See United States v. Twine, 853 F.2d 676, 680 (9th Cir. 1988) (finding that an "intent to threaten" requires "a showing of specific intent"); United States v. Ross, 206 F.3d 896, 898-99 (9th Cir. 2000)
Court absolves school officials of responsibility in student's suicide
One student killed himself.
Federal appellate court says Ontario-Montclair School District officials acted appropriately in disciplining four students who skipped school to attend a rally. One student killed himself.
By Carol J. Williams
June 1, 2009
Ontario-Montclair School District officials acted appropriately in disciplining four students who skipped school to attend an immigration rally, even though one boy was so traumatized by threatened punishments that he committed suicide, a federal appeals court panel ruled Monday.
The case brought by the dead boy's parents raised an array of questions about the students' constitutional rights to attend the rally as an act of free expression and the latitude of DeAnza Middle School Vice Principal Gene Bennett in sanctioning the truant protesters.
The four students left school without permission on March 28, 2006, to take part in a protest against impending changes to federal immigration laws.
Louise Corales said her son called her shortly before shooting himself to death March 30, saying that he was suspended from school and had been told by Bennett that he was going to jail.
U.S. District Court Judge Stephen G. Larson had dismissed the parents' suit in 2007, prompting the appeal to the San Francisco-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
While determining the students' action to have been an expression of opinion that could be protected by the 1st Amendment, the three-judge panel said the students were being punished for truancy, not for engaging in protected free speech.
The decision exonerated Bennett and another school official, Kathleen Kinley, of responsibility for Soltero's suicide, stating that the tragic occurrence was "unforeseeable and extraordinary" but not the result of negligence or excessive punishment.
"Because Bennett's statements could not be interpreted as intended to cause any unlawful injury to the students, they did not constitute a true threat of corporal punishment," the appeals panel said.
The parents' attorney, R. Samuel Paz, said he needed to further study the 9th Circuit opinion before advising his clients on whether to appeal.
"At this point I just have to deal with the sadness of them and figure out what is the right thing to do from here," Paz said.
The opinion was written by Senior Circuit Judge Cynthia Holcomb Hall, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan, and joined by Circuit Judge Harry Pregerson, named to the bench by President Jimmy Carter, and visiting U.S. District Court Judge David Alan Ezra of Hawaii, another Reagan appointee.
Contemptible police tactics - Cops raid the home of a licensed medical marijuana provider in Washington, handcuff the fourteen year old son and put a gun to his head, and search the nineteen year old daughter and take the contents of her mickey-mouse wallet.
How To Survive Traffic Stops in America, Submit, Instantly! - What the cops want is immediate obedience and submission. Many cops are ex-military and view the civilian motorists of America about like they viewed the hapless peasants of Iraq and Afghanistan, that is, with contempt, not as fellow citizens deserving of civility and respect. It is a possibly lethal mistake to do anything other than submit, instantly and obey! Or be ready to shoot first. But aim high.