Monday, May 19, 2014

Bullied Boy Gets Charged After Recording Bullies In Action

A 15-year-old boy with a comprehension delay disorder, ADHD, and an anxiety disorder complained to his school and parents that there were bullies who were intimidating him and physically attacking him yet the school failed to intervene on behalf of their student. He decided to take action and use his school-issued iPad to record an incident with the (rational) thought that if he had proof he could stop the bullying. Boy, was he wrong! Instead what happened was he, himself, was charged with disorderly conduct for secretly recording individuals who didn’t give consent to being recorded! If you’re thinking, “Surely this can’t be happening now, in today’s society” you are very wrong, my friend. He was just found guilty on March 19, 2014. You might also be thinking, “This must have happened somewhere outside of America because this type of unfairness would not be allowed in an advanced country such as ours”, and you would be wrong on this account, as well. This happened in the great state of Pennsylvania, one of 12 states that require the consent of all parties when making a recording. The bullies have never been punished.

Thankfully, the DA eventually decided not to pursue this case and dropped the charges after it gained public attention. But there is something seriously wrong with Lt. Robert Kurta, the officer who made the decision to file a citation against the teen, and the legal system if a teen who isn’t being protected by their school takes matters into their own hands in a non-violent way. You can watch an interview of the teen here.

Thanks to The Mobility Resource for bringing this story to my attention.


  1. For an extra twist on this issue - imagine a situation in an institutional (disability accommodation) setting where the house supervisor conducts covert video surveillance (without police warrant) in a resident bedroom to discover more about a residents sexual activities. Respect? for that resident or others residents or staff? Some staff in the disability support field seem believe that they "own" the resident AND the subordinate staff.

  2. This is horrible!!! I hate to think that this is actually happening somewhere. If it is but you want to stay anonymous you can email me at and your personal information will remain confidential.

    1. I would love to contact you.. I have secret recordