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Do you want to know what I'm feeling inside today? In addition to legal prosecution I have to endure, school has provided me a "five-day suspension" coupled with threat of possible expulsion, which also means I probably will not graduate this year. And since I feel not only embarrassed by my arrest, but also betrayed by Vice Principal who used my honesty against me to have me arrested, I probably will not return to school at all.
I also feel anger. Real Anger! That school campus is full of knives, bats, chains, and guns. Even Sheriffs Deputies had knives in their possession. And granted, Police are authorized to carry guns, batons, and other tools of their trade that they train for proper use of, and are expected to carry such upon their person while on school grounds. But, not even Police have right to carry knives on school campuses that have a zero tolerance policy. I suspect that at least fifty percent of adults on High School Campuses carry at least a pocket knife. So why are they not in this cell beside me?
So either I am a Student that is provided a Cite and Release and a short term juvenile record, or I am afforded same rights as every other adult on that High School Campus, including Police. No, they would rather leave me festering this anger in a jail cell, destroy my High School education, and leave me with legal requirement to have to say I have been convicted of a felony on job applications for rest of my life. They would rather leave me with image of my mother in tears while they told her they were arresting me for this. They would rather leave me with this anger building within me, getting stronger with every rejection and failure my future will now provide me, instead of success I could have enjoyed were it not for this foolish mistake. But, did they tell any of you where I'm going to be?
I'm going to be in your neighborhood, living on your street, growing madder and madder with each passing day. But, don't worry. You won't know me . . . And, I will not ever consider getting out of bed on Friday 13th ever again.
Note: Although I have fictionalized most of this story, it is derived from a real occurrence this past Friday 13th. And, I am offended to see blatant disregard for a good young man. I am even further offended by lack of justice afforded this situation, violation of his civil rights by school officials, and failure of our legal system to prevent erosion of society when they not only have capability, but opportunity to do so. As for my fellow brothers behind badge, you are an embarrassment with your hypocrisy.
Rich Brunelle is a Disabled Retired Peace Officer for the State of Calafornia. If you would like to comment to him directly regarding this article, visit the Forum at http://djam-promo.com