Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Board's Investigation Report for Oct. 15 alleged Bullying incident

CONFIDENTIAL (Actual reproduction from the original)
names of the students has been changed
Springfield Public Schools
Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) Parent Form

This report is to be provided to the parent/guardian within 5 days after the results of a bullying investigation as reported to the Board of Education. (The Parents of Sumit received it in 9 Days) 

Board of Education Meeting: 11/7/11
Dates(s) of Alleged Incident(s): October 15, 2011
School: FMG 0015

Summary of Allegation(s):
Parent of Joshua alleged that Mike and Sumit were within inches of Student 1’s ear clapping and saying “Hey, Joshua”. Later, when Student 1 asked to go home the same boys told him that he couldn’t go home on the bus with them; he would have to wait for a special bus that would take him home at midnight.

Factual Findings of Anti-Bullying Specialist:
As defined by the new “Anti-Bullying Law”, this incident did escalate to Bullying.
According to Mike and Sumit they are both members of FMG band with Joshua. The FMG band was participating with JDHS band on October 15 th, when the JDHS football team was playing at Union High School. The three boys were participating. Mike and Sumit admitted that they made an inappropriate comment to Joshua indicating that he would be returning “later” than the other FMG band members. Sumit admitted that he went along with the comment because he thought it was “funny and cool”. When he realized that he was bullying, he stopped, moved away, and joined his other friends. Mike admitted that he was “goofing off” when he made the comment to Joshua; he realized after speaking with Mr. Plias that what he said was wrong.

Was there a finding that harassment, intimidation, or bullying took place?  YES
Were any services and/or interventions provided to any individuals involved in the incident(s)?  YES

Describe all services and/or interventions provided to any individuals involved in the incident(s):
Disciplinary action was taken for both Students 2 and Student 3 for the comments they made to Student 1 at the football game at Union High School on Saturday, October 15, 2011 . Mr. Plias has reminded both boys of the importance of being emphatic to others and the harm or hurt that results from inappropriate comments and/or words.
Superintendent Signature: Michael A Davino Date: 11/8/11

On Nov. 17, 2011 Father of Sumit received this certified latter dated Nov. 8, 2011 which is in violation of HIB Rule report is to be provided to the parent/guardian within 5 days after the results of a bullying investigation as reported to the Board of Education (Nov.7, 2011).

Sumit was deprived of his constitutional right to Due Process

Evidence of Mr. Plias’ intense interrogation, premature conclusions of law, and fear imposed upon Sumit are conspicuously evident in Sumit’s written statement. Take for example, Sumit’s statement “I didn’t realize that this was bullying so when I did I stopped and just left and went to my other friend.” 

This statement at minimum invites suspicion. To believe that Sumit, a 12 year old child, voluntarily, knowingly and willfully violated the school anti-bulling policy and New Jersey anti-bullying law, by uttering a single remark to his musical band colleague at a high school football, and subsequently within seconds of time to instantly return to his law abiding senses, and fully withdraw from further commitment of unlawful act by “joining his other friends” is a self-incriminating recounting of facts that defies common sense and credibility.

Most importantly the students, especially minors, should be informed of her/his rights to admit or deny the charges, and see his/her parents, before ever submitting documentation by school administrators wherein the student by force or fear of sanction admits to violating school policies authorized by governing state laws that could invoke severe sanctions upon the students.

Based on the forgoing, it is evident that FMG and the Springfield BOE significantly deprived Sumit of his constitutional right to Due Process. Sumit was forced to produce incriminating evidence, at the outset of a concealed investigation, without provision for presenting his side of the case. His academic record is wrongfully blemished for acts that were not even his own, and remains subject to future harm as a result of these recorded school code of conduct violations on his academic record.

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