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Disorderly Conduct Charge for Offensive Classmate Ratings 371

Posted by timothy
from the stop-thinking-that dept.
Hatta writes "A Chicago-area teenager who posted a demeaning list of female classmates on Facebook has been arrested for disorderly conduct. Is this an appropriate response to online harassment, or a threat to free speech?"
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Disorderly Conduct Charge for Offensive Classmate Ratings

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  • yes (Score:2, Insightful)

    by the_humeister (922869)

    Is this an appropriate response to online harassment, or a threat to free speech?

    There should be consequences to being an asshole. Glad this guy found that out too. As someone who's gone through high school in this country, I don't feel bad about that guy at all.

    • by Marillion (33728)
      Slander is not free speech.
      • Actually, this would fall under libel, but the point still stands.

        • by Altus (1034)

          usually a civil matter though.

          • Usually, but some states have criminal defamation laws. However, there have only been a few people sent to jail under these.

            • Re:yes (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Mister Transistor (259842) on Saturday May 14, 2011 @03:46AM (#36125456) Journal

              Well, as someone from the Chicago suburbs, particularly Crook County, I can tell you the cops around here always use "disorderly conduct" as a general bullshit catch-all charge for "we don't like you, or what you did, whichever". I know, I was in a local station lockup for about 12 hours on a complete bullshit disorderly charge.

              I was guilty of being in the same car as a buddy who got into an argument with someone who turned out to be a an off-duty Chicago pig. And I use the word "pig" in the worst sense possible, this guy was a real asshole and everyone at the local station hated him and told us so. But the jerk turned out to be a fairly high ranking detective, so he had my friend arrested and when I went into the station to find him, he pointed at me and said "Oh, yeah I want him arrested too". Meaning me. I was like, "WTF? I did nothing...". The guys at the local station kept apologizing to me, telling me there was nothing they could do as long as Lt. Dickless wanted me arrested. Well, conveniently, the fax system was "down" and they had to hand-courrier our prints downtown to make sure we weren't wanted on other charges, which I'm sure the asshole told them to make sure we were kept in the cooler for a while, because we both had enough money on us to bail ourselves out.

              Anyway, there's a sort of happy ending. We went to get the best damn shyster lawyer we could find, and we found a really good one - this guy was an crooked ex-judge who later got investigated in the Operation Greylord stings in the 80's - a big anti-corruption operation in Cook County, Chicago in particular. But when we knew him, he did us good - the lawyer found a nice obscure legal precedent that in order to be guilty of disorderly conduct you had to incite others to become disorderly! Great one huh? Basically, short of inciting a riot you can't be guilty of disorderly conduct. At this point the judge points to me and says "It sounds like you weren't involved at all" - I said "you're right, your Honor". And he dismissed my case and found the precedent sufficient to dismiss my buddy's case. Lt. Dickless was pissed!! Heheh.

              The moral is the disorderly conduct charge in Chicago is a joke but popular because it's totally discretionary - it's the Officer's call if you are "disorderly" or not, like "Driving too fast for conditions", which can get you a ticket for going under the speed limit if the Cop thinks you are going too fast. These are bullshit laws but they exist as a catch-all to cover the gaps, I guess. The teen in question should be able to get out of the charge easily because he was not causing anyone else to be disorderly, if they get a good mouthpiece he should be able to get off easily.

              Epilogue: My buddy and I went to Internal Affairs and filed a claim on the asshole for wrongful arrest, and we hoped thy would investigate him. Well one day, we were watching the local educational TV WTTW, and actually saw the jerk on a talk show! Except now he was Captain Dickless!! They actually promoted him. Words failed me at that point. Just as no good deed goes unpunished, I guess no bad one goes unrewarded.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Ranking someone's boobs at a 2.5 on a scale of 1-10 does not fall under libel, because it's clearly subjection and only someone's opinion.

          I'd be surprised if his "list" actually constituted libel.

