Re: “School Discipline Under Scrutiny Again,” Feb. 9 edition.
The originating event did not happen on campus, did not happen during school hours, did not happen while traveling to or from school. So why would five minors be questioned by the police, more than 10 days after the event took place, at school? Why were they not questioned immediately after the event? No parents were notified about the police interrogation, other than the parents pursuing it.
The boys involved in the event were questioned on Monday. Returning to school on Tuesday, three of the boys were told that the whole event would go down as a teachable moment, no mention of suspensions or further action to be taken. Thursday evening, the Indy releases a single-loaded narrative of the events as they have recently explained that the article “…relied largely on the accounts of Maurice Possley and Cathleen Falsani, parents of the African-American youth.” This article included Falsani stating that “The chanting, which they say they learned of from police, had the tenor “of a lynch mob…”. This was a closed investigation, which would prohibit the police or their representatives from making any comments.
By Friday, knee-jerk reactionaries fueled by the inflammatory rhetoric were calling LBUSD demanding expulsion, punishment and the pulling of college scholarships, which then led to the district jumping right from an active police investigation to final sentencing. None of the boys had been interviewed or questioned by an administrator. The final judgment from Judge Bauer clearly states that Superintendent Viloria and LBUSD abused their discretion suspending the student (Student Doe); had no statutory authority to suspend the student; were ordered to reverse the suspension and expunge all records of the suspension and cease punishing the student; and must pay Student Doe’s legal costs.
It would seem that this entire swirling event may be used as a teachable moment for the adults involved; talk it out before you make judgments and take a moment to look at both sides.
Amy Kramer, Laguna Beach