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Education

12-Year-Old Sikh Boy Arrested In Texas After Bringing a Power Bag To School (salon.com) 954

AaronW writes: A 12-year-old Sikh boy in Dallas, Texas was accused by another student of bringing a bomb to school. Apparently he had a powerbag; a backpack with a built-in phone charger. Rather than send him to the principal's office or ask for an explanation, the teacher instead called the police, who promptly arrested him and threw him into a juvenile detention center for three days. The school promptly suspended Armaan, and the police released him after three days but required that he wear an ankle bracelet. Verifiable details are scant, for this case — probably because the whole thing seems to revolve around some 12-year-old kids talking to each other. Armaan's story is that another student said his bag looked like it had a bomb in it, and that he would report it. Believing it to be a joke, Armaan laughed. The police say he "admitted" to joking about a bomb, and they insist their actions were justified. A school district spokesman says the family was notified, but the parents say they had to dial 911 to find somebody who could tell them where their son was being held.
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12-Year-Old Sikh Boy Arrested In Texas After Bringing a Power Bag To School

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  • Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jtownatpunk.net ( 245670 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @07:10PM (#51146875)

    That's pretty sick.

    • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18, 2015 @08:19PM (#51147365)

      No; it's kidnapping. A 12 year old with a charger is clearly outside their official roles so whatever immunity the people involved here have from their jobs should be ignored. Everybody involved in locking him away should be charged with kidnapping or conspiracy. Put them down for 10 years minimum. Only when this happens regularly, reliably and visibly to many police officers and judges will these people begin to do their jobs and actually investigate whether there was a real threat or not.

      • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by msauve ( 701917 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @10:34PM (#51148177)
        This is a child. What happened to "think of the children?"

        It's the anarchists, wait, communists, no, terrorists!

        (Here's hoping a bunch of people lose their homes in civil suits)
      • Well, possibly it was within their roles if they believed it was really a bomb or there was a bomb threat. It is legal to detain juveniles. However, there is no right for police to lock up a minor without notifying the parents. Doesn't matter if the school claims they were going to notify the parents, because the school failed to provide all the necessary information.

        However the details in the story are extremely vague and the reports contradict each other. So maybe they were notified. Even if they wer

    • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @09:56PM (#51147989) Homepage Journal

      Hm, I thought that they arrest the person under charges of calling in the fake bomb threat, like with "clock boy". They got the wrong kid! Should have arrested the racist who called in a fake bomb threat. And if they think the product Armaan purchased is threateningly bomb-like, they should arrest all the stores that sell it and the manufacturers. I mean, allowing the open manufacture and sale of fake bomb threat backpacks, what is the world coming to.

      Or they could examine the perfectly harmless object owned by the "scary foreigner 12 year old" then tell the people involved in this to grow up.

      • by bwcbwc ( 601780 )

        You're assuming that someone involved in this whole farce actually was a grownup.

      • by yacc143 ( 975862 )

        Lawyer up, and be nice to the county, e.g. sue the school board and the police only for $100 million each.

        The stupid officials will only learn to handle things like this with common sense after a number of crippling court rulings.

      • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jblues ( 1703158 ) on Saturday December 19, 2015 @02:49AM (#51148855)

        I can imagine something like:

        In the past, kid receives racist taunts. Makes a complaint. Investigation favors those making the taunts - they were clearly joking. Kid told to lighten up and develop social skills.

        Kid gets taunted about having a bomb. Decides to lighten up and joke along. Gets sent to juvenile detention for joking about security matters.

    • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by iplayfast ( 166447 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @11:07PM (#51148287)

      I believe that when the officers of the law start arresting the youth because they are afraid of terrorists attack, a terrorist attack is no longer necessary. The terrorists have won.

  • Sue em. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TechyImmigrant ( 175943 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @07:11PM (#51146881) Homepage Journal

    Take them for all the money that can be had. False arrest charges would be nice too.

  • John Oliver (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @07:14PM (#51146891)
    I think it was who said that one failed terrorist attack and we all have to take our shoes off before boarding a plane but 31 shootings later still no new gun laws. This country has it's priorities completely backwards :(...
    • Re:John Oliver (Score:5, Insightful)

      by harrkev ( 623093 ) <kfmsd&harrelsonfamily,org> on Friday December 18, 2015 @07:20PM (#51146927) Homepage

      I think it was who said that one failed terrorist attack and we all have to take our shoes off before boarding a plane but 31 shootings later still no new gun laws. This country has it's priorities completely backwards :(...

