Re: @Neil Barnes
I think it is the school and police response that seems to be very unbalanced...
I completely agree. To arrest him, given that they could obviously see it was NOT a bomb (the fact that they didn't evacuate the school proves this), was overreaction in the extreme. Similarly, for the school to call the cops without evacuating seems OTT.
It does not matter what, how, who and where. If there is no ongoing incident of the "dead bodies" variety, you are _OBLIGED_ to call the parents first even if you also call the police. Anything else aside, the law requires them to be present if the minor is to be interrogated outside of an "active shooter" context.
I always thought so, too, although I'm no expert on US law (all I know comes from TV shows and the media). I suspect they (ab)used the "terr'ism" laws to justify this...
One look at this kid and the cops nerd alerts should have been going off.
To be honest, this one is a straw man. Do you think that no "nerds" are ever recruited (or coerced/brainwashed/conned) by criminal elements? I still think it was all an insane overreaction, but the fact that a suspect "is a nerd" makes very little difference, just as it should make little difference that he has brown skin.
Bullshit FERPA now exists mostly to allow schools to hide how much they have covered up rape and other investigations.
It always makes me laugh (in a bad way) when I hear people and organisations using privacy laws to cover up wrong doing.
This is how this played out in the local news media: ...
That was a very interesting and informative comment, a rarity on El Reg's forums. Thank you.
It certainly wouldn't surprise me if Obama (or his team) called the local cops and told them to stop being idiots. This kind of response makes the USA look stupid and racist to the rest of the world (as if we need any more ammunition in that argument). I'm not saying all Americans are, but we get very regular news coverage showing at least what appears to be racist and idiotic behaviour. This is just the latest example.
Gauging public risk implies a certain degree of common sense. That seems to have been eliminated from the Gene pool of people that join the police forces in the USofA.
No offence meant to police officers out there, but I think law enforcement tends to attract the wrong people. Cops have a lot of power, but do not need the intelligence required by most positions which give people power, so it will attract power-hungry idiots. Again, no offence to police officers, I know not all are like this, but some are. These are the people who react like this. They are also the type of cop who assumes they know the law and will not budge, even given evidence to the contrary.
I site as a much tamer example the time I was harassed by my landlord and landlady. They tried to evict me with no good reason. When I refused, they started trying to force me out through intimidation. Eventually, it all came to a head when they let themselves in to the house and tried to remove "their property" (as they put it) in the form of all the appliances and furniture.
I called the police. The cops told me it was "a civil matter". I had been prepared for this by CAB. The lady I spoke to there said that she toured police stations letting them know about these laws. I showed them documentation on the laws involved and police guidance on the matter (what they were doing was a criminal offence). The police refused to even acknowledge this, although at least they got my landlords to leave.