        • by Gerzel (240421)

          Indeed and it should be prosecuted as such. As a civil libel case not as disorderly conduct.

          Throwing harsher penalties at a problem doesn't make the problem go away. This is doubly true when it is children and teenagers who are the targets of said penalties.

          The penalties are supposed to make someone "think twice" about committing a crime. However your average teenager hasn't yet learned to think for the first time.

      • by superwiz (655733)
        Nor is slander a crime. I can see someone getting sued for slander. But arrested? Arrest itself is a fairly severe punishment given the current state of the penal system. Dolling out this kind of punishment to anyone accused of slander would more than chill free speech. It would stop all speech in its tracks. I am not a lawyer.
    • The whole concept of "disorderly conduct" if about social control and nothing else. The actions that fall under that completely arbitrary category never where about harming others, but mostly about stuff the "moral majority" does not want to see. Don't pretend this is a new one here.
    • So when should we expect Karen Owens to be arrested? Hmm...? She did just about the same thing at Duke last year and instead of bitching about it many people, mainly feminists, held her up on high as the picture of "empowerment".

  • From TFA: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by raving griff (1157645) on Friday May 13, 2011 @08:44PM (#36123964)

    "The teenager is believed to be responsible for a list that ranked 50 female students — using racial slurs and ratings of body parts — that circulated around the school and on Facebook, police said. The teen is accused of handing out hard copies of the list Jan. 14 at various lunch periods and posting a copy online, according to police."

    This list was spread both through Facebook and throughout the school. Is it valid to address this as an online harassment case when the article does not even make clear which distribution method the teenager is being charged with disorderly conduct for?

    • by jamesh (87723)

      This list was spread both through Facebook and throughout the school. Is it valid to address this as an online harassment case when the article does not even make clear which distribution method the teenager is being charged with disorderly conduct for?

      The interesting question that raises is - should it matter? It's not like Facebook is some private members-only forum like a private conversation with a bunch of misogynist mates at the pub. Sure you can turn off Facebook, just like you can never go outside, but I don't think that's the solution here...

    • Re:From TFA: (Score:4, Insightful)

      by popeyethesailorman (735746) on Saturday May 14, 2011 @12:03AM (#36124894) Homepage
      I may not agree with what he said, but I'll defend to the death his right to say it. In other words, it's a threat to free speech.
  • The summary is bad (Score:5, Informative)

    by bsharp8256 (1372285) on Friday May 13, 2011 @08:44PM (#36123966)
    He didn't get arrested and charged because he posted it on Facebook, TFA says he distributed hard copies at school.
  • by Seumas (6865) on Friday May 13, 2011 @08:45PM (#36123970)

    Things like this are becoming much more difficult for any rational person to reach a sensible conclusion on. My initial reaction would be that you don't censor or criminalize thoughts. Even mean or vile ones. As long as it is not libel, you just need to have thick skin and move the fuck on.

    On the other hand, it's a different thing when it's something that has a global audience of potentially billions, will be archived and indexed by search engines, possibly have a longer life than the person it is about, come up in searches for that person for the rest of their life by future friends, mates, and employers and otherwise follow them around indefinitely. You can't graduate the internet and move away from the "attack" and you can't just go to a new town. You are stuck forever with whatever some ignorant idiotic juvenile wrote years ago or whatever some spiteful twat might write about you today.

    If I had a kid and this happened pre-internet, I would tell them to ignore it and know they're better than that and that the words aren't true and to move on and eventually it will go away. With the internet, I don't know what I would do. As a parent, I think I would be helpless and stuck. How do you stick to the ideal that nobody should be able to dictate what you can do or say short of actual libel or threats and reconcile that with words or images that will be there under google for your name for decades to come?

    Perhaps more importantly, how do we make sure that we deal with this in a rational way and don't just say "that pisses me off, so I'm going to make a blanket law about it" like with that stupid bitch and her family that drove that little girl to kill herself over myspace? A case where it was so tempting to have so much anger and hatred over the incident that even the completely logical person was tempted to say "fuck it, I don't care what the lasting legal consequences are for the rest of society, as long as we come up with a way to stick that bitch in a max security prison for life".