      Taking guns away from honest citizens helps them how? You seem to be under the mistaken assumption that somebody desiring to kill others would somehow obey gun laws. Plus, the laws that are always proposed after a shooting would, in general, have done nothing to stop the incident that actually caused the law to be proposed.

      You have also failed to show how your comment is relevant to this story about a Sikh boy (a religion, I might add, that is not generally known to kill people).

      • Re:John Oliver (Score:4, Insightful)

        by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @07:22PM (#51146941)

        You seem to be under the mistaken assumption that somebody desiring to kill others would somehow obey gun laws.

        Somehow that person always manages to get ahold of several guns. As long as that keeps happening you get to hear this over and over again until you come up with a better solution.

        • Re:John Oliver (Score:4, Insightful)

          by harrkev ( 623093 ) <kfmsd&harrelsonfamily,org> on Friday December 18, 2015 @07:27PM (#51146981) Homepage

          Somehow that person always manages to get ahold of several guns. As long as that keeps happening you get to hear this over and over again until you come up with a better solution.

          Maybe the solution is to NOT disarm the victims? Nobody seems to commit mass murders at police stations or NRA headquarters.

          A mass shooter passed a background check, so we need universal background checks. Yeah, makes sense to me.

      • Re:John Oliver (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Moof123 ( 1292134 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @07:27PM (#51146983)

        Honest citizens are still mostly badly trained dumbasses. I am more afraid of accidentally being shot by some redneck who drank too much and got in an argument than I am from being blown up by ISIS. The statistics bear this out. Do you live your life by real numbers or just gut feelings?

      • Re:John Oliver (Score:5, Insightful)

        by CohibaVancouver ( 864662 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @07:33PM (#51147029)

        Taking guns away from honest citizens helps them how?

        Same way it does in Japan, Australia and pretty much every other first world nation that's not the USA: It reduces the number of guns in circulation, making it less likely you (or your little kids) will be shot.

        • Re:John Oliver (Score:4, Insightful)

          by harrkev ( 623093 ) <kfmsd&harrelsonfamily,org> on Friday December 18, 2015 @07:58PM (#51147205) Homepage

          Same way it does in Japan, Australia and pretty much every other first world nation that's not the USA: It reduces the number of guns in circulation, making it less likely you (or your little kids) will be shot.

          So, getting shot to death somehow makes you MORE dead than somebody stabbed to death? Curios. Please explain the logic behind this. Isn't the real reason to ban guns to reduce the overall homicide rate? If so, banning guns FAILS at this.

          Case in point, Australia. They cracked down on guns HEAVILY. Result? The homicide rate was reduced by about as much as it was in the US. Overall violent crime, however, has dropped a lot in the US, while it has NOT done that in Australia. Some years the violent crime rate was up, some years it was down, but the US has seen a distinct downward trend.

          Another point for you in Australia, which banned lots of guns around 1996:
          In 1995, guns were used in 18.38% of homicides.
          In 2012, guns were used in 17.5% of homicides.

          http://www.aic.gov.au/dataTool... [aic.gov.au]

          Yea, less than ONE PERCENT of change. Wow, what a difference.

          Now, let's look at Japan, where they are NOT culturally diverse, respect for the law is a lot higher, the society stresses conforming, and suspects do not have the same legal protections that we do here. They also have no guns, and a MUCH higher suicide rate. I am not to dishonest as to ignore the other differences and say that if they had guns, that the suicide rate would drop to US levels. Apparently, you are not so honest and just like to look at the one difference that matters to you and are free to ignore the other differences.

    • Re: John Oliver (Score:4, Interesting)

      by slasher999 ( 513533 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @07:35PM (#51147055)

      Please stop with the silly "we need more gun laws" argument every time someone farts. You're just embarrassing yourselves now. We have enough gun laws. Mine can't leave my house because we have so many silly laws. And contrary to popular leftist, racists beliefs I can prove guns aren't violent. My guns just sit wherever I leave them. If anything, they're lazy.

      • The gun is only dangerous when it's in your hand. So, we could actually do without gun laws if we eliminated people instead :-)
  • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <bruce@perens.com> on Friday December 18, 2015 @07:17PM (#51146899) Homepage Journal

    The basic problem is that mundanes see any home-made electronic device as a bomb. This is the terminal point of anti-intellectual bias in society, if you can make something, it's assumed that you're out to make something harmful.

