother being present, when he’s the victim that is frankly unheard of in good departments. He’s seventeen though, if he wants he could talk to me as a detective and many have, I would not stop him. If the complaint is he’s mentally handicapped and the mothers is the complainant, in this day and age, I’d be just dumber than a bag of hammers to talk to him without her present.

    Wire tapping….it actually hurts my head a little…. . But it does show the arrogance public school officials have. They think they are smart, in charge and important.

    Grown ups who, when kids, had their lunches taken.

  • Padpaw22 .

    Guilty until proven innocent from the judge, I am the law and therefore I can do no wrong from the cop, and the mentality to cover up any wrongdoing from the school administrators by blaming the victim from the school.
    If this was just 1 instance I could write this off, but this is one of thousands of similar cases scattered across your country. Something is seriously wrong with America. Until people get up off their asses and fights against this corruption its going to happen to everyone that thinks “this can never happen to me:

  • Rekrul

    She should have posted the recording online. I’m sure the school would have enjoyed all the attention it would receive from allowing bullying to occur and harassing the victim. Then she should sue the school.

  • Don Nichols

    Amazing!…..This school and its teachers and administrators are disgusting. How do you look in the mirror and think you are an “educator”…..? IDIOTS!!!!

  • Jeffersonian

    Taping a class and a teacher is now “Federal WireTapping”? People need to fight back every time stupid shit like this pops up! This is pathetic! Who’s next? A college kid that records his professor?

  • fjodor

    wtf is wrong with people???
    The principal need to removed from his job, he’s clearly not fit for the job as he should be attending special ed. classes himself together with the rest of the sorry excuse of a “justice” system.

  • Sachi Crow

    The school should gain a proper education in “Felony Wire Tapping” before tossing around such ignorance. Katz v. United States is an actual example of illegal wire tapping. There is no such law protecting privacy in public places and those Fourth Amendment cases have been unsuccessfully battled in court; ie when you are in public anything can be legally recorded without prior consent. Also worth noting is that the minor was not acting as an informant and/or agent of the law!

  • Donald Higdon

    If this was a “crime”, the authorities who demanded that the boy delete the recording are guilty of destroying evidence.

    • Sykobee

      I never get why in these cases the recordings aren’t backed up at home, online, etc, before they present it in a situation where it could be deleted by someone with more power.

      • mjhoop

        Maybe because this young man is in a remedial situation? And perhaps because the mom isn’t used to dealing with such situations, or with bullying school and legal authorities? And neither of them thought the school authorities would act as they did?

        Most of us expect fairness in life and it usually doesn’t occur to us that we would be treated so badly. I recall auto dealer repair shop, heating/AC installation, plumber, etc…..I never expected such dishonesty…… but there we are, surprised by life at every turn……..

  • Donald Higdon

    In my state, a minor cannot be interrogated without a parent or guardian present.

  • Rose Ingram

    That’s the way schools are now..Bullying is supposed to be an offense but now most often, the bullies get away with anything and the victim is penalized for reporting them….and they wonder why there are so many violent reactions from kids that are being bullied..They have no recourse since there is no one to turn to for help..

    • Leif Burrow

      This is how schools were 20 years ago too.

  • s_c_f

    Fire the judge. The judge is completely and totally incompetent.

  • zydecofan

    This is shameful. Here’s hoping this case gets picked up by a good lawyer and that the school district pays. If there was ever a wrong result, this is it.

  • Mej Johnston

    The parents need to file suit against the school dist. for allowing ABUSE TO A MENTALLY HANDICAPPED CHILD, CHILD ABUSE, AND NEGLECT!! You also need to press charges against the bully’s and their Parents for the same thing. If the acting Judge doesn’t do their job along with this they can also be brought up on charges and sued as well!

  • Luke barrass

    Fire that all these people the principle the teachers and the judge Maureen McGraw-Desmet should be fired. I’m European so I can’t do any thing on this end but surely in America you folks there should be pounding at the doors of these horrible people in authority.

    • mjhoop

      Not. It’s easier to complain and fuss on a comment thread than actually get off the sofa and sign a petition or write a letter to the right people or complain to someone with the power to change things. And many people have little but illegal consequences to wish on the people in the wrong. There are days I wish I were European in fact as well as in my heart.

  • nicewolf64

    i want to know who the bully is related to. schools wonder what pushes good kids to bring guns to school, i give you exhibit A.

  • Peter

    If I was that kid, I would take a sword to school and start slashing people. Or a gun would do the job.

    • shayneo

      Whilst you might be joking, its actually exactly what causes school shooting tragedies. Some poor kid being bullied systematically over time and his attempts at getting adult help are rebuffed or even worse used against him until eventually the poor kid feels so cornered that the only thing he can think of is to try and retaliate in the most epic way possible, with a gun. Teenagers aren’t fully developed cognitively in regards to moral reasoning (even the best behaved teenagers act morally more out of fear of consequences than a general sense of right and wrong) yet, and often have innapropriate reactions to fear (which is why psychologists now think teenage criminals shouldn’t be in prison at all, but instead in teenager focused facilities that specialize in behavior correction) .

      When kids go berk with guns and shoot their classrooms, I really do believe the ones we must blame are the adults who created a situation where a poor messed up teenager thinks violence is the only option left. One example where violence might be the only option left is this poor teenager who has been thoroughly penalized for trying to bring his bullying to adults attention.

    • Hans Stuk

      I would delete your comment as making this sort of threat will land you in prison.

  • Sykobee

    Clearly this school is badly run and has hired ineffective teachers who cannot keep control of a classroom, and don’t recognise bullying behaviour. Pretty much all the staff involved should be fired immediately and should never work in the profession again. Supporting bullying is a disgusting place for a school to be in, and goes against all good teaching practices. The state should also ban the school from taking part in inter-school sports activities for a couple of years as a punishment. The school should exclude the bullies. Or maybe the next bullied pupil will do something more than make a recording, resulting in another Michael Moore film, and nobody wants that.

    • Anne Karakash

      Sykobee, Teachers have been stripped of all the tools they might use to control the classroom. When dealing with disruptive kids, a teacher can no longer can’t raise his/her voice, send the kid out of the room, keep them after class, give them a chore, or anything else that might have an impact. The days of corporal punishment are long behind us. The only thing that a teacher can do is call the parents (who often don’t care) or refer the student to the administration. An administrator might suspend the kid, but usually with a guilt trip on the teacher for “depriving the child of an education.”

      The system is broken and I don’t think teachers can be blamed. It would be like sending soldiers into a battle armed with water guns. You can’t blame them when that is ineffective. The whole system needs to be overhauled.

      The people who need to be held responsible in this particular situation, in my opinion, are the administrators who wanted to squelch the story by threatening the victim instead of solving the real problem – the bullies.

      • mjhoop


      • mjhoop


  • Ricemanstm

    And this is why I advocate dealing with bullies the old fashion way…
    Enough of this touchy feely talking garbage. Teach your children to stand up for themselves. You’re supposed to teach your children to be ready for the world. Because in the real world…bullies pray on the touchy feely crowd.

    • Peter

      I agree. You should take a gun to school, and shoot the crap out of them.

      • Ricemanstm

        Don’t be a liberal hyperbole jackass. A simple beat down would suffice.

        • Peter

          My point being that the system should protect kids, not breed more kids that will gun down the entire school. Put yourself in his shoes, you might be smaller than all the other kids, you are in a special needs class, diagnosed with comprehension delay disorder, ADHD, and an anxiety disorder.

          • Ricemanstm

            The system is broken, as is clearly shown by this story. The system over reacts, too often, in the wrong direction. I apologize for insulting you…a knee jerk reaction on my part..

        • ZachE

          For which this kid would then be charged with assault, presumably.

          • Ricemanstm

            Probably. It’s because we abdicated control to the touchy feely crowd. But I will always stand by kids. I’ve taught them to never start a fight…only to finish it.

        • Ricemanstm licks taint

          School systems crack down harder on people who stand up to their bullies than anyone else. Which rock have you been living under

          • Ricemanstm

            I’d be okay with that because I can almost guarantee that bully would never pick on my son or daughter again. And when others hear that the “bully” got beat…I don’t think he’s going to be able to bully other kids again. Besides, who says the it has happen on school grounds? Fights can happen after school.

        • Demosthenez

          Or a not so simple beat down :)

          • Ricemanstm

            I’m teaching my kids to never…NEVER…start a fight…only to finish one.

        • Beatrix Muircastle

          I tried that whem I was in school. I stood up with my fist. unfortuntly her fist was stronger and faster. she beat the crap out of me on the way home. then she made me go in one direction to leave. I went a few feet and she came after me again and beat me down. then let me go the other direction and beat me again. she had a large crowd of kids encoraging her to beat me more. it was about an hour and me biting her arm until they finally had enough of me getting beat to hell. they finally let me leave. kids don’t play by hollywood rules. if you stand up and punch your bully they will not run off crying like babies, they will not respect you, they will kick the crap out of you and their friends with egg them on because they were evil little monsters that get off on the blood. like gladiater games when a man is dropped in an arena unarmed with an oponent wearing armor and weilding a sword. you got the fat well fed noble turning down their thumbs. thats what it looks like when you punch your bully.

          • Ricemanstm

            I’m sorry you weren’t taught how to street fight properly. I’ll give you a hint…there’s no such thing as a “fair” fight. You fight however you need to. And even if you do lose…make it a painful victory. There’s nothing wrong with losing. I’ve gotten my tail handed to me several a few times, however the other person didn’t walk away clean. I’ve never had to fight the same person twice.

          • Beatrix Muircastle

            whatever, its not about fighting. we are a civilized society. at least we should be. our children should not be little asshats running amok beating up people who displease them. thats why we have those jerk ass teens that video tape themselves clocking a person cold, or we get asshat kids that torment Christian and kids like him. violence is not the answer. should we learn self defence? hell yeah! should we have to use it? hell no. people need to teach their and their students not to be fecking douchebags.

          • Ricemanstm

            We have bullies because they know that chances are no one will stand up to them. I teach my kids one thing…never to start a fight…only to finish it. Because there comes a time when talking doesn’t work. Kind of like with Obama trying to talk with Putin. Putin doesn’t want to talk. Welcome to the world.

          • Beatrix Muircastle

            we have bullies because no one will punish them. If a school teacher stood up and say to our bullies “you don’t talk that way, you don’t act that way. it NOT ok.” and then punish the kid. not by haveing students line up and punch him either but detention, extra homework, community service, or expulsion if its really bad.
            Bullies thrive because they were once picked on (generally, some are just asshats) and they see that no one stoped their bully so they become the bully. (again, generally some people never become bullies) and they feel more secure but they have to be willing to take down any one that oposes them especaily their victims.
            Its not always violence sometimes its lies, rumors, names, peer pressure, humilation, oppresion, sexual harassment. There are a million ways to bully and a teacher should reconize it when they see it and not let it happen just because they are not fans of the victim.
            And I have seen that.. I seen bully teachers too. They watch the kid carefully for anything they can jump on… a particular quirk, an expression on their face, a percieved challenge to their authrority, they belittle the kid, they demeen, they yell, the kid never does anything right, they punish the kid for things they ignore in other students, they paint the kid to the parent as it being the kids fault, like they tried to help but the kid just doesn’t want too suceed. so the parents punish the kid at home. bullies happen because society allows them.
            Thats why we have Putin, thats why we have police brutality and racial profiling and that damned blue wall that allows cops to get away with abuses like kicking people in the head while seated and handcuffed. or that new trend of handcuffed people who manged to shoot themselves in the back of patrol cars, with a gun they mysteriously manged to hide during pat down but sources say they never had in the first place. the blue wall protects officers from being investigated just like the teacher wall protects high school bullies. Should we stand up to them? yes… but if its just the victim standing they won’t be standing long.
            You teach your kid to finish a fight, yeah thats pretty bad ass an’ all but I teach my kid not to be a bystander. If she sees a bully she will do something.

          • Beatrix Muircastle

            sorry about my double post. I’m still getting used to this forum. I couldn’t find my earler reply and thought it had been deleted.

          • Propagator

            You see, bullies sees their victims as insects. People don’t expect insects to fight back. Which is why they will be VERY pissed off when someone does. Trust me, a “painful victory” will not scare them. They will come back with greater force, to teach the insect their proper place. And they always have the greater number. “Proper street fighting” means nothing when you face a dozen angry men. Oh, there’s also the strong probability of being arrested for assault.

          • Beatrix Muircastle

            we have bullies because teacher can’t or won’t punish them.
            They are taught they can torment so they do. Kids only can work with what they learn.
            Bystanders whatch the teacher ignore it so they ignore it. they are taught and conditioned to put their compassion and belifes on the shelf and look the other way when somekid gets bullied.
            you teach your kid to end a fight, thats fine. But I teach my kid to speak up and not be a bystander even if it makes her a target. My kid has a bully and she deals with it, she knows how to fix it to because we go to the mom. the mom deals with it. that kid will one day learn that bullying is wrong and she maynever fall in that crowd of idiot girls that put someone else’s child in the hospital over anything. It could be a stupid reason to bully like the victim failing socal ettiqute or or what ever it is that those kids think Amanda Todd did. The point is my daughters bullies are learning that its not acceptable and there are consiquences. Otherwise they are good kids. They are like anyother kids. they have feelings, they have their own bullies, they have fears, they have needs, they just have a mean streak in them that allows them to think spreading malicious lies about my kid or singing songs about her clothes is ok, playing games that allow them to tackle my kid to the ground and cause her physical pain is just fine as long as they can lie about it. they will one day learn that can’t happen because the moms are watching.
            If they were in this school however it apears their bully sides would be fostered.

  • Concerned Citizen

    I would argue that as the receiver of the “conversation” he had all the right in the world to record it. Granted this is from NY but wiretapping usually refers to intercepting communication you are not directly a part of.
    Law: N.Y. Penal Law § 250.05
    The court held that the recordings were not “illegal eavesdropping”
    under the New York statute because the conversations were recorded by
    the father “as either the sender or receiver of these communications.” (In the Matter of Harry R. v. Esther R., 510 N.Y.S.2d 792 (N.Y. Fam. Ct. 1986).)

  • A I

    OMG, the wiretap laws are stupid in that state… Ok, you know that scene in movies where the kidnappers call and they say don’t contact the police or we’ll kill the hostage. Well it’s illegal to record that. Cops would be like, “Did you get a recording of the first message? It might be the only way to save your daughter/son/dog.” and the concerned parents say “Yes, but we followed the law, and erased it.” It’s illegal to have a voice answering machine in Penn.

    • rpitera

      OK, I’ll agree the laws are stupid and arcane, but it’s not illegal to have a voice answering machine in PA and suggest so is just plain ridiculous. It’s a 2 party consent state and if you call someone in PA with an answering machine, consent is implied once you leave a message.

    • Wade Tritschler

      It doesn’t matter. Even though they have a 2 party consent wiretapping law, in this case it has no place. Public schools are PUBLIC and thus do not have that protection as there is no expectation of privacy. There is already case law proving exactly that in the state.

  • voxullus

    A country that is in itself a bully nation, I expect nothing less than bullies being protected by that nation.

    • CKM

      Really? A bully nation? You really want to open the political floodgates with an idiotic comment like that?

      • voxullus

        I’d love to see how people would bend over backwards to retort with a political argument against a fairly clear and correct statement, especially when it’s not a political, but rather a mentality problem. That would be extraordinarily funny.

        • CKM

          Are you saying a “bullying nation” as in a nation of bullies or a bully of a nation? I can ashe worn the former but not the latter.

          • voxullus

            You could interpret it on various levels and it would hold up. It all boils down to mentality. The US as a country is a bully, but groups and individuals within the US are rewarded for being bullies as well. This is largely due to the misconceptions that being loud means being right and that leverage is fairness.
            You breed complacency and bully tactics in your “culture” (or lack of it).

          • CKM

            I take it that you are not from the USA. That would explain your anti Americanism. You have your jealous and biased opinion. So there would be no arguing with you.

          • voxullus

            “I take it that you are not from the USA.”
            This, of course, is a non-argument. You can clearly read a comment from a fellow countryman of yours in this thread which also acknowledges the fact that you are a “culture” of bullies. So this, in fact explains nothing in reality. It only makes for a convenient cop-out fallacy you can tote in order to refrain from making a topical counter argument.
            If you’d actually try and argue, instead of being fallacious and facetious, you could have quite a balanced argument with me.
            I suggest you refrain from making baseless assumption about my person and my feelings regarding anything I do not specify and try and make a proper counter argument.

          • CKM

            And yet you still did not answer.

          • voxullus

            “And yet you still did not answer.”
            Naturally. An answer requires a question. If you examine your comment you will find that it consists of various assumptions but not a question. You can determine question by a specific symbol called a “question mark”.
            I’m sure that if you meant to form a question, perhaps whether or not I was American, I have showed this to be completely irrelevant anyway.

          • CKM

            I know that the only thing you are doing is being condescending. You are doing nothing but trying to illicit a response.
            You are simply trying to start an argument.
            You know precisely what my comment meant. If you were an American, you would have stated as such.
            If you are not, arguing with you about the goings on in my country is a ways effort, because you are completely ignorant to what is going on and as such should not even be responding to this thread.

          • voxullus

            I think you know that anybody who reads this back will possibly come to a more nuanced or even different conclusion.
            I think I have been very civil in light of your random silly assumptions and ad hominems remarks.
            If you feel I haven’t, it’s probably because you choose to feel like that out of lazy convenience, not because you have something relevant to say or perhaps that you could actually be bothered to make a valid point.

            I do have to applaud you that, despite your nature, you haven’t resorted to blatantly obvious bullying tactics.

          • mjhoop

            To me THIS looks like an answer to CKM’s question:

            “You could interpret it on various levels and it would hold up. It all boils down to mentality. The US as a country is a bully, but groups and individuals within the US are rewarded for being bullies as well. This is largely due to the misconceptions that being loud means being right and that leverage is fairness.
            You breed complacency and bully tactics in your “culture” (or lack of it).’

          • mjhoop

            So? Anti-Americanism? LOL
            Jealous? Biased? LOL
            Absolutely, it’s a waste of time arguing, but CKM can’t even discuss without getting his knickers in a knot.

            voxullus, thanks for your points, though they are rejected/ignored by CKM, who seems to have a burr under his saddle about the USa being a bully-nation and about learning something new.
            But we must remember that most Americans are illiterate about history and also about what happens in the rest of the world, especially since our press is controlled by “conservatives” who practice mainlyyellow journalism and jingoism. The canard that the press is liberal is one sign of the ignorance of the average Jane and Joe

            Our typical schools seem pathetic compared to those of a number of other nations. And our people have been brainwashed to think the US is “exceptional,” meaning special. Many forget that all people are pretty much alike under the skin, no matter where they live on the globe. The same worries, envies, jealousies, fears, etc……. and we are subject to the same kinds of political chicanery……

      • JoeSixpaq

        We have the largest military in the world, by a HUGE margin, and we use it. What part of that do you not understand?

      • A Canadian

        Actually, being a Canadian, I’d have to agree. If WWIII broke out, considering the power of the UK and US, they’d rather have our peaceful reputation be ruined and make us join the fight. And we would have no choice but to follow suit (imagine what would happen if we refused).

        That is, according to the assumption that Canadians don’t want to go to war, and would rather be the resources nation again, with refugees this time.

        • Imnot George

          Nah, we’d all just be smoking ruins because the nukes would come out quickly. You wouldn’t have to worry about fighting.

  • pjsx

    The officer in question should be arrested for coercing the destruction of evidence. And if he isn’t, the DA should be fired for not pressing charges.

    • Demosthenez

      The officer in question should be fired…off the top of the tallest building in town.

      • Beatrix Muircastle

        earlier I voted for catapult in to pile of dung.


        The principal should be fired…out of a cannon into the sun
        Futurama reference

  • illumined

    Punishing the innocent, protecting the guilty. That’s what school administrations are all about. They are the real reason Columbines happen.

  • SecularVoice

    The school administrators need to be fired. This is absolutely appalling.

  • mike
  • nerdken

    I guess it’s not an coincidence that there’s an add to win an AR-15 on the same page as a bullying article.

    • Kyle Harris

      I noticed that too while I was reading…terrible ad placement…

  • Anne Karakash

    This is an outrage! This student (and the teacher too, it seems) are being bullied by these miscreants and the response is to further victimize the victim.

    You know what is really going on here? The school is trying to cover their backside so that the video doesn’t get out and show just exactly how bad things are. In my opinion this is why the principal threatened the student with felony wiretapping. That principal should be ashamed of himself for protecting himself instead of the children in his charge. As a teacher myself, I would be horrified to be working in such conditions of disrespect and lack of support – where students around me were being bullied and no one could do anything about it.

    The school is trying to cover this up instead of solve it. It’s unforgivable and that principal should be held accountable.

    • Beatrix Muircastle

      he should be ashamed. If I was a teacher in that school thouse little jerks would have learned from day one. I’ll make them stand in the corner like a little kid. No one would get away with bullying on my watch. if a kid came to me with a recording of his bullies the first thing out of my mouth would be “where are they?”

    • mjhoop

      Teachers are getting used to being bullied….in Wisconsin, for example.
      They are blamed for all the faults of the system while the administrators stand back and let it happen. In a grim sort of way, it rather reminds me of Germany before WWII.

  • C.Turner

    Interesting. Teachers when I was young and in school advocated that we use technology and tape recorders in conjunction with note taking in the classroom. So per this absurdity teachers have been advocating the students break the law for years, or maybe it is useful as a precedent that a classroom is not a place where one could organically have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

    • jondoe

      when a teacher gives permission to record, it no longer is wiretapping.

  • TonyXL

    Shouldn’t he have been tried by a jury?

    • The J

      If I’ve read the other postings correctly, that would have been the next step after the magistrate judge since he was charged with disorderly conduct. If he would have been charged with wiretapping, as the principal and police stated that the child could have been, THEN it would have gone to a criminal court where the district attorney would have reviewed the case prior to court appearance. That’s how I’m understanding the posts. I also understand the school district and the local police could have saved themselves a lot of embarassment if they would have run this by the district attorney prior to pursuing the case. I don’t understand why they were motivated to pursue the case the way they did.

  • twobuck40

    Scott Milburn = ASSHOLE

  • Demosthenez

    Worthless idiot cops, these morons just made sure this poor kid gets bullied for life. The dumb cop that bullied this poor kid should be hung by his thumbs from a light post in the middle of town as a reminder to all corrupt cops.

  • The J

    The police and school felt there’s no expectation of privacy in the classroom, yet they fully expected a 15 year old special ed student to understand his Miranda Rights?

    • mjhoop

      I wondered why they were allowed to get away with questioning him before a parent was present. Seems like all the law-breaking was done by the school, police, and judge.

      • Tender Heart

        Yes that was my first thought as well. There is no way that I would be okay with police interrogation of my under age son without my presence. I think the boy was smart to record the bullying. He did not post it on the internet, he simply shared it with his mother. She should have contacted an attorney with the evidence and not the school. (I realize hindsight is always 20/20) A private attorney in her corner would have properly advised her. The second thing I would have done is requested a transfer from the school district stating that I had evidence of school bullying and was working with an attorney. If the teen doesn’t want to change schools again, the school counselor should be the one working with him. Often times the principals are not very engaging in help of this sort. A counselor could guide the teen in working through the situations to possibly improve them if he wanted to stay. He might also benefit from online school, which is a free charter school where we live. Maybe taking the rest of the year off, using an online program would benefit him, help him recover from the ordeal! Best wishes to the teen and mother for their appeal!!

      • Beatrix Muircastle

        I think they took the “in loco parentes” thing and abused it. The school can basicly make a kid do anything.

  • Suzanna M

    These people are scum. Bullying needs stricter punishment.

  • The J

    My next question is whether misrepresenting things when filing police reports is acceptable, as according to testimony, “Kurta said Milburn advised him that Silhanek fielded a call that morning
    from Love notifying him ‘that she planted a recording device in her
    son’s backpack to record the activities in one of his classes.'” She planted a recording device? An IPAD as a planted device in a backpack??? All anyone has presented is that there was a 7 minute video – if a recording device had been “planted” there would have been more than 7 minutes of video to watch

    • Imnot George

      No, but it may have been unintentional (though possible intentional and if so it may be a crime too).

      • pat

        Don’t talk stupid!

    • born2l8

      It can’t be considered ‘planted’ it’s a device that the school has given him to use IN school. In a sense THEY planted it! I’m so stunned by this report.

  • john smith

    Fire the teacher who can’t keep control over the class, fire that judge for obvious reasons, fire the police officer for obvious reason, fire the attorney for being totally worthless, fire the school officials.

    • SarahJesness

      Eh, I don’t know about jumping on the teacher just yet. A lot of teachers are given little to no power to discipline students. I know that sounds like I’m making excuses for the teacher, but that is a major thing in schools. Administrators don’t want to deal with bullying issues or the parents of accused bullies, so they don’t let the teachers do anything.

      • Beatrix Muircastle

        its pretty much shown the school admin doesn’t care, they forced the victim to deleate the evidence and tried to have him arrested for wire tapping even though we was allowed to record the class. So its possible that teacher has no authority or is simply picking up on the principals attitude. but there is still things she can do like tell them off for the sexual harassment and the book slamming. the kids should never have gotten to the point where they think trying to scare a person is a valid excuse. every teacher I had would have punished that in a heartbeat even the bully ones. even if they didn’t care about the kid they don’t stand for disrespect.

        • SarahJesness

          Eh, I once had a teacher who wanted to do something about a guy picking on me, but couldn’t. She had no power and he knew it. She could yell at him until her throat was sore and he wouldn’t care, because he knew there were no real consequences. The closest she could get to punishing him was pretending not to see or hear anything when I started treating the guy like crap in retaliation.

          • Beatrix Muircastle

            why would a teacher have no power to punish? who stripped her of that power? teachers need control in the class because of disruptions like that.
            your teacher probably secretly smiled when you retaliated. mine might have.

  • Pebcak

    Interesting that this article is on the same page as an ad about winning an AR-15.

    • wiier9l
      • Carl Barjer

        Then stop lying, pussyo.

        • wiier9l

          u maaad faaaggot? LOL!

      • Carl Barjer

        Then stop lying.

        • wiier9l

          ur pusssy still wet faaaggot? LOL!

  • Christine Bodor

    ZERO tolerance for bullying I dont care where you live in this world…nobody should be humiliated bc someone else is not able to control their own behavior…Special Ed should be taught and controlled by someone with a brain and a heart to care…this ” teacher ” should be dismissed for allowing this level of behavior to even start to begin with….in this age its about setting things the right way before it goes the wrong way and if teachers do not help us parents who are not able to baby sit the teacher then that teacher needs to seek a job at Taco Bell but I would not trust them with my food as well ! Its the teachers fault for not doing his or her job to begin with. Parents who do not teach their kids to be civil humans and accepting of all humans should be cited along with the discipline of the child at fault, If the parent seeks no rectification for the problem their own child has caused.

    • LoneWiseMan

      “ZERO tolerance for bullying I dont care where you live in this world”

      Irrational nonsense. Might as well fight against jealousy next.

      Who defines what bullying is?

      • Beatrix Muircastle

        I think it would be a case by case basis… I mean if one kid always gets their way through force or intimidation that would be bullying and that kid would have to be dealt with… comunity service, learning about empathy and not being controlling maybe… I think it would depend on the circumstances.
        but there are groups of friends that punch each other and insult each other and thats how they have fun… like my husband and his cousin…so you’d tread really carefully. unlike my husband apply common sense instead of zero tolerance.

        I always take issue with zero Tolerance because there are grey areas and in those grey areas kids get punished for minor things the same way you punish something mayjor.

        • LoneWiseMan

          “common sense instead of zero tolerance.”

          Exactly. “Zero tolerance” is irrational stupidity primarily propagated by the Left.

          • Beatrix Muircastle

            I thought it was the right…
            but in all fairness most of our goverment uses nukes to shoot down houseflies and we should just unelect the lot of ’em and start over with background checks and intelleigence tests for new leaders.


        Think the problem is we keep calling it bullying. They want to get legal with the recording stuff,so can I.
        There’s a two legal terms you can use for “bullying”,……
        they’re called Assault and Harassment.
        If these were adults the law would hold those kids accountable and people wouldn’t easily dismiss what happened. The problem is people don’t know the law. It’s no different if a child steels out of a store they get arrested.If they harass someone or assault someone the parents should press charges and/or sue both the school and parents of said children if the behavior continues. School is not just about getting an education but also about teaching kids about respecting one another and functioning together as a society. This isn’t acceptable in society as adults why should it be in class?

        • LoneWiseMan

          Several things.

          1.) It’s not illegal for me to call you a fkin idiot.
          Observe: fking idiot.
          Simple and I’m still free. It’s not the same for kids in school. By your logic, whatever adults can do, they should be able to do, therefore bullying is okay.

          2.) Kids don’t have the same rights as adults. It’s REALLY scary this has to be explained over and over.

          3.) Assault is not harassment or “bullying.”

          4.) That’s not what “school is about.” It’s about education. PARENTING is about teaching your kids respect and proper discipline.

          • David Kesslet

            You can call some one what you like but you have no reasonable expectation of privacy when you do so unless the other guy has given you a prior promise of nondisclosure (and done so of his own volition without durress). Once the words are out of your mouth the right to privacy goes out the window. This is simple to understand if you recognize that the other guy has rights to.

          • LoneWiseMan

            So you have no reasonable right to privacy at your home? What about at work? What about in a hospital? What about in a public school?

            You can’t just say ” you don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy” and it be so. We *do* actually have a reasonable expectation of privacy in certain situations. Mandatory public schools probably falls under that category, hence the law.

          • URFTBOUND4LIFE .

            1.Name calling? Real mature dude…

            2.I wasn’t saying kids have the same rights as adults. I was saying kids have to abide by the same laws we do when it comes to this sort of thing.

            3.These kids are old enough to know the difference between right and wrong and are old enough be held accountable for their actions.
            4. Calling someone a name may not be a crime, but if it’s continuous followed by someone getting in your personal space and threaten to or hit you,is in fact illegal

            5.Harassing someone for being disabled is in fact a hate crime.

            6. School is about getting an education and being able to function in society.Why the hell do you think the law requires kids to go?
            Yes its the parents job is to teach morality to their kids but it’s the school’s responsibility to keep students safe environment and discourage negative behavior,not cover it up or look the other way.

          • LoneWiseMan

            1.) Just making a point.

            2.) Exactly. And adults can call each other names, which is *technically* a form of bullying. So what you’re saying is that kids should be able to bully each other.

            3.) They are hold enough, but who is to say what “bullying” is. It should be left up to the common sense of the teacher/principal. Physical assault should always be dealt with.

            4.) True, but who is to say that happened here? I, nor you, nor anyone else here was in the classroom.

            5.) “Hate” crimes are completely idiotic and unconstitutional. A crime is a crime and it should be treated as such.

            6.) Is there an actual link to the recording?

          • URFTBOUND4LIFE .

            You have poor reading comprehension skills if you think that’s what I meant
            No where in my comment did I say anything remotely states that I condones adults behaving in that way so obviously no.
            When you just described is mutual combat,and usually both sides are liable, but when the person is avoiding or trying to avoid someone then it’s harassment

          • LoneWiseMan

            “If these were adults the law would hold those kids accountable and people wouldn’t easily dismiss what happened.”

            I think I understood it pretty well. Maybe you ought to convey your thoughts better?

            I didn’t describe anything about mutual combat. Not sure what you’re talking about.

            You say it was a group of kids bullying one kid. How do you know? Link me the recording.

            Hate crimes are not only idiotic, but unnecessary and go against freedom and equality. A crime is a crime. Emotion doesn’t belong. That’s up to the judge/jury’s discretion when it comes to the heinous nature of the crime. “Hate crimes” only serve to ensure racial separation, inequality, and allow a prosectuor who wants to make a name for himself, use his personal bias and sway the legal system in a way he desires to fit his agenda.

        • Rodzilla

          A lot of the commenters, here, do not seem to have read the article. Especially the part where it states “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”
          This was about physical violence, not harsh words. Big difference.

      • Jason MacGibeny

        What is one to do to live life when one can not defend himself from being torment by all those around him? They who destroy another’s sense of self worth, who’s pleases of help go unheard, who’s right to pursuit of happiness is undefended, and trampled upon.