    • how do we make sure that we deal with this in a rational way

      By not caring about it and realizing that it, like all other kinds of speech, is merely speech. That's what I would call "rational." The amount of people listening is irrelevant. It is still speech.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fermion (181285)
      I have come to believe what the internet has provided in these situations is publicity, not any more complex decision making. In the past when a boy harassed a girl or ridiculed a group of girls, often because they would not date him, it could be kept in the school, apologize made, and everyone could believe a lesson was learned. The internet changed that local control of the situation.

      For instance, when nooses were left in the schoolyard [wikipedia.org] and nothing was done until the kids who left the nooses were beat

    • by reiisi (1211052) on Friday May 13, 2011 @09:57PM (#36124318) Homepage

      Wikipedia has a article on disorderly conduct [wikipedia.org].

      Actually, I read this and think we are finally seeing officers of the law figuring out how the internet fits in.

      Clearly, this is disorderly conduct in a couple of public places, and it sounds like the appropriately class of response is being pursued.

      Misdemeanor, as opposed to felony. A bit more serious than a traffic fine, but not nearly on the level of being arrested for grand theft, even.

      • From IL General Assembly's website [ilga.gov]
        "(a) A person commits disorderly conduct when he knowingly:
        (1) Does any act in such unreasonable manner as to alarm or disturb another and to provoke a breach of the peace; or
        (2) Transmits or causes to be transmitted in any manner to the fire department of any city, town, village or fire protection district a false alarm of fire, knowing at the time of such transmission that there is no reasonable ground for believing that such fire exists; or
        (3
      • by russotto (537200)

        Clearly, this is disorderly conduct in a couple of public places, and it sounds like the appropriately class of response is being pursued.

        Disorderly conduct is and always has been a charge prone to abuse. Mostly it means that you did something a cop didn't like, but the cop couldn't find any specific law making what you were doing illegal, so he used that catch-all.

        Misdemeanor, as opposed to felony. A bit more serious than a traffic fine, but not nearly on the level of being arrested for grand theft, even.

    • by jrumney (197329)
      This kind of behavior has been going on in schoolyards forever. Sometimes its a joke between friends that has no intention of hurting the targets' feelings, as it is never shared outside the group. Other times it is bullying. The difference with Facebook is that you cross the line between a private joke between friends behind someone's back and bullying without intending it.
    • by SvnLyrBrto (62138)

      You make a good argument there for a civil tort... defamation or libel or something... maybe even a restraining order to put a stop to it. But criminal charges? For speech; even offensive speech? That goes way beyond the pale, I think.

  • He allegedly handed out materials at school, not just post it on Facebook. Pretty big difference IMO.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, 2011 @08:45PM (#36123974)

    So a d-bag teenager put a 'demeaning' list of his fellow female classmates on-line and got arrested for it. Rather than the social stigma, female students, and student body appropriately handle this idiot, law enforcement decided to step in.

    If this doesn't prove we've come full circle into a nanny state, I'm not sure what will. He's 17 for cry'in out loud, and in High School! How does an arrest benefit society here?

    • Disorderly conduct charges would actually be the most appropriate response, IMO.

      A teenager went overboard. Way overboard. We don't want the FBI involved, but what was done here does sound like it crossed the line into the range of crying "FIRE" in a crowded theatre, or of going into the opponent's stands at a football game and repeatedly disparaging their star player and refusing to leave.

      • I guess his crime was more like crying "FRIGID" in (less than crowded) "theatre" of his remaining friends (judged from the fact that he has to resort to things like this to get attention from his buddies, and, I'd suspect, rather unwelcome attention from the girls).

        Paul B.

