Senior Pranks: Can They Be Viewed as a Threat?
Mike: Star 92.9, it’s Mike and Mary 840 doing it on a Tuesday. Hi Mary.
Mary: Hey. That means tomorrow is Wednesday, halfway through the week, my favorite day of the week.
Mike: Happy Wednesday.
Mary: Anything that’s going on.
Mike: Oh my God, all right. So another guest found their way to the studio. So let’s see what they want and get them the hell out.
Mary: Mike, I love when people come in.
Mike: It’s our buddy, Paul Harding from Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, live and in person in the studio.
Paul: Good morning, good morning, what a nice greeting. It’s great to be here.
Mary: Isn’t he something?
Mike: It’s good to see you, man. Nice to have you in the studio with us for a “Legal Minute.”
Paul: Bring it back right to the epicenter here, yes.
Mike: So the case we’re throwing at you today, the high school senior prank. The kid tries to sell his high school on Craigslist for what, $12,000?
Paul: Twelve thousand seven hundred and twenty five dollars. He had an exact number to sell the school.
Mike: Can you do that or…
Paul: Well, I thought you could, you know, kind of senior prank stuff, right? People do all sorts of things. One of the kids put sand in the lobby, made it look like a beach and he didn’t get suspended and he’s not missing graduation, but this young man is. So what happened is this, we’ve got him putting this on Craigslist and probably pretty funny all the way around he says,” Oh, large building, 20 rooms, athletic fields, extra-large dining room.” But then it says, “Reason for sale is loss of students.”
Mary: Oh, that’s like why, because he got in a lot of trouble for this.
Paul: He got in a lot of trouble. He says, “Hey, look at kids are graduating. There’s loss of students.” The school board said it seemed to be close to a threat.
Mary: Didn’t even think about that, the words.
Mike: It didn’t hit me that way.
Paul: It appears he didn’t either. The police got involved. They did not charge the kid. They ultimately found this kid seem like a pretty good kid. But he’s missing graduation, suspended three days. A little overreaction it seems.
Mary: It just seems that but you’re right. That does sound like a threat. These days you have to be really careful about what you said. And whoever thinks of putting a school, high school on Craigslist. Like, were there any beds?
Paul: It’s just a funny thing to do. Everything else would have been pretty good, right?
Mike: All right. Now here’s my question. I’m no lawyer, but it wouldn’t they look at the spirit of the law versus the letter of the law in this thing?
Paul: Yeah, and so they really did. In fact, the civil rights group filed a claim just real quickly with the judge, said, “Hey, we think they overreacted. Can he go to his graduation?” Judge came back and said “No, I’m gonna support the school’s decision on this.” Again, we look at what’s happening nationally. We look at Parkland, we look at stuff from Columbine to now and they just have zero tolerance. But boy, I tell you this kid…
Mike: It’s like on the line with this one.
Paul: I did hear him speak and you could just tell he was trying to be funny. He’s saying loss of students because of graduation, and I believe that’s what he meant. But he’s gonna be home. As he said, now he’s starting his graduation parties a few days early.
Mike: Unfortunately we’re in a climate now where everything is taken seriously, as you said a zero-tolerance policy for that stuff.
Mary: Okay. I’m glad that they kind of went with the school that the judge agreed with the school, because he’s still going to get a degree.
Paul: Not gonna affect his degree. Just gonna effect that walking across the stage, which is a pretty big deal for parents and pretty big deal, you know, for kids.
Mary: It is but…
Paul: Sends a message, you know. And again, jokes are… Probably 10 years ago, this thing would have been absolutely fine.
Mike: Agreed. Yeah, it would have slept through. People would have had a laugh over it, now completely different.
Mary: Completely different.
Mike: Well, thanks for bringing us down, Paul.
Paul: Good to be here. Yes, I wanna come every week, I think.
Mike: You are more than… Hey, you know we love having you in the studio. Anytime you’re in town, you just drop right in.
Paul: Sounds good.
Mike: Its Paul Harding, star of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti. Call him at 1-800-LAW-1010. We got to get out of here. We got used to like the song coming up next.
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