  • Torstein

    “Ooooh in the land of the free … yeah… right”. Don’t think f*cked up covers this.

    • LoneWiseMan

      Another extremist idiot not grasping the idea that privacy is a part of freedom.

      Complaining about NSA spying on you, then complain that someone can’t secretly record you in a non-public setting.

      • David Kessler

        The question of whether there is a reasonable expectation of privacy depends not only on the place but also on the action. There is no such thing as a right to bully, threaten or intimidate and no right of privacy when one does so. Furthermore the gathering of evidence of a crime against ones self is a form of self-defense.

        • LoneWiseMan

          Excellent point. Let it be clear though, I never claimed they should’ve charged him. Common sense would’ve directed them towards the issue of alleged bullying, not the recording of it.

          Zero tolerance policies are idiotic.

      • Torstein

        Do you even know what the word extremist means? And who mentioned NSA? American laws are flawed beyond understanding and somewhere deep down, when you stop wearing your redneck hat, you’ll see that.

        • LoneWiseMan

          Apparently you’re incapable of reading or understanding what I read.

          These idiots complain about the NSA recording secretly (which I agree with, duh), but then complain that you should be able to secretly record other students in a public school.

          Are you brain dead? Do you not see the obvious disconnect there.

          • commonsense

            You have an expectation of privacy (or any other right) as long as you are not violating the rights of others, public safety, or committing a criminal act. I would say that the bullies were denying this child his constitutional right to an education, and should be charged with breaching the constitution. Not to mention communicating a threat, which is another charge. If you want to charge the child with wiretapping, fine, but the others need to be charge as well, and with more crimes.

          • LoneWiseMan

            You don’t have a constitutional right to education, idiot.

            Moreover, the alleged bully is a separate issue. Just because he’s allegedly getting bullied doesn’t mean he can privately record people in public schools that don’t want to be recorded.

  • Chris BSomething

    Wish I could take that cop and flog him within an inch of his life.

  • troym40

    Do classrooms count as places where privacy is expected?

    • LoneWiseMan

      Probably, yes. It’s a public school, not a “public place.”

      I’m not absolutely sure though.

  • http://www.brillouinenergy.com Robert E. Godes

    Sounds like the administrators should be charged with dereliction of duty. They should also have 2X court costs withheld from there pay. 1X to the school and 1x to the family of the student who was being bullied.

  • catalina taylor

    that is such a load of crap……I go to this school and they don’t handle things like this. I had an incident similar to this. I was bullied on the bus and my mom demanded that the bully’s parents be called. The principal did not listen, and just told the person to apologize and did not give any punishment. So for them to say that they take every bullying case seriously is not true.

    • Crystal

      Sounds like any kid that goes to this school and has had a bullying experience that hasn’t been handled correctly needs to become part of this lawsuit and stand up with their fellow students against the teachers and bullies! Maybe if you all go in together then something might actually be done about this…….

  • Jason MacGibeny

    This needs to be heard around the world or at least the Country. This is really huge and most horrible.
    This level of abuse that has been accepted in that school and district is a emotional torture that is illegal and borders to the line of crime against humanity. A level of bullying that even surpassing the bullying on even the most outrages television shows.
    Performing this level of evil, being without mercy, and no one doing anything about it, is a poison against the souls of those that take pleasure at the expense and pain of others (Triggering the pleasure sensor of the brain by inflicting real harm against someone is what evil itself is), (that is no different than that which those like the Nazis have done, who have hidden their action and hidden behind the law of man) that brings to ruin the entire purpose of life itself and ruination to future generations of children not yet born (victims who’s cries for help go unheard and those who are not taught how to use their goodness and humanity).

  • kentuckywoman2

    It’s too bad that they didn’t upload that recording or make a copy. It sounds to me like the school principal and assistant principle forced the kid to delete the recording because they were covering their own butts, in that that recording proves that neither the school officials nor the teacher of that class did anything at all to stop the bullying of this kid, but actually sanctioned and condoned it by doing nothing.

    If I were this young man’s mother, I’d be suing the Principal, the Asst. Principal, and filing a grievance with the State Attorney General’s office against the District Attorney and the Police Dept. This is outrageous.

  • AngryBirdFliesAway

    Name of that shitty lawyer(from the school board): Frederick J. Wolfe
    Works in : Tucker Arensberg Attorneys – http://www.tuckerlaw.com/attorneys/frederick-wolfe/
    Possible Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/frederick.wolfe.7
    LinkedIn account: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/frederick-wolfe/45/b05/30b

    (412) 594-5573
    Fax: (412) 594-5619
    Pittsburgh Office

    “His experience includes:

    Negotiation, drafting and implementation/administration of collective bargaining agreements for both private sector clients and numerous school districts, municipalities and municipal authorities under Acts 88 and 195, as well as collective bargaining and interest arbitration with police under Act 111

    All aspects of employee hiring, promotion, discipline and discharge with a particular emphasis in professional and non-professional public school employees and police both under civil service and the Police Tenure Act

    Interpretation of statutory, regulatory and constitutional matters as they apply to municipalities, school districts and their employees; advising clients on matters involving municipal powers, duties and obligations under applicable statutory and regulatory authority, public official liability and immunity, student and student discipline matters and drafting of ordinances, policies, resolutions and related matters

    Grievances and arbitration hearings involving a broad range of issues

    Practicing before the PLRB and NLRB, litigating numerous unfair labor practice charges, election and certification/decertification issues and unit clarification petitions

    Fred serves as solicitor or special labor counsel to several school districts, municipalities and municipal authorities. He has frequently represented employers before the:

    Equal Employment Authority Commission

    Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission

    Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations and in State and Federal Courts for alleged violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Rehabilitation Act, Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Family Medical Leave Act, Equal Pay Act and common law tort claims

    He routinely counsels clients regarding their obligations and potential for liability to those above referenced regarding all employment legislation and other topics such as wage and hour matters. He has also drafted numerous employee policies, employee handbooks and Civil Service Rules & Regulations.

