You call the principal and explain what you saw. This sounds like a simple case, but well see what happens.
The principal takes a picture of the writing on the wall, brings the student to his office and calls the students parents and the police. Principal takes no further action. Police interview student; read student Miranda warning; student admits to writing on wall. Charges are filed.
Charging Statute Felony: to threaten to explode a destructive device Misdemeanor: willfully disturb or otherwise willfully prevent the orderly conduct of the activities, administration, or classes of any institution of elementary, secondary, or higher education.
Arrest v. Summons Case Misdemeanor Felony Misdemeanor Citizen Charges
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Arrested District Court Commissioner Circuit Court Jury District Court No jury Court of Appeals Court of Special Appeals
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Evidence Police officers statement that student admitted to writing There is a bomb. Teachers eyewitness testimony that he/she saw student write on the wall Criminal case Beyond reasonable doubt.
When a case is appealed, it moves to circuit court, where the case is retried. District Court Appeals
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The court finds the student guilty of breaking the Maryland law that makes it a misdemeanor to: willfully disturb or otherwise willfully prevent the orderly conduct of the activities, administration, or classes of any institution of elementary, secondary, or higher education. What do you think? Circuit Court
The boy and his lawyer dont think so and decide to appeal his case to the Court of Special Appeals. The basis of the appeal was a legal argument that the incident did not fall within the statute, because there was no evidence of any actual disturbance or disruption of school activities… Court of Special Appeals
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In this case, the Court of Special Appeals agrees with the boy saying that the boys action did not constitute a disturbance or the prevention of orderly activities in the school. Essentially the court says that the boy simply wrote on the wall. What do you think? Court of Special Appeals
The States attorney and the school disagree with the Court of Special Appeals and decide to take the case to the highest court in the state, the Court of Appeals. Court of Appeals
The face of Court of Appeals Chief judge Highest court Hears cases by way of certiorari 7 judges Hears oral arguments Legislative Intent
The Court of Appeals upholds the decision of the Court of Special Appeals. Statutory interpretation Legislative intent--- newspaper articles Court of Appeals
Case reversed. Court of Appeals rejects the states argument. It states: there is a level of disturbance that is simply part of the school activity, that is intended to be dealt within the context of school administration … The only sensible reading of the statute is that …there must not only be an actual disturbance, but the disturbance must be more than a minimal one.
What do you think? Maryland Appellate Court Opinions may be found at http://www.courts.state.md.us/opinions.html District Court website: http://mdcourts.gov/district/index.html