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Juvenile in school being asked to give a statement without a parent present

Discussion in 'Juvenile Crime, Law & Court' started by momma_2_four, Apr 10, 2013.

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  1. momma_2_four

    momma_2_four Law Topic Starter New Member

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    This has recently come up even though I have coached my children to never give a statement to school staff or to a police or school resource officer. They are supposed to just repeat over and over to ask them to call a parent that they cannot make a statement without a parent or lawyer present. But the other day my son was intimidated or they were friendly enough that he gave a statement. It did not harm him per se, but could cause harm to his friend.

    What I'm wondering is if I can make a blanket statement and have it put in their files that they are not to be asked any questions concerning any incidents without their parent or lawyer present and would they be forced to abide by that or if we just continue to coach our kids more to prevent this from happening in the future. Any ideas would be appreciated.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    We can TRY to be proactive, but only if others honor what we request.

    Therefore, much of what we do is REACTIVE.

    You can ASK the school to honor your request, but they are under no LEGAL DUTY to honor it.

    You should impress upon your children that they MUST do EXACTLY as you INSTRUCT.

    The weak link here was YOUR child.

    He requires MORE coaching, instruction, and parental guidance.
     
  3. Betty3

    Betty3 Super Moderator

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    Agree, it is legal for a child to be questioned by a police officer or school officials without a parent or lawyer present. You can inform your child that she/he is not to answer any questions that are asked by a teacher, other parent, police officer, or school officials...... If the child says they want a parent or lawyer present, questioning should cease & desist.
     
  4. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    In this case the child was not the suspect. The staff could ask all they want regardless of request for a parent. Three child has to know it is okay to not respond.
    If the child had been the suspect and questioning continued then it would be different.
     
  5. Betty3

    Betty3 Super Moderator

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    We really don't know if they thought he was a "suspect" or not - maybe they did (just that the statement he gave "could" cause harm to his friend). We really don't know the complete (full) situation.
     
  6. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    And, depending on the situation, if the child fails to cooperate with the school authorities he might find himself subject to school discipline. This may or may not be the case in the OP's state, but in many states it is.
     
  7. momma_2_four

    momma_2_four Law Topic Starter New Member

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    He was suspect in that he was teasing his friend. He ended up with a detention for his part in the mess. His friend has been charged with a felony based on the school resource officer asking my child if he felt "scared" and he answered in the affirmative. When asked by me if he actually felt scared he said not really, I could have handled it (he is a black belt in TKD) but they kept asking so I just nodded my head. Had I been there, I feel I could have handled that in a better way than he did. Just because they keep asking the question doesn't mean you need to change your answer. But he's 11 and it was a room full of adults. Not only was it scary for him but he didn't understand the ramifications of certain words vs. other words to describe the situation that might have been interpreted differently. I believe he now understands why it is important to have a parent present no matter what. And our school principal has said he will do his best to call me first to give me time to get there in the future. The future only being about 1 week. And they thankfully did respect my wishes and called me first.
     
  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    The important take away here is to ensure your children understand they say NOTHING, except, "Please call my mommy or my daddy, sir or madam".

    Then they clam up.

    By the way, children can't commit crimes.

    What might be a felony to an adult is simply a delinquent act where children are concerned.

    But, one day Jimmy will become James,a nd delinquent acts will become felonies.

    Its important that James knows NOT to say anything without his lawyer being present.

    That's your job, mom, teach them, instruct them guide them.
     

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