    Areas of Practice: Fred’s areas of practice include School and Municipal Law, Labor & Employment, Litigation

    Jurisdictions: Fred is admitted to practice before all Pennsylvania State Courts.

    Education and Background: Fred received his BA, cum laude, from Washington and Jefferson College in 1986 and his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1989. “

  • Guest

    Take action, rape their lives.

  • Orlock

    If this happened in my country there’d be an outcry by the entire nation – I just cannot believe this has happened. Is America The Twighlight Zone?

  • PatTheRat

    Fire the Principal and the Officer. And have a judge issue a restraining order that will keep these 2 people far, far away from children. What is wrong with our schools and our police? Time for a MAJOR overhaul of both!

  • bill smith

    Principal’s email is smilburn@southfayette.org Let him know what you think

  • neomoderate

    And we act surprised when the bullied show up and start shooting…

  • neomoderate

    And we act surprised when the bullied show up and start shooting…

  • Al Bondigas

    Teacher, administrators, and district suspects should be terminated immediately! There are anti-bullying laws. Mom needs to hire a “big gun” attorney and charge/sue them all!! Good luck.

  • Kazzzyyyyy
  • Kazzzyyyyy

    Also, if “Disorderly Conduct” is“the intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof” such as by engaging in “fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior, unreasonable noise, obscene language, obscene gestures,” or creating “a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.”
    Then how the hell was he convicted of it? If anything, the bullies were causing disorderly-freaking-conduct.

  • Little Satori

    When a wiretapping violation is more important than a handicapped kid’s life… -_-

  • Mr Paul

    Sounds like your typical Yankee school. Let the lowlifes get away with everything just to humor them enough to try and stay, and give them flat 65s to pass them up, then you have an overpaid, probably union-protected teacher neglecting the situation, who, like the school administrations, if inspired to say anything, would tell the kids getting bullied and picked on that you have to “tolerate different types of people”. It makes me sick any one of those people is making a salary, let alone has a nice home to live in or car to drive in, while being such a filthy piece of scum. Probably that weird combo of liberalish teachers in a whacky conservative small town area, as usual. I grew up in it too. I’d never subject another human to this sick kind of small-town Yankee human cesspool that doesn’t know if it wants to be Republicon or Libtard, so it’s both.

    • Lady Liberty

      Your EXACTLY CORRECT.Back wards yankee hick towns that love to ignite phantom witch hunt’s against innocent people still does exist and schools do tell parents that bullying is a way of life. I dont agree with that view point because of one basic simple fact, One school district in Pennsylvania Of which my kids attended DID CURE THEIR BULLYING problem a decade ago. Not one kid at FOX CHAPEL school district fears being bullied when they leave their house every day for school. Fox Chapel school district is amazing and needs to be a MODEL for the nation to follow after their policies and practices against bullying prevention in school. “If kids were never taught that its a normal way of life to bully, Then kids would not THINK it was normal behavior, KIDS MIMIC WHAT THEY ARE TAUGHT” I currently live in South Fayette school district and my son has the same exact bullying issue to the extreme that adults conspire with their kids on how and when to attack my son in our neighborhood. There are 5 boys involved, they are all cousins, the 5 kids are from 2 to 5 years older than my one kid (from ages of 11 to 15 years) my sons only 9 years old, the other neighborhood families stays out of it out of fear of retaliation towards them (which is cowardly). This family has bullied, called police on others before my son, has pushed over 4 other familys to move away to protect themselves from further harrassment. This all started when my son stuck up to an african american little boy who these people were targeting at that moment in time. Because we refused to discriminate and agree with them by outcasting the poor little boy by ganging up against the african american family with these nut case crazy adults and contribute to the abuse of segregation of this poor little black boy who was so sweet and well behaved, they turned on US. The police refuse to assist and help us at every turn, they treat us like were the criminals because we want these nutcases to evolve from ape like mind sets towards a more modern vision that allows people to live their lives free from animalistic abuses based on psychopathic tendencies. My son cant go outside without coming inside with a bloody nose. But They are kidding their selfs if they believe they will run me away. My whole family has lived here for 5 generations and these newbies in my town have only lived here less than five years. I have tough skin and my sons going to learn how to grow a tough skin also. It really gets under my skin when I see degradation of the human race by other members of the human race. That style of thinking is cousin to savage cannabalism ( when a species eats their own kind, SAVAGES use to EAT their own people). Emotional Cannabalism. When you destroy your own kind your feeding to fill an empty feeling with in yourself, the same way we feed our hunger pains, these bullys plus thier parents, plus the bystanders who cowardly keep quiet, are filling some pain inside themselves by destroying the innocense, peace of mind, and self esteem of thier own race. Cannabalism breaks down and reduces the chances of the human races rates of survival, Abuse and bullying also reduced the chances of the human races rates of survival. Emotional Cannabalism is what i call Abuse of any kind. Basically if these people had the opportunity they would contribute to witch hunts, cannabilism, slavery, or anything evil in mind that the majority of us has tried to exterminate because we have learned from past history that those are mind sets that dont serve the betterment of the human race. We do have caveman intelligence in todays society. Yes this is true