Fed Court Rules 7th Grader Arrest for Burping Stands

The failure to gauge the effect on the child’s life is mind-boggling, and the lives of his peers witnessing this treatment.  One more into the prison pipeline in this insane country.

 

Federal appeals court rules police officer was justified to arrest a seventh-grader who was BURPING too loudly in his classroom

  • Arrest of student for burping in class is upheld in federal appeals court 
  • Student was a seventh-grader at Albuquerque’s Cleveland Middle School
  • He was taken from school to a detention center in handcuffs by police 
  • He was given a petty misdemeanor for interfering in the education process 

A federal appeals court has upheld the petty misdemeanor arrest of an Albuquerque student accused of repeatedly disrupting his middle-school class with loud burps.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decision on Monday ruled that the officer and educators named in the lawsuit were entitled to immunity, and the arrest was justified under a New Mexico law that prohibits anyone from interfering in the education process.

The student was a seventh-grader at Albuquerque’s Cleveland Middle School at the time of the May 2011 arrest. He is not named in court documents.

A seventh-grade student was handcuffed and taken to a detention center for loudly burping in class in May 2011

A seventh-grade student was handcuffed and taken to a detention center for loudly burping in class in May 2011

His mother, who also isn’t named, filed the lawsuit against the then 13-year-old’s principals and the police officer who escorted him to his patrol car before patting him down, cuffing him and taking him to a juvenile detention center. He was held for an hour before his mother arrived.

She argued her son’s arrest was unlawful and resulted in excessive force.

‘At worst, (the boy) was being a class-clown and engaged in behavior that would have subjected generations of school boys to an after-school detention, writing lines, or a call to his parents,’ a complaint filed by her attorneys said.

According to the school, the boy was in physical education class when his teacher said he began making other students laugh with fake burps. The teacher sent him to the hallway, where he continued burping and leaning into the entrance-way to the classroom so the students could hear.

An Albuquerque Police officer drove handcuffed the seventh-grade student and drove him from the school to a juvenile detention center

An Albuquerque Police officer drove handcuffed the seventh-grade student and drove him from the school to a juvenile detention center

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decision on Monday ruled the arrest was justified under a New Mexico law that prohibits anyone from interfering in the education process

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decision on Monday ruled the arrest was justified under a New Mexico law that prohibits anyone from interfering in the education process

That’s when Officer Arthur Acosta, assigned to the middle school as its resource officer, was called to the hallway where the boy was seated, according to court documents.

The boy disputed the version of events provided to the officer by his teacher Margaret Mines-Hornbeck before the officer led him away from the classroom, and took him first to the school’s administrative office and then the juvenile detention center.

The boy was suspended for the remainder of the school year.

The appeals court also ruled Monday on a separate complaint brought by the boy’s mother stemming from a school official’s decision to search the boy in the November after the burp-related arrest.

Court documents show the assistant principal who suspected the teen may have been involved in a marijuana transaction asked him to remove his shoes and jeans, and flip the waistband of a pair of shorts he was wearing under his jeans. The boy was wearing several more layers of clothing under the jeans.

The search turned up a red bandanna, a belt buckle with the image of a marijuana leaf and other items but no drugs.

The mother argued the school official engaged in an unlawful strip search of the boy. But the court found the use of the term ‘strip search’ was a stretch and did not violate the boy’s constitutional rights.

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2 thoughts on “Fed Court Rules 7th Grader Arrest for Burping Stands

  1. I don’t think this was as awful as some think. The kid was doing it on purpose and continued to do it after being told to stop and being removed from the room. But I don’t understand why he was suspended for the rest of the school year unless this was not an isolated incident. As a mother, I know how badly kids misbehave, especially boys it seems, and it’s almost impossible to get them to stop.

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    • It is the responsibility of the school and the parents to jointly develop relationship with this boy so he could be brought to understand. What has happened instead is he has been introduced to the school-to-prison pipeline. I don’t think your personal experience as a mother can be generalized, Mom. You couldn’t stop me and Pres because you did not have the credibility of good relationship with us.

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