    • by jamesh (87723)

      I'm not sure what it's like in the US these days, and it probably varies widely from state to state, but where I live it seems like schools are pretty powerless to discipline students beyond issuing a timeout, detention, suspension, or expulsion. In the past a few sadistic teachers went overboard in handing out physical punishments so these days nobody is allowed to touch the kids.

      Also, handing out misogynist hate material to kids at school might fall under the schools jurisdiction, but anything someone doe

  • We've never had free speech in the US and probably never will, as long as people can make excuses to suppress it like "national security," "cyber bullying," and "copyright." So, how could anything be a threat to what we haven't got?
    • by artor3 (1344997) on Friday May 13, 2011 @09:25PM (#36124158)

      You don't know what it is to lack free speech, because you've had it all your life. You're just a spoiled whiner who wants to be able to do literally whatever he wants, instead of almost whatever he wants.

      When a reporter in Russia gets disappeared for saying the wrong things; when a man in Afghanistan gets his organs spread around town square for dancing with his wife; when an elderly Chinese woman is sentenced to a lifetime of hard labor for requesting a permit to protest at the Olympics... that is a lack of freedom.

      When you are punished for leaking top secret documents, or copying other people's creations without payment, or spreading vicious lies about your peers... that is called living in an orderly society. You might think it's too orderly, but to claim you have no freedoms is fucking insulting.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by bky1701 (979071)
        "When a reporter in Russia gets disappeared for saying the wrong things; when a man in Afghanistan gets his organs spread around town square for dancing with his wife; when an elderly Chinese woman is sentenced to a lifetime of hard labor for requesting a permit to protest at the Olympics... that is a lack of freedom."

        Because some people are worse off does not necessarily mean you are well off. However, I would agree that in the US we have it well. I'm not saying otherwise, but rather, that no government
      • Strawman. Parent never said he had no freedoms. Parent said there's no Free Speech, which is "the freedom to speak freely without censorship." Since there is some kinds of censorship, there is no Free Speech. Whether it's more or less free than in other countries is irrelevant.

        You may feel the specific censorship that exists today in the US is justified, and there's nothing wrong with that opinion, but it's not Free Speech.

        spreading vicious lies about your peers

        Assuming you're talking about this particular case, what lies are those? From TFA, it

    • by syousef (465911) on Friday May 13, 2011 @09:37PM (#36124232) Journal

      We've never had free speech in the US and probably never will, as long as people can make excuses to suppress it like "national security," "cyber bullying," and "copyright." So, how could anything be a threat to what we haven't got?

      Why would you want to live in a place where someone could stand outside your door and hurl abuse day and night for weeks on end without any consequences?

      Freedom does not mean the freedom to do whatever you like. If your actions harm others - whether it's as destructive as murder or as simple as a limited verbal assault, they should not be protected. That's not the kind of freedom I want. That's called the law of the jungle.

      • or as simple as a limited verbal assault

        Oh, I see. So if someone is offended by something, it should not be protected, even though the first amendment explicitly states that it protects all speech? What if someone is offended by the fact that I said that I don't like their god? They are as offended as if I insulted them personally, so they interpret this as a verbal assault.

        They, in reality, are the cause of their own misery. They need not be offended by such things, as far as I know, and it is not my fault if they are. The constitution doesn't s

        • by syousef (465911)

          or as simple as a limited verbal assault

          Oh, I see. So if someone is offended by something, it should not be protected, even though the first amendment explicitly states that it protects all speech?

          The first amendment is to the US constitution, it is not universal. And it does not protect all speech as you claim. It certainly won't work as a defence for someone who's stalking, abusing, misusing their authority in the work place, discriminating on race, colour, creed etc. You seem to forget that the whole purpose of the American constitution was to protect the citizens from harassment and provide them with a framework of freedom to do well and prosper. It as not set up so that people could do whatever

      • by PaulBu (473180)

        As long as they are outside of my front door, and I am allowed to make it sound-proof (good fences make good neighbours, or how does that saying go?) -- well, they are welcome!

        I, personally, would enjoy a bit of abuse attempts and heated discussions (though I have been criticized for that too, go figure!).

        I totally accept non-aggression principle as the best idea humankind came up with to deal with differences in people's wants and opinions, but I would like to distinguish between actual bodily harm and po

  • Free speech doesn't protect racist or sexist slurs. It's good to see existing laws used instead of making up new ones just for the net On the other hand the response is a little over the top. So let me guess, the police chief's niece was on the list or something?

    • by bky1701 (979071) on Friday May 13, 2011 @08:53PM (#36123998) Homepage
      "Free speech doesn't protect racist or sexist slurs."

      It only protects speech you like, right? Sorry, there is no free speech if it comes with strings attached. I might disagree with what they say - even find it sickening - but it is their right to say it, and not yours to say otherwise. Why? Redefining "free" to be only what you want is more despicable than anything a person could say.
      • by bloodhawk (813939)
        having consequences attached to attacking and demeaning others is not a violation of free speech. Free speech is meant to enable you to voice your views not as a means to attack someone without repercussion's
        • by bky1701 (979071) on Friday May 13, 2011 @09:14PM (#36124098) Homepage
          Laws restricting what you can legally say or placing penalties upon certain forms of speech are restrictions upon free speech. It is as simple as that, and I don't really see why the concept is so confusing to some people.

          If it is an acceptable restriction on free speech is an entirely different discussion, although one that I personally believe should not be given serious consideration. However, it is, without question, a restriction upon free speech to create any laws regulating free communication. That's why it is called what it is. Once you cut out certain kinds of speech, it is far to easy to expand the definitions. We've seen it happen again and again across the world and right at home.

          So please, be honest and say what you mean: you disagree with this particular freedom, at least to some extent. I find it offensive to the entire human race to go about redefining freedoms to only what you personally find acceptable.
          • by bloodhawk (813939)
            strictly speaking your correct. But such a concept of free speech has never existed and nor should it, free speech has always been defined in legal terms as freedom to express your views and hear the views of others within reasonable restrictions, those restrictions differ slightly from country to country but personal attacks on individuals has always been excluded. (at least I can't think of any country that has freedom of speech and allows it)
            • I guess someone have not watched that movie recently... ;)

              It seems to be (IANAL) a precedent that one can make personal attacks on individuals who are "public figures" of enough importance for the targeted audience of the speech (stretching it a little bit) -- in the context of this article, would you agree with him ranking three most-popular girls in his class, but not with continuing all the way down to the bottom? ;-)

              And yes, I do find him to be a jerk!

              Paul B.

        • having consequences attached to attacking and demeaning others is not a violation of free speech.

          What? Of course it is. Since the constitution mentions nothing about exactly what is free speech and what isn't, it is assumed that all speech is free. By free, it means you can say it without consequences. Otherwise, what would be the point of free speech at all? You could say anything you wanted even without the first amendment. Its job is to guarantee that you can say these things without consequences.

      • Libel is not protected free speech.

      • by syousef (465911)

        Only here would someone trying to defend abuse as free speech get modded up. Walking around town handing out flyers that racially and sexually slur all the girls in your former highschool should not be protected by free speech. There's no idea here to suppress. No lie or cover up. THis guy is just being an abusive idiot. Having an opinion on something and presenting that opinion is one thing. Whilstle blowing is one thingr. Outright abuse is another. Only an immature twit can't tell the difference.

        Being per

        • by bky1701 (979071) on Friday May 13, 2011 @09:32PM (#36124196) Homepage
          "THis guy is just being an abusive idiot."

          Perhaps, but a restriction upon free speech still is one. I am not necessarily saying it is wrong necessarily to have a law restricting it, but that it is wrong to lie about your intentions. Redefining free speech to not include what you dislike is dishonest and despicable.

          "Outright abuse is another. Only an immature twit can't tell the difference."

