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What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? South Carolina
Here it is in a nut shell. My 11 year old son went to sit down at lunch with 4 boys who told him the seat was saved. He sat anyway and they were mad. Within 1 week, two of these boys made allegations that my son repeatedly grabbed their private parts over the course of a month and the other two boys stated they witnessed it, no one else. It supposedly happened in the lunch room, a hallway, a class room, a school bus during a field trip.

So, my son was pulled by the resource officer and given his rights and questioned. Several days later, I was called and asked to come to school. I was then informed of the investigation and my son states repeatedly he didn't do it. I will not be one of those that states "not my child" so I asked him if he did it, he swears no. I asked if there were cameras in the cafeteria and there were but no one checked them. The office then went back and looked and found NOTHING...the boys had lied about any incidents there.

Then we found out that when it supposedly happened on the bus, my son was in the row in front of the accusing boy and they both were in window seats with other kids next to them and they were being watched by a teacher who stated my son never stood up or tried to change seats.

Now, under questioning, the boys are changing their stories and saying that instead of their crotches, my son touched them on the knee or the shoulder and they state it was not sexual in nature and was probably done by accident. I am furious that these boys did this to by son who has NEVER been in trouble of any kind and who is an A/B student. the officer told me that he will not be charging my son with anything and that there is no recourse for charges against the boys for telling lies. I said "how about filing a false report?", he said no, that it was not illegal for them to do that.

The vice principle states that he cannot call my son or the other kids liars and so we are just to drop it essentially. I pointed out that these boys have had two incidents disproved and that they are changing their stories and that I want my son cleared.

so I have multiple questions. Can the officer Mirandize and question my 11 year old son without me present or an attorney present? He said he did not understand what the officer was telling him (he still told the officer he did nothing wrong) Can these children and their parents just walk away from this leaving my son under a cloud of suspicion? VP told me that even though the kids are changing their stories, the parents think my son is some sort of sexual deviant. What can I do to protect my child from this? We may have to switch schools. Can I demand that =these kids be removed as well? I am so mad right now I cannot think.:mad:
 

quincy

Senior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? South Carolina
... So, my son was pulled by the resource officer and given his rights and questioned. Several days later, I was called and asked to come to school. I was then informed of the investigation and my son states repeatedly he didn't do it. ...

... Now, under questioning, the boys are changing their stories ... the officer told me that he will not be charging my son with anything and that there is no recourse for charges against the boys for telling lies. I said "how about filing a false report?", he said no, that it was not illegal for them to do that. ...

... so I have multiple questions. Can the officer Mirandize and question my 11 year old son without me present or an attorney present? He said he did not understand what the officer was telling him (he still told the officer he did nothing wrong) Can these children and their parents just walk away from this leaving my son under a cloud of suspicion? VP told me that even though the kids are changing their stories, the parents think my son is some sort of sexual deviant. What can I do to protect my child from this? We may have to switch schools. Can I demand that =these kids be removed as well? I am so mad right now I cannot think.:mad:
You could speak to an attorney in your area to see if there is enough to support a defamation suit against the boys who lied about your son. The type of lie that was told about your son can be especially harmful. Proof of the falsity of the statements made can be difficult to obtain but proof of the truth of the statements to use as a defense to defamation can be equally difficult (and impossible if there is no truth behind the statements).

You said your son was "given his rights" so I assume from this that your son was told he had the right to remain silent and to have a parent or attorney present. The school should have contacted you once law enforcement was involved.
 

quincy

Senior Member
South Carolina has a Safe School Climate Act which prohibits harassment, intimidation and bullying.

In addition to school actions that can be taken against students who are found in violation of the Act (possible suspension, expulsion, transfer), civil actions can be taken by the victim of any harassment, intimidation or bullying - and defamation is one additional claim that can be filed by a student defamed against his student defamer (but any lawsuit would have to be filed by the parent/guardian on behalf of the minor).

Here is a link to South Carolina's Safe School Climate Act (see Article 2): http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t59c063.php
 
the biggest problem is that the school is unwilling to just say that these boys lied, even though the stories don't match up and they are now changing their stories. I think it is more likely that they told a story not realizing how serious it was and now, to lessen the blows without coming right out and saying that they are lying, they are changing the story. It went from he grabbed my crotch to he really just touched my knee and it could have been an accident and they admit it was not sexual in nature. I cannot fathom how the school thinks that I am just going to let this die**************.I have requested a copy of the police report from the officer and asked that it be the full report to include the fact that the cameras did not support the boys story and that they are now changing their stories. If the kids are not expelled at that point, I will go up the ladder I guess. I am just really upset that my son was questioned and I was not there AND I was not informed for several days afterwards.
 

quincy

Senior Member
the biggest problem is that the school is unwilling to just say that these boys lied, even though the stories don't match up and they are now changing their stories. I think it is more likely that they told a story not realizing how serious it was and now, to lessen the blows without coming right out and saying that they are lying, they are changing the story. It went from he grabbed my crotch to he really just touched my knee and it could have been an accident and they admit it was not sexual in nature. I cannot fathom how the school thinks that I am just going to let this die**************.I have requested a copy of the police report from the officer and asked that it be the full report to include the fact that the cameras did not support the boys story and that they are now changing their stories. If the kids are not expelled at that point, I will go up the ladder I guess. I am just really upset that my son was questioned and I was not there AND I was not informed for several days afterwards.
The school has probably not finished with their investigation into the matter - especially if the story the boys are telling has changed and keeps changing. It is not always easy to discern the truth when the truth is in the hands of children.

