D.A. Plans To Drop Charge Against Bullied Student
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The South Fayette High School sophomore charged with disorderly conduct for recording his alleged bullies in class will have the charges against him dropped.
Justin Steele, attorney for Christian Stanfield, told KDKA’s Kym Gable he got the call from the District Attorney’s Office Wednesday afternoon.
The D.A.’s Office released a statement on Wednesday, which said:
“No one in our office who is authorized to give advice on wiretap issues or school conduct issues was ever contacted in this matter. We have made multiple attempts to contact the officer who wrote the citation and [these] results have been unsuccessful. It is our intention to withdraw the citation on April 29th because we do not believe this behavior rises to the level of a citation.”
The family decided to celebrate at Bubba’s Gourmet Burgers and Beers in Bridgeville.
There, Stanfield was greeted by several well-wishers, and by State Rep. Jesse White, who told Stanfield he’s drafting legislation called “Christian’s Law.”
The bill is aimed at closing the state’s wire-tapping loophole that got the teen in trouble in the first place.
KDKA Radio afternoon host Mike Pintek spoke with Rep. White about the proposal he has for “Christian’s Law.” Rep. White explains that he is not using this case for his own personal gain. He believes this is the right thing to do because Stanfield is his constituent and he wants to help him.
Pintek continued by confronting Rep. White about his online incident and stated that what he did could be considered bullying. Rep. White responded that he’d be the first to say that the way he went about the situation was wrong and if the recipients of the comments felt bullied, then that was their opinion.
“It’s awesome having people come up to me and tell me they really appreciate me coming out and sharing my story. It’s only one of millions,” said Stanfield.
His mother, Shea Love, told Gable, “It’s been devastating. This is step one and I are happy this part is over at least.”
Rep. White sat down with the family to discuss the bill.
“What we’re going to do, we’re going to say if a student on school property is witnessing or a victim of bullying, and they record it for the sole purpose of exposing the bullying… that that is not a violation of the Wiretap Act,” said White.
Another local teen, who says bullying forced her to leave South Fayette High School, came to support Christian. Hunter Boyd recalled the verbal torment.
“I think the thing you think about is, why does this person hate me so much? What did I ever do to them to have them tell me to take my own life?” said Boyd. “[I am] emotionally destroyed.”
“When you have someone like Hunter come out and meet me face to face, it’s inspiring. It’s more than I could have ever wanted,” Stanfield added.
Meanwhile, the South Fayette School District issued the following statement on its website:
“The South Fayette Township School District wishes to address recent reports in the local and national media concerning a student of the South Fayette Township School District. It is to be noted that certain information being disseminated by the media is inaccurate and/or incomplete. The School District is legally precluded from commenting specifically in regard to these reports as the issue involves a confidential student matter.
“The South Fayette Township School District follows its policies regarding harassment and bullying. School District officials treat any and all reports of bullying timely and seriously, and with the utmost care and sensitivity. Maintaining a safe educational environment for all students in all respects has been and will continue to be of uppermost importance to the South Fayette Township School District and its personnel.
“As this matter relates to a confidential student situation, the School District can offer no further comment at this time. “
Motivational speaker Jim Jordan, from the Niagara Falls area, spends his days traveling across the country speaking to students and parents about bullying.
“We need to understand that bullying is a community problem, not a school problem, and the parents have a role in all this as well,” said Jordan. “A lot of the behaviors we do at home get brought in to the school system and the school seems to be fighting back and forth, it seems like this rubbing back and forth between what’s happening out in the community and what’s happening back in the schools.”
Jordan describes three indicators of bullying – an imbalance of power, an intent to harm and repeated action.
Stanfield and Love joined the KDKA Morning News Thursday morning to discuss the latest on his situation.
If you know anyone who is a victim of bullying or you are interested in more information and need someone to talk to, you can visit Jim’s website for help: www.reportbullying.com
Bullied Student Charged After Recording Tormentors (4/15/14)
More Reports by Kym Gable