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13-Year-Old Charged with Felony for Recording Conversation with School Principal

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A trip to the principal’s office at Manteno Middle School resulted in controversial felony eavesdropping charges for 13-year-old Paul Boron, in what is the latest saga of controversy regarding an Illinois eavesdropping law, which critics have warned is ripe for abuse and could be misapplied by authorities.

On the day in question, Boron was called to the office for not showing up for a number of detentions. Prior to meeting with Principal David Conrad and Assistant Principal Nathan Short, Boron turned on an audio recording application on his cell phone to record the exchange.

report by Illinois Policy explained the chronology of events:

Boron said he argued with Conrad and Short for approximately 10 minutes in the reception area of the school secretary’s office, with the door open to the hallway. When Boron told Conrad and Short he was recording, Conrad allegedly told Boron he was committing a felony and promptly ended the conversation.

The incident, which took place in February, resulted in the 13-year-old being charged two months later, in April, with one count of class 4 felony eavesdropping.

 

1.  Manteno Middle SchoolManteno Middle School Paul Boron

If I do go to court and get wrongfully convicted, my whole life is ruined,” Boron, who lives with his mother and four siblings in Manteno, Illinois, an hour southwest of Chicago, told Illinois Policy. “I think they’re going too far.”

According to court records, Kankakee County Assistant State’s Attorney Mark Laws alleges that on Feb. 16, Boron “used a cell phone to surreptitiously record a private conversation between the minor and school officials without the consent of all parties.

The boy’s mother, Leah McNally, noted her disappointment that the school chose to prosecute Boron, who is legally blind in his right eye, rather than help him overcome his disability and achieve his “full potential in life.”

“It blew my mind that they would take it that far,” she said. “I want to see him be able to be happy and live up to his full potential in life, especially with the disability he has.” 

Illinois Policy reported that the Manteno district handbook specified that students are not allowed to record interactions with other students at the school, but did not provide specifics about recording interactions with teachers.

School officials have thus far refused to comment on the incident.

“We cannot comment on a pending matter, and we are not authorized to release confidential student information to the press,” district Superintendent Lisa Harrod wrote in an email to Illinois Policy.

Illinois is an “all-party consent” state, where recording nearly any conversation, unless all parties consent, is a felony offense. The majority of states, however, as well as the Federal government, allow for one-party consent.

The current Illinois eavesdropping law, which is one of the most controversial and severe eavesdropping laws in the United States, was passed and signed into law during lame-duck session in December 2014, after the previous eavesdropping law was struck down in March 2014, by the Illinois Supreme Court, which held that the law “criminalized a wide range of innocent conduct” and violated individuals’ First Amendment rights.

2. Paul Boron & Mom

Paul Boron Leah McNally

Illinois Policy highlighted a number of the cases in which individuals had their constitutionally protected behavior criminalized under the old eavesdropping law:

Christopher Drew, an artist arrested for selling artwork on a Chicago sidewalk in 2009, was charged with a felony for recording the incident. In 2010, Bridgeport resident Michael Allison was charged with a felony for recording his own court hearing after the court did not provide a court reporter. The same year, Chicagoan Tiawanda Moore was charged with a felony for recording conversations with Chicago Police Department investigators regarding her sexual misconduct complaint against an officer.

The main facet of the criminalized conduct referenced was the recently established “right to record” a police officer during their carrying out of their official police duties.

While the changes made to the Illinois law ostensibly intended to allow residents to record interaction with police, it maintained the “all-party consent” provisions and implemented an ambiguous standard for consent to record.

The current law made it a felony to record any “private conversation,” defined as “oral communication between [two] or more persons” where at least one person has a “reasonable expectation” of privacy, without the knowledge of all parties being recorded.

Highlighting the extremely ambiguous nature of the law, one sponsor of the new law, former state Rep. Elaine Nekritz, when asked how a person could tell when there is a reasonable expectation of privacy when recording police officers, infamously responded, “We’ll know it when we see it.”

3. Manteno Middle School Logo On School

manteno middle school

“In a public school setting, what kind of reasonable expectation of privacy can there be for a principal interacting with the public?” asked Wayne Giampietro, former president of the Illinois-based First Amendment Lawyers Association.

Attorney Saleem Mamdani, who prepared a presentation regarding Illinois’ eavesdropping law for an Illinois State Bar Association seminar, expressed surprise at the misapplication of the law, and how there could be any expectation of privacy given the nature of the principal/student relationship.

“With authority figures, if you are engaging in official action, how are you expecting that to be private?”he said. “You are relying on the fact that you had this conversation in imposing current or future discipline.”

With the recent mass sexual misconduct uncovered within the Chicago school system, including administrators and staff, perhaps lawmakers should be more willing to allow students to record interactions with the adults who run their schools in the name of transparent conduct.

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13-Year-Old Charged with Felony for Recording Conversation with School Principal

Published

on

A trip to the principal’s office at Manteno Middle School resulted in controversial felony eavesdropping charges for 13-year-old Paul Boron, in what is the latest saga of controversy regarding an Illinois eavesdropping law, which critics have warned is ripe for abuse and could be misapplied by authorities.

On the day in question, Boron was called to the office for not showing up for a number of detentions. Prior to meeting with Principal David Conrad and Assistant Principal Nathan Short, Boron turned on an audio recording application on his cell phone to record the exchange.

report by Illinois Policy explained the chronology of events:

Boron said he argued with Conrad and Short for approximately 10 minutes in the reception area of the school secretary’s office, with the door open to the hallway. When Boron told Conrad and Short he was recording, Conrad allegedly told Boron he was committing a felony and promptly ended the conversation.

The incident, which took place in February, resulted in the 13-year-old being charged two months later, in April, with one count of class 4 felony eavesdropping.

 

1.  Manteno Middle SchoolManteno Middle School Paul Boron

If I do go to court and get wrongfully convicted, my whole life is ruined,” Boron, who lives with his mother and four siblings in Manteno, Illinois, an hour southwest of Chicago, told Illinois Policy. “I think they’re going too far.”

According to court records, Kankakee County Assistant State’s Attorney Mark Laws alleges that on Feb. 16, Boron “used a cell phone to surreptitiously record a private conversation between the minor and school officials without the consent of all parties.

The boy’s mother, Leah McNally, noted her disappointment that the school chose to prosecute Boron, who is legally blind in his right eye, rather than help him overcome his disability and achieve his “full potential in life.”

“It blew my mind that they would take it that far,” she said. “I want to see him be able to be happy and live up to his full potential in life, especially with the disability he has.” 

Illinois Policy reported that the Manteno district handbook specified that students are not allowed to record interactions with other students at the school, but did not provide specifics about recording interactions with teachers.

School officials have thus far refused to comment on the incident.

“We cannot comment on a pending matter, and we are not authorized to release confidential student information to the press,” district Superintendent Lisa Harrod wrote in an email to Illinois Policy.

Illinois is an “all-party consent” state, where recording nearly any conversation, unless all parties consent, is a felony offense. The majority of states, however, as well as the Federal government, allow for one-party consent.

The current Illinois eavesdropping law, which is one of the most controversial and severe eavesdropping laws in the United States, was passed and signed into law during lame-duck session in December 2014, after the previous eavesdropping law was struck down in March 2014, by the Illinois Supreme Court, which held that the law “criminalized a wide range of innocent conduct” and violated individuals’ First Amendment rights.

2. Paul Boron & Mom

Paul Boron Leah McNally

Illinois Policy highlighted a number of the cases in which individuals had their constitutionally protected behavior criminalized under the old eavesdropping law:

Christopher Drew, an artist arrested for selling artwork on a Chicago sidewalk in 2009, was charged with a felony for recording the incident. In 2010, Bridgeport resident Michael Allison was charged with a felony for recording his own court hearing after the court did not provide a court reporter. The same year, Chicagoan Tiawanda Moore was charged with a felony for recording conversations with Chicago Police Department investigators regarding her sexual misconduct complaint against an officer.

The main facet of the criminalized conduct referenced was the recently established “right to record” a police officer during their carrying out of their official police duties.

While the changes made to the Illinois law ostensibly intended to allow residents to record interaction with police, it maintained the “all-party consent” provisions and implemented an ambiguous standard for consent to record.

The current law made it a felony to record any “private conversation,” defined as “oral communication between [two] or more persons” where at least one person has a “reasonable expectation” of privacy, without the knowledge of all parties being recorded.

Highlighting the extremely ambiguous nature of the law, one sponsor of the new law, former state Rep. Elaine Nekritz, when asked how a person could tell when there is a reasonable expectation of privacy when recording police officers, infamously responded, “We’ll know it when we see it.”

3. Manteno Middle School Logo On School

manteno middle school

“In a public school setting, what kind of reasonable expectation of privacy can there be for a principal interacting with the public?” asked Wayne Giampietro, former president of the Illinois-based First Amendment Lawyers Association.

Attorney Saleem Mamdani, who prepared a presentation regarding Illinois’ eavesdropping law for an Illinois State Bar Association seminar, expressed surprise at the misapplication of the law, and how there could be any expectation of privacy given the nature of the principal/student relationship.

“With authority figures, if you are engaging in official action, how are you expecting that to be private?”he said. “You are relying on the fact that you had this conversation in imposing current or future discipline.”

With the recent mass sexual misconduct uncovered within the Chicago school system, including administrators and staff, perhaps lawmakers should be more willing to allow students to record interactions with the adults who run their schools in the name of transparent conduct.

Continue Reading

Culture

Mexico Exposing America’s Oppression By Legalizing Medical Pot Nationwide

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As a growing number of individual states in the U.S. stand up to the federal government on marijuana prohibition, Mexico legalized medical marijuana nationwide on Monday.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto issued a decree, following the bill’s overwhelming approval from Mexico’s Senate in December, with a vote of 98-7, and from Mexico’s Lower House of Congress in April, with a vote of 374-7 vote.

“The ruling eliminates the prohibition and criminalization of acts related to the medicinal use of marijuana and its scientific research, and those relating to the production and distribution of the plant for these purposes.”

 

he decree stated that the nation’s Ministry of Health would be in charge of “public policies regulating the medicinal use of pharmacological derivatives of cannabis sativa, indica and Americana or marijuana, including tetrahydrocannabinol, its isomers and stereochemical variants, as well as how to regulate the research and national production of them.”

 The measure was also applauded by Mexico’s Secretary of Health, Dr. José Narro Robles. “I welcome the approval of the therapeutic use of cannabis in Mexico,” he wrote on Twitter.

While Peña Nieto was once a staunch opponent of marijuana legalization, he appears to have changed his tune, following a nationwide public debate on legalization in early 2016. He is now encouraging the U.S. to follow Mexico’s lead.

During a speech at the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Sessions, Peña Nieto called for a change in global drug policy, and said he believes drug use should be viewed as a “public health problem,” and users should not face criminal charges.

“So far, the solutions [to control drugs and crime] implemented by the international community have been frankly insufficient,” Peña Nieto said. “We must move beyond prohibition to effective prevention.”

Peña Nieto introduced a measure in April 2016 that would have decriminalized the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis. It would have also freed anyone who was on trial, or serving time for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana. The bill was stalled in Congress.

“We Mexicans know all too well the range and the defects of prohibitionist and punitive policies, and of the so-called war on drugs that has prevailed for 40 years. Our country has suffered, as few have, the ill effects of organized crime tied to drug trafficking. Fortunately, a new consensus is gradually emerging worldwide in favor of reforming drug policies. A growing number of countries are strenuously combating criminals, but instead of criminalizing consumers, they offer them alternatives and opportunities.”

As The Free Thought Project reported, Grace Elizalde, an 8-year-old girl with epilepsy, became Mexico’s first legally recognized medical marijuana patient in September 2015. Her family said they sought out the treatment, after their daughter began suffering from up to 400 seizures in a single day.

Mexico’s decision to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes, accompanied with Peña Nieto’s newfound support for a change in global drug policy, serve as a reminder that after nearly 50 years of battling a failed “War on Drugs,” the U.S. federal government is still refusing to acknowledge the real answer to the problem.

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George Carlin Recorded a Comedy Special The Day Before 9-11, It Never Aired — Until Now

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George Carlin was never afraid to speak his mind. In fact, Carlin even went to jail for standing up for his right to speak what was on his mind.

Carlin was an activist against censorship and the politically correct and he was so well received because he possessed a genius knack for relaying these ideas to people in a humorous manner.

On June 10, 2008, Carlin was named the 11th recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Sadly, only 12 days later, he passed away on June 22, 2008, at the age of 71.

8 years after his death, the immortal words of Carlin live on in YouTube videos, audio books, CDs, DVDs, and even on VHS. However, no new material has come out since his death — until now.

“George’s daughter, Kelly, brought in someone last year to go through the Carlin Archives and see if there was material suitable for release,” Abraham told the Free Thought Project. “And this became the first one.”

On September 16, never-before-heard comedy routines along with original versions of some of George’s “darkest” material will finally see the light of day in a release entitled I KINDA LIKE IT WHEN A LOTTA PEOPLE DIE.

According to MPI Media Group, the agency who’s published all of Carlin’s works, I KINDA LIKE IT WHEN A LOTTA PEOPLE DIE is George Carlin at his biting best, recorded over the course of two nights at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on September 9 and 10, 2001.  This never-before-released material was to be the source for Carlin’s 12th HBO special to be broadcast live on November 17, 2001.  But following the attacks on 9/11, Carlin removed and reworked much of the content into what ultimately became the special now known as Complaints and Grievances.

Also included in this album is a rare, home recording from 1957 which finds a young Carlin, in the words of fellow comic Lewis Black, “already speaking with an authority that would become his trademark,” as well as newly recorded interviews with the comedian’s longtime manager Jerry Hamza and Rocco Urbisci, director of 10 of Carlin’s HBO specials.

Showcasing a comic legend at work, I KINDA LIKE IT WHEN A LOTTA PEOPLE DIE proves once again that George Carlin will forever be the king of cutting-edge comedy.

Beginning September 1st, the album can first be heard exclusively on SiriusXM channels Comedy Greats (94) and Carlin’s Corner (400) starting at 4pm ET. SiriusXM’s Ron Bennington will also host an original documentary on the late comedian, “George Carlin: A Life in Comedy,” with commentary from Penn Jillette, Kevin Hart, Seth Rogen, and others, that will air immediately preceding the album’s debut.

Now, we know you can’t wait until September 16 to listen to the comedy master, so here is a little preview of what’s to come. Enjoy.
For more information or to pre-order the CD, visit http://georgecarlin.com/

 I KINDA LIKE IT WHEN A LOTTA PEOPLE DIE.

I KINDA LIKE IT WHEN A LOTTA PEOPLE DIE.

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