I can understand why you are upset.

You could speak with a lawyer in your area who is well-versed in education law, for a personal review of the facts, to see where you can and should go from here.
 
I did speak with an attorney yesterday and I was told that the officer had the right to question my son BUT that if he had said anything incriminating, that it probably would not be admissible in court as he did not understand the rights and I was not present when he was questioned. We are waiting for the final police report from the officer at the school and I e-mailed him yesterday and requested that he put in the report about the camera footage in the cafeteria clearing my son as well as clearing him of the bus incident. We are having a meeting with the officer, the VP and the principal this coming week. We are going to lay out the facts that my son has now been cleared of 3 of the 4 supposed incidents and the boys are changing their stories and as such, that should be enough to clear my son of the charges. Also, the boys are now spreading rumors around the school that my son DID do this and we are going to demand that the boys all be expelled. If my son is not able to return to school next year because of this, (this will follow him), then I want those boys out as well......I will go over their heads.
 

single317dad

Senior Member
the biggest problem is that the school is unwilling to just say that these boys lied
The school will probably never say that, no matter what the evidence says in the end. Maybe the boys were confused. Maybe they were coerced by an adult. At any rate, for the school to come out publicly and say these boys lied puts the school in a precarious position, unless there is clear and convincing evidence that every single one of them actually did lie. There's no upside for the school to say the boys lied; what you'll more likely get is a finding of "no evidence supporting the boys' allegations".
 

stealth2

Under the Radar Member
And I gather you are voluntarily choosing to move your son to a different school. That's a different animal to expulsion.

I doubt you will have any say on how - or if - the other boys are disciplined.
 

stealth2

Under the Radar Member
Perhaps a better place to focus your energy would be in getting your son into counseling. Helping him will be of greater benefit to punishing the other boys.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
Perhaps a better place to focus your energy would be in getting your son into counseling. Helping him will be of greater benefit to punishing the other boys.
While I do not disagree that counseling will help her son, that was a very serious lie that those boys told, with potentially very serious consequences to the person they lied about. That lie could have gotten him labeled as a sexual predator, and if they have spread it around, its already a problem. If I ever found out that my child told a lie like that, my child would be facing very serious consequences from me.
 

stealth2

Under the Radar Member
While I do not disagree that counseling will help her son, that was a very serious lie that those boys told, with potentially very serious consequences to the person they lied about. That lie could have gotten him labeled as a sexual predator, and if they have spread it around, its already a problem. If I ever found out that my child told a lie like that, my child would be facing very serious consequences from me.
I don't disagree. But we have no way of knowing (nor does OP) what consequences the other parents may have imposed. OP will still likely not be part of the school's disciplinary process, nor will s/he be informed of their actions wrt the other kids. His/Her son has NOT been expelled and he does NOT HAVE to leave this school - that is a family choice being made. That choice does not translate to the school having to expel the other kids.
 
it is exactly as you all said. The school stated not enough evidence to charge. That in my book is not good enough. Also, as far as the other parents go, even though they were told that their kids are changing their stories, they wanted to know what was being done with my "deviant" son**************
 

stealth2

Under the Radar Member
it is exactly as you all said. The school stated not enough evidence to charge. That in my book is not good enough. Also, as far as the other parents go, even though they were told that their kids are changing their stories, they wanted to know what was being done with my "deviant" son**************
So what? They are not getting any more info regarding what the school is doing to your son than you are getting regarding theirs.
 

quincy

Senior Member
it is exactly as you all said. The school stated not enough evidence to charge. That in my book is not good enough. Also, as far as the other parents go, even though they were told that their kids are changing their stories, they wanted to know what was being done with my "deviant" son**************
If the school does not act to resolve the matter in a satisfactory way for your son, and the parents of the other boys are less a help than a hindrance in finding a peaceful resolution, that is the time you might want to sit down with an attorney in your area to discuss legal options. A legal action should always be the LAST rather than the first option considered.

There are pros and cons to filing a legal action against the boys who lied about your son, and some of the cons can be serious and can result in harm as great to your son as the original stories told. Students in your son's school can "take sides," for one con, and your son may find himself ostracized just when he most needs the support of friends.

That said, there have been students in various states around the country who have been in positions similar to your son's and who have, with their parents fully behind them, moved ahead with court actions against their "bullies." The court actions have apparently worked out well for these children emotionally by giving them a power over their bullies that they had up to then lacked, and it has driven home to the bullies how destructive false words can be.

BUT each case is fact-specific and, more importantly, kid-specific. No legal action should be taken without VERY careful thought to the type of boy your son is and the impact the court action could have on your son. The health of your son should be your first concern (as I am sure it is).
 

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