Monday, January 25, 2010

They saw the legal freight train bearing down on them

The Glenn County, California School Board has overturned the expulsion of 18-year-old Gary Tudesko, the high-school student who was summarily kicked out of school for legally parking his truck, which happened to contain two unloaded shotguns from his early-morning duck hunting trip that day, on a public street near the campus because he was running late for school and didn't want to take the time to swing by his house to drop off his firearms:

"The county board ruled the district had 'acted in excess of its jurisdiction' because the act 'did not occur on school grounds or at a school activity.'"


"Furthermore, the county board stated that Tudesko did not have an opportunity for a 'fair hearing' before the district board, because he "was not provided timely written notice of all evidence....'"

You mean students have due-process rights too?  Well, Sha-zam.

"The board also found 'prejudicial abuse of discretion by the district' because it failed to show how other discipline choices were not feasible, or that Tudesko was a 'continuing danger to the physical safety of the student and others.'"

That finding pretty much sums up all school "zero-tolerance" policies, as far as we're concerned.

Naturally, Principal Mort Geivett, who had previously asserted that he somehow enjoyed complete jurisdiction over nearby public streets (to an unknown distance from the school) and that he could do whatever he wanted within that bubble of authority (including using private sniffer dogs to snoop around legally-parked vehicles on those roads without probable cause or a search warrant), and the other martinets who run the Willow Unified School District are sniveling about having their hands slapped:

"Willows High Principal Mort Geivett's reaction to the reversal was disappointment.

'I'm disappointed, but not surprised, due to the political climate we have here and the fact we have school board members who are going up for re-election and a superintendent who might be running for re-election,' he said."

Pretty weak argument, sir.

"Willows Unified Superintending Steve Olmos' response was one of confusion.

The decision 'has left me dumbfounded, almost speechless,' he said."

Darn.  We were so close to not having to listen to you.

"The county board 'is undermining our authority. They are definitely saying we don't have jurisdiction off campus,' he complained."

You don't.

The article reports that the matter seems to be settled.  The Glenn County School Board deserves credit for stepping in and correcting Tudesko's railroading at the hands of the Willow administration.  We suspect they realized that they had no legal leg to stand on and decided to sensibly end things in a peaceable manner before being beaten silly in court.


Anonymous said...

I would almost let this guy go on being an idiot, even if he misguidedly assumed that the student's car was within his jurisdiction simply because the student parked it nearby with the intention of going to school.
Until he continued to whine and fuss and not understand the boundaries of his jurisdiction and the fact that the student parked his car there because he was going to school there. Does the principal think he can search the house across the street? Then why the car?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of "out of jurisdiction..."