In an extremely troubling decision, a federal appeals court has ruled that it was acceptable for an officer to arrest a 13-year-old seventh-grader for burping at a New Mexico middle school.
According to a lawsuit filed in the case, the unidentified teen was arrested on May 11, 2011 at Cleveland Middle School in Albuquerque after he “burped audibly” in his P.E. class and was taken to a juvenile detention facility in handcuffs.
The boy was taken out of the classroom for fake burping and once in the hall, leaned back in the classroom and burped again.
The teacher circumvented the principal and called Albuquerque Police Officer Arthur Acosta, who was assigned to the school as a resource officer.
Apparently, a misdemeanor law makes it a crime to “disrupt, impair, interfere with or obstruct the lawful mission, processes, procedures or functions of a public or private school.”
The boy was never charged though he was taken to juvie. However, the criminalization of fake burping stands.
The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, in a 94-page opinion, the three judge panel held 2-1 that the law allowed the officer to arrest a child for burping in school. They ruled he had probably cause.
This is in the United States of America folks.