A middle school infraction drags into Supreme Court

Being a famous fake burper not so much a resume builder

Posted:  Wednesday, May 17, 2017 - 1:30pm
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God, politics brings out the most peculiar things. I suppose if it were not for the recent appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, I would never have stumbled on this story. I’m not going to include any link or anything to the story because everything is so fake today it wouldn’t make any difference. Let me just say that I did find several reports from media sources trusted and hated by both liberals and conservatives, so I think it’s true.

Seems way back in 2011 a 13-year-old young man was disrupting his gym class with fake burps. Try to stay with me on this because the fake burps will become very important as the story moves forward.

Not surprisingly the teacher was not impressed and called the school resource officer. Now, I don’t usually do this without actually being a part of the event, but I’m going to point out some bad decisions. Probably calling the police was not a good choice on the part of the teacher. The above summoned police officer arrived and quickly took care of the situation. He put the student in handcuffs and arrested him.

Based on this fact, I’m going out on a limb and saying the officer was probably not the best qualified to be chosen as resource officer at the school. This happened in Albuquerque, NM. and I have to believe in a school in a city that size there was a lot of suspicious stuff going that possibly would have been better use of the officer’s time, but that stinks of the smart ass comment when one is stopped for speeding; “Why aren’t you out catching real criminals?”

But here we are. Young son is arrested and MOM is not happy. Who could blame her? She did what any loving MOM would do. She sued the school. She says the arrest was unlawful and used unnecessary force. You decide. Google is great. Anyway, now we’re suing. The law is the law and sometimes the law doesn’t make sense, but it’s still the law and if you’re a judge on the Circuit Court of Appeals you have to follow the law and in New Mexico, it’s against the law to interfere with the education process. I can’t help but think that if that were a law in Maine, a lot of adults would be in jail, but I’m getting off track.

Let’s take a break here. If it was my kid, (and it could have been) I would have been upset. I would have been very upset. At some point I would have said, “This is stupid, I’m letting it go.”

The kid was suspended from school for the rest of the year, but there may have been an opportunity to revisit that if there wasn’t a lawsuit. It’s important to state that the school could have done the same thing. “Looking at this, we could have handled it differently and we’ll review our policies and reeducate our staff if necessary.”

Neither happened.

Here we are in 2017. I have no idea what young son has done, but MOM has not moved on. She has taken the case all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

At this point in time, young son has either graduated from high school or is about to. If he’s applied to college or a job I hope he mentioned his middle school notoriety because it’s about to become front page news again. When MOM took her case to the Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the judges wrote a dissent and that judge was Neil Gorsuch.

I suspect he thought the whole thing was much ado about nothing, but the majority (that’s how it works) supported the school and the resource officer, so MOM took the case all the way to the United States Supreme Court, and they are considering whether to hear the case or not and of course the media is in a frenzy about the Gorsuch connection.

Here’s the deal. Maybe burping son is still worked up about this travesty, but I’m betting he’s more interested right now in finding a nice young lady that enjoys the same things he enjoys and possibly building a life together.

Being the famous fake burper who got arrested six years ago is not going to look good on his resume. At some point, someone should have let it go. Simple as that. We’ve come to a point in this country where winning is more important than peace of mind and common sense. In this case, I’m fairly certain that both sides believe that if they give in, they lose, when in fact if they give in, they win.

What if none of this aftershock had happened? What if the parties involved had sat down, talked things out and just moved on? It’s important to add this disclaimer. It appears that this middle school kid was somewhat of a punk. There are a lot of them in middle school and some never outgrow it, but it’s still middle school and shouldn’t be a surprise for all involved, so I don’t think he was a saint.

We’ve come to a place in this country where being declared right is more important than anything else. Being right is not anywhere near as important as being genuine, or honest, or truthful, or trustworthy, or dependable. The list goes on and on. Being right is not as important as it’s cracked up to be.

This young man, JM. They only use initials to protect his identity. Right. Everybody involved knows who he is. He’s going to be identified probably by unnamed sources who shared his name on condition of anonymity because the dissenting judge on the Circuit Court of Appeals is now a member of the Supreme Court and some people don’t like that.

Be careful what you wish for.


Bill PackardBill Packard lives in Union and is the founder of BPackard.com. He is a speaker, author, small business coach and consultant.

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