  • Horrible (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18, 2015 @07:19PM (#51146913)

    This is a horrible miscarriage of justice. If we're to accept this story on face value, the failures and stupidity at every level of government is distressingly palpable. How absurd is it that no one at the school or police department performed even the most minimal investigation much less inform the parents. Isn't it outright illegal for police to talk to children to interrogate them without the parents having the option to be present?

  • Oh goodie (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @07:20PM (#51146925)

    Soon we'll hear accusations that the student's father's sister's cousin's former room mate was also unverifiably be accused of making bomb threats.

  • Home of the brave? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jareth-0205 ( 525594 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @07:24PM (#51146959) Homepage

    Dear America,

    Please get a grip on yourselves.

    Signed,

    The Rest of the World.

    • by siphonophore ( 158996 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @07:39PM (#51147083)

      If Clockboy taught us anything it's to suspend judgement about this type of story.

      • by quax ( 19371 )

        One thing should be not in doubt so:

        Sighs aren't even Muslim.

        Towel on the head does not make a terrorist.

    • by JBMcB ( 73720 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @08:10PM (#51147291)

      Dear rest of the world,

      America is a very, very large place with a wide variety of people, culture, geography, and ideologies.

      Look at where you are now, draw a two thousand kilometer circle around you, and tell me someone in that circle hasn't done something crazy.

      That is all.

      • by jareth-0205 ( 525594 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @09:51PM (#51147965) Homepage

        Dear rest of the world,

        America is a very, very large place with a wide variety of people, culture, geography, and ideologies.

        Look at where you are now, draw a two thousand kilometer circle around you, and tell me someone in that circle hasn't done something crazy.

        That is all.

        You are of course somewhat correct, I was being inflammatory. But I would resist putting this down to "someone crazy". Many people colluded here in this, the teachers that acted together, and the police that continued it. You're talking about quite a few people where none of them went "it's a fucking battery pack, calm down". Add to that that nobody is backing down, what should be happening is an admission that that was a mistaken overreaction, and apology, and this would diffuse. But no, the police are finding absurd things around a laugh to support their actions. And it never seems to happen to someone in the racial majority, it's always someone who is different (but no that's apparently nothing to do with it, again, denials). Everybody denies that there's a problem, and desperately tries to find evidence to support their overreaction.

        He provable brought nothing of consequence to school, but was held for 3 days and then made to wear a tracking device. What the fuck.

  • No sense of humor (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Moof123 ( 1292134 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @07:25PM (#51146967)

    Sadly when dealing with law enforcement you can't make jokes. It is a related issue to the whole "zero tolerance" mindset that has besieged school policy. Being reasonable is no longer a reasonable expectation.

    A normal human can be expected to crack a joke when confronted with a bizarre situation, such as a teacher asking a seemingly insane question as to whether your clock, or backpack is a bomb. Using humor to diffuse a tense situation is one of those social skills we pick up as a way to survive being crammed into overcrowded schools with a bunch of numb skull peers. But normal human behavior will get you tazed, pepper sprayed, arrested, or even shot these days.

    Similarly we have a lot of cases of folks freezing up while being barked at by armed cops and being shot for not dropping the "weapon" (real or imagined). Normal human behavior for sure, but you die as a result. Trying shield yourself from a rain of blows? To a cop that can be seen as "resisting arrest" and justify a further rain of blows, a choke hold, or a tazing. Using body language like gesticulating with your arms and hands as you try to talk things out with some meat head pointing a gun at you? To a cop that is "acting erratically", maybe even causing him to "fear for his life". Not answering questions per your Miranda rights? "Acting un-cooperatively."

    • Re:No sense of humor (Score:5, Informative)

      by BitterOak ( 537666 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @07:34PM (#51147037)

      Sadly when dealing with law enforcement you can't make jokes.

      I don't think anyone is alleging that he made jokes to law enforcement. From what I understand a friend of his joked that his bag looked like it had a bomb in it and and he laughed. Law enforcement was brought in after the fact.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Orgasmatron ( 8103 )

        The exact mechanics of this specific incident aren't important. Moof123 is totally correct about the root problem.

        The local school boards, the states, the federal government, the unions and the courts mercilessly beat down everyone working in education that made the mistake of exercising ordinary adult judgment. If you think it is bad now, just wait until the kids that we've been raising now, in an environment without adults acting like adults, are in charge.

