tagged w/ Stupid Law
A 6-year-old elementary school student has been suspended for forming a gun with his hands, pointing it at a student and saying ‘pow’. Administrators called the action a ‘serious incident'.
The 6-year-old boy was given a one-day suspension from Roscoe Nix Elementary School in Silver Spring, Md. for his pretend gunshot, which attorney Robin Ficker said was unnecessarily harsh.
The boy’s family received a letter from Assistant Principal Renee Garraway in which the gesture was described as “a serious incident”, the Washington Examiner reported.
“[He] threatened to shoot a student. He was spoken to earlier today about a similar incident,” the letter said. The family does not know what this ‘similar incident’ is and claims they have never been informed of any previous problems regarding their child.
“It just shows the overreaction,” Ficker said.
“They could have called the mother in. They didn’t do that. They just said, ‘You’re suspended.’ Five years from now, when someone in Montgomery County looks at his permanent record, they’re going to see that he threatened to shoot another student,” the attorney added.
The ruling can be appealed within 10 days of the incident and there is a conference planned to discuss the matter on Jan. 2 – the day students return to school.
The gun gesture occurred one week after 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. – 20 of which were children. The massacre was the second-deadliest school shooting in US history and shook up the nation during the holiday season. Across the US, parents and students became fearful of gun violence and mourned the loss of so many young children.
Making a gun gesture shortly after the Sandy Hook shooting may seem insensitive, but the 6-year-old may not have understood the implications of his seemingly harmless action.
“He doesn’t understand,” Ficker told NBC4. “The law says he is not old enough to form intent.”
Dana Tofig, spokesman for Montgomery County Schools, told NBC that she could not comment on individual cases.
“Generally, in an incident involving the behavior of our younger students, we will make sure that the student and his family are well-informed of any behavior that needs to change and understand the consequences if the behavior does not change,” she said.
Another spokesperson for the school district told the Examiner that parents are informed of incidents in which students’ learning environments are affected or in which other students feel unsafe. The elementary school did not indicate any feelings of endangerment felt by the other student.http://rt.com/usa/news/six-year-old-suspended-school-pretend-236/
A 6-year-old... more
For some lawmakers, Cathy Cruz Marrero's now-infamous fall into a fountain while texting couldn't have come at a better time.
In California, State Sen. Joe Simitian has reintroduced a bill that would fine cyclists $20 for texting. In Oregon, State Rep. Michael Schaufler wants to fine cyclists $90 for wearing headphones or earbuds. In Virginia, lawmakers are considering whether to broaden such a ban to include any handheld communication device.
And in New York, a bill before the legislature's transportation committee would ban the use of electronic devices while crossing streets.
This is the second time State Sen. Carl Kruger has introduced this legislation to stem what he calls "tuning in and tuning out." As if to prove his point, a 21-year-old man listening to an iPod Nano in a crosswalk on Madison Avenue in New York last December was killed when a Mack truck backed into him and dragged him 30 feet. Presumably, the man did not hear the beeping of the truck in reverse.
The whirlwind of legislation comes at a time when pedestrian fatalities were up for the first time in four years in the first half of 2010, according to a report just released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, which also reports that pedestrian fatalities account for about 12 percent of overall traffic deaths in the United States. Meanwhile, researchers in Washington and in Illinois have been exploring the nature of distraction while walking using cell phones.
Sen. Kruger's bill calls for a ban in streets of cities with populations of a million or more people. But the Governors Highway Safety Association reports that in the three biggest states with the biggest cities (New York, California, and Texas), pedestrian fatalities actually fell. Arizona (up 21), Florida (up 36), Oklahoma (up 16), Oregon (up 18), and North Carolina (up 17) saw the largest jumps in pedestrian fatalities over the previous year.
While restricting the use of distracting devices in cars and on bicycles has become more commonplace across the States, legislation targeting pedestrians and joggers crosses a new line. (In Arkansas, a proposal to ban pedestrians from wearing headphones over both ears was met with such outrage that a legislator withdrew it altogether this week.)
Setting aside the obvious debate over whether a person should retain the basic right to walk or jog distracted, the next questions include whether this kind of ban will work to save lives, and if so, at what cost?
If the bill in New York passes, these questions will be answered in due time. Until then, expect to see a range of legal questions about the finer details of the ban, including what, exactly, constitutes a street, and a crossing of the street, and which electronic devices, if any, may be excused from said ban.
Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-27083_3-20029623-247.html#ixzz1CBJiDG4zFor some lawmakers, Cathy Cruz Marrero's now-infamous fall into a fountain while... more
NYC Department of Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty runs a tight trash heap, and his team of dedicated sanitation artisans are truly New York's strongest. But has he gone too far in his zeal to enforce the city's numerous sanitation rules [pdf]? One elderly Inwood resident named Delia Gluckin certainly thinks so; she claims a Department of Sanitation agent recently wrote her a ticket for throwing out her newspaper... in a public trash bin.
In an exclusive report, the Post says that Gluckin, 80, is fighting a $100 ticket for putting "improper refuse" in a city litter basket. She claims she was en route to the subway when she dropped her newspaper in the trash can outside her apartment, a transgressive act that caught the eye of a dedicated Sanitation agent. "She acted as if I had a committed a crime," Gluckin tells the tabloid. "I said, 'Look, lady, I'm a senior citizen... I'll just take it back.' I even said to her, 'Am I your first customer of the day? I really felt intimidated... I have a feeling she just wanted to make her quota." So cynical for a kindly old grandmother!
Gluckin is on a fixed income and has vowed to fight the ticket. A Sanitation Department spokesperson admits, "Being fined for tossing a newspaper into a basket is odd." But also: "Too many apartment dwellers use the corner litter basket as their personal household dumping site." Let's let Gluckin's rubbish rap serve as a cautionary tale about the risks of getting mixed up with print media.
http://gothamist.com/2010/12/08/100_ticket_for_throwing_out_newspap.phpNYC Department of Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty runs a tight trash heap, and... more
Citing cases dating back as far as 1928, a judge has ruled that a young girl accused of running down an elderly woman while racing a bicycle with training wheels on a Manhattan sidewalk two years ago can be sued for negligence.
The ruling by the judge, Justice Paul Wooten of State Supreme Court in Manhattan, did not find that the girl was liable, but merely permitted a lawsuit brought against her, another boy and their parents to move forward.
The suit that Justice Wooten allowed to proceed claims that in April 2009, Juliet Breitman and Jacob Kohn, who were both 4, were racing their bicycles, under the supervision of their mothers, Dana Breitman and Rachel Kohn, on the sidewalk of a building on East 52nd Street. At some point in the race, they struck an 87-year-old woman named Claire Menagh, who was walking in front of the building and, according to the complaint, was “seriously and severely injured,” suffering a hip fracture that required surgery. She died three weeks later.
Her estate sued the children and their mothers, claiming they had acted negligently during the accident. In a response, Juliet’s lawyer, James P. Tyrie, argued that the girl was not “engaged in an adult activity” at the time of the accident — “She was riding her bicycle with training wheels under the supervision of her mother” — and was too young to be held liable for negligence.
In legal papers, Mr. Tyrie added, “Courts have held that an infant under the age of 4 is conclusively presumed to be incapable of negligence.” (Rachel and Jacob Kohn did not seek to dismiss the case against them.)
But Justice Wooten declined to stretch that rule to children over 4. On Oct. 1, he rejected a motion to dismiss the case because of Juliet’s age, noting that she was three months shy of turning 5 when Ms. Menagh was struck, and thus old enough to be sued.
Mr. Tyrie “correctly notes that infants under the age of 4 are conclusively presumed incapable of negligence,” Justice Wooten wrote in his decision, referring to the 1928 case. “Juliet Breitman, however, was over the age of 4 at the time of the subject incident. For infants above the age of 4, there is no bright-line rule.”
The New York Law Journal reported the decision on Thursday.
Mr. Tyrie had also argued that Juliet should not be held liable because her mother was present; Justice Wooten disagreed.
“A parent’s presence alone does not give a reasonable child carte blanche to engage in risky behavior such as running across a street,” the judge wrote. He added that any “reasonably prudent child,” who presumably has been told to look both ways before crossing a street, should know that dashing out without looking is dangerous, with or without a parent there. The crucial factor is whether the parent encourages the risky behavior; if so, the child should not be held accountable.
In Ms. Menagh’s case, however, there was nothing to indicate that Juliet’s mother “had any active role in the alleged incident, only that the mother was ‘supervising,’ a term that is too vague to hold meaning here,” he wrote. He concluded that there was no evidence of Juliet’s “lack of intelligence or maturity” or anything to “indicate that another child of similar age and capacity under the circumstances could not have reasonably appreciated the danger of riding a bicycle into an elderly woman.”
Mr. Tyrie, Dana Breitman and Rachel Kohn did not respond to messages seeking comment.
http://l1.yimg.com/a/i/ww/news/2010/10/29/training.jpgCiting cases dating back as far as 1928, a judge has ruled that a young girl accused... more
2 years ago