          Or a person who actually knows where this kind of thinking leads. Not long ago did we have committees to determine if you were a communist. It isn't immature to know that such a travesty is only a few "well intentioned" laws away from returning, especially with the constant assault on our freedoms from every angle. Neither political party cares about them, and people like you are too clueless to realize when they are at risk.

          "Being permitted to say something does not protect you from the consequences of saying it. The typical example is yelling "Fire" in a movie theatre. That's illegal and I'm fine with that, not because I don't like free speech or only like some free speech, but because acting to harm others should be against the law."

          Do you people have like a book you get this crap out of? People thinking that statement is an argument for why they can pick and choose what certain freedoms mean is way too common, especially here on slashdot.
          • by syousef (465911)

            "THis guy is just being an abusive idiot."

            Perhaps, but a restriction upon free speech still is one. I am not necessarily saying it is wrong necessarily to have a law restricting it, but that it is wrong to lie about your intentions. Redefining free speech to not include what you dislike is dishonest and despicable.

            If you're going to be pedantic his speech was not restricted AT ALL. He was allowed to say what he said. He simply faced the consequences of saying it after the fact. I find it humorous that you call me dishonest and despicable but defend a bloke who goes around handing out racist and sexist demeaning flyers about women. Basically I think you have your values very twisted.

            Or a person who actually knows where this kind of thinking leads. Not long ago did we have committees to determine if you were a communist. It isn't immature to know that such a travesty is only a few "well intentioned" laws away from returning, especially with the constant assault on our freedoms from every angle. Neither political party cares about them, and people like you are too clueless to realize when they are at risk.

            You're a fool. You can't tell the difference between giving an opinion on an ideology and an immature abusive idiot. You seem to think it

          • Added you to my friends a couple of your posts back, and reading this reply made me grin that I was right!

            People do not seem to have any distinction between law and morals anymore, and think that the former is a sure-proof replacement for the latter. And it is sad... Was it you who said that it was the matter of the girls and his classmates (whom, I suppose, still wanted to be friends with the girls! ;) ) making him a pariah, rather than State's police and courts dealing with his transgressions?

            Paul B.

      • by syousef (465911) on Friday May 13, 2011 @09:36PM (#36124224) Journal

        "Free speech doesn't protect racist or sexist slurs."

          It only protects speech you like, right? Sorry, there is no free speech if it comes with strings attached. I might disagree with what they say - even find it sickening - but it is their right to say it, and not yours to say otherwise. Why? Redefining "free" to be only what you want is more despicable than anything a person could say.

        Fine, then you'd have no problem with people standing outside your house and yelling abuse at you day and night for weeks or months on end??? Because it's free speech right. You wouldn't bring noise pollution laws, or harassment laws to bear? No you'd defend them to the death. NONSENSE.

        When's the last time you or someone you cared about was harassed to the point of being suicidal? If you have children are they fair game? Would you be fine if your children were disabled or mentally impaired? What if your wife/girlfriend/mother was on anti-depressant pills and suicidal?

        People talk such NONSENSE and BUNK when it comes to free speech. No one decent human being would find the above examples acceptable or defensible. There is a reason that these things are illegal. There are reasons for harassment and stalking laws. These are good things even if they violate your overly broad view of what free speech means.

        But hey sandlotters, continue to mod this drivel up!!! Because slashdot has come to mod up only mindless groupthink drivel. (The irony is these defenders of free speech will mod me down!!!!)

        • No one decent human being would find the above examples acceptable or defensible.

          Decent? Well, that's subjective, but I certainly would. They are indeed examples of free speech.

    • Free speech doesn't protect racist or sexist slurs.

      Yes, it does. Free speech is a right to believe and express whatever beliefs you wish. That expression is only rightfully limited when it amounts to actions rather than just expression.

      Once people in power can regulate what you're allowed to believe and what you're allowed to argue, it is an inevitable slippery slope to them using it to control their opponents. Luckily, in the US, the first amendment has provided a rather effective guard against this.

      • Libel is not protected speech.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by syousef (465911)

        Free speech doesn't protect racist or sexist slurs.

        Yes, it does.

        No it doesn't and it does not matter how many times you repeat the fallacy. Verbal assault is recognised as a criminal act in most countries that protect free speech.

        • Verbal assault is recognised as a criminal act in most countries that protect free speech.

          And? If they claim to have free speech in something as "final" as a constitution, then they are the ones who are wrong, are they not? The number of countries that do this is irrelevant.

        • Isn't that a circular definition? "Free speech is the speech protected in countries that protect free speech."

          The definition by the American Heritage Dictionary is: "The right to express any opinion in public without censorship or restraint by the government."

          Clearly racist or sexist slurs are an opinion, and therefore countries that criminalize it don't protect free speech.

          (By the way, I'm not saying that this is necessarily a bad thing - limiting verbal abuse can be perfectly justifiable.)

    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday May 13, 2011 @09:01PM (#36124044) Homepage

      Free speech doesn't protect racist or sexist slurs.

      Oh yes it does. For instance, in National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie the US Supreme Court ruled that the Nazis had the right to march through a predominently Jewish city. It's perfectly legal to call Hillary Clinton or Michelle Bachman (to pick a couple of random examples) a "cunt" or a "cracker" if you want to. And the various modern versions of the KKK can spew their rhetoric and have cross burnings all they like without government interference.

      I'm not saying I approve of any of these, just that they are most definitely protected by free speech and assembly.

    • by WorBlux (1751716)
      Of course it does, you stupid nigger slut. (It just doesn't go so fare as preventing my boss from firing me if I called her that.) Making up a new offense and sticking an old name on it is in no way substantially different that making up a new name as well. The penalty for this sort of harrasement should be defined in the student handbook... a week of suspension for first offense, expulsion for the second. Don't go crying to the cops, especially when you already have a remedy available.
  • Don't know the juvenile penalties, but for an adult, disorderly conduct is punishable by up to a month in jail, while libel is punishable by up to three years. TFA didn't mention the exact slurs, but if any of them was "slut", then in Illinois that ia automatic libel since it is an accusation of fornication. TFA says "body parts", and "cunt" could reasonably be taken to be synonmous with "slut".

    The whole problem behind bullying is that it is given a pass by the criminal system. Stuff that goes on in high

    • by hldn (1085833)

      "cunt" could reasonably be taken to be synonmous with "slut"

      cunt and slut are absolutely not synonymous. no reasonable person would take them to mean the same thing.

  • by macraig (621737) <`mark.a.craig' `at' `gmail.com'> on Friday May 13, 2011 @09:33PM (#36124206)

    I endured worse than what this kid is described as doing from more than a score of kids on a daily basis, and NO ONE in the school district rushed to my defense like this. Not a single one of my tormentors was ever arrested, suspended, or even disciplined.

    I wonder: if this had been a GIRL shopping such a list about boys, would we have even had a Slashdot article to read about it? Would we even if it had been a boy with a list tormenting other BOYS?

    • If you were a girl, you could make your own website about it [wpxi.com] and not get in trouble. But I don't think he should get away with he did because other people got away with it. I think the tragedy is other people got away with it.

  • Fire: "...the student no longer attends OPRF."
    Call police: "...arrested at his Oak Park home"

    Alternative could be a therapy/encounter session in a save environment where he and the people on this list are brought together to express their feelings about what he did, let him figure out why he did it and that there may be other possibilities for him to get what he actually needs.
    Far from anything like that happening there....
  • Isn't this what police arrest people for just to get them off the street? As I recall, the charge almost never gets a conviction (of course that assumes you have a lawyer and not a public defender who will plea bargain any charge, even "breathing air while alive").
  • Back in my day, we didn't ARREST punks for printin' nasty things about the womenfolk. We chased them down, surrounded them, knocked them over, and kicked them until their ears bled. And we liked it! We LOVED it!

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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