  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @07:29PM (#51146993)

    Someone should start a non profit... to manufacture and distribute stickers:

    This item is not
    a f*cking bomb

    Seriously.

  • by Ecuador ( 740021 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @07:31PM (#51147015) Homepage

    For me, the most disturbing thing is that there are (many apparently) teachers out there who call the cops on young children. Racism has always been there, but as far as I remember for anything less than knife-wielding 17 year old gangster students, it would be a school affair, dealt between teachers, parents, principle. Nowadays, they just call the cops on kids...

    • For me, the most disturbing thing is that there are (many apparently) teachers out there who call the cops on young children. .

      If my son was of school age, I would definitely have him home schooled, or if not - in a charter school. I've seen enough of public schools to know that although you can get an education, in this day and age of "zero tolerance", a child can destroy their entire life, for being a child.

      Being arrested should be the very last resort in a school system. Today, it is turning into the first. Home schooling - it's not just for creationists any more.

    • by mmell ( 832646 )
      That's because educators used to be permitted to determine and employ appropriate disciplinary measures on their own. Anybody here remember the Principal's paddle? No?

      Damned straight, some kid in school does anything the instructors don't like, call the cops. The instructors are no longer permitted to do anything else. Let this kid's parents pick up the freight - unless they can prove malfeasance, misconduct or abuse on the part of any of the officials involved. Personally, I think they're letting the

  • by chefmonkey ( 140671 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @07:32PM (#51147025)

    This was in Arlington, not Dallas. This is like confusing Islip with New York City, Oakland with San Francisco, Yokohoama with Tokyo, or Luton with London.

  • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @07:38PM (#51147075) Journal
    It's looking more and more like a certain Sunni extremist group has already obtained one of their primary objectives: polarizing the United States against anyone of middle-eastern origin. I know this is at this point a 'Planet Texas' problem, but the problem is growing everywhere: people are already primed to be afraid of anyone who looks like they might conceivably be Muslim, and you give them any half-assed reason for a knee-jerk reaction, and you have what happened in this news story. One has to wonder how long it'll be, before someone (a cop, most likely) 'shoots and asks questions later', and some kid or other innocent dies just because they looked (or were in fact) Muslim -- and they weren't doing a damned thing wrong or even planned to do a damned thing wrong. After that, it'll likely be an avalanche. Something has to be done to stop this chain of events, now, before it gets to that point, but I'll be damned if I know what we need to do. Other than kick Trump out of the whole campaign process, and furthermore duct-tape him to a chair and stuff a sock in his mouth; that guy is doing at least as much damage to the whole situation as so-called Islamic State assholes are.
  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @07:42PM (#51147105)
    ageist, sexist, and Islamophobia in 5 words. well played, sir.
    • by fnj ( 64210 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @08:56PM (#51147629)

      Islamophobia

      You need an elementary education in cultures of the world. Sikhism has nothing to do with Islam. It's not even an Abrahamic faith, any more than Hinduism or Buddhism or Shintoism are. Christianity and Juadaism have more commonality with Islam than any of them.

  • by O('_')O_Bush ( 1162487 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @08:02PM (#51147241)
    A friend in my highschool about 10 years ago was put under house arrest for 6 months because he brought a plastic laser pointer that looked like a really tiny revolver. Someone freaked and instead of getting detention or something, he was arrested for a toy.

    Whether it be xenophobes, islamaphobes, or hoplophobes, you have nuts of all type out there willing to persecute people they think they are afraid of.
  • by broward ( 416376 ) <browardhorne@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Friday December 18, 2015 @08:05PM (#51147251) Homepage

    http://sikhism.about.com/od/To... [about.com]

    they are a respectable warrior culture with fairly high integrity.

    they are not engaged in a jihad against Western culture.

  • by smoothnorman ( 1670542 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @08:05PM (#51147255)
    Dangit folks, learn your turban: Sikh's tie their turban's so that there's an inverted V at the forehead. and if one had to belong to a religious sect then being Sikh is in the top three (they're much nicer to females than your average Baptist). I'd sooner share a lunch with a Sikh than nearly any 'follower of Abraham' (for the curry, if naught else)
  • by Kernel Kurtz ( 182424 ) on Friday December 18, 2015 @10:20PM (#51148103) Homepage

    what is becoming of America. The regular almost daily parade of articles like this, and listening to the likes of Trump makes me imagine what 1930s Germany must have been like.

    Profoundly glad as a Canadian that it does not seem to be that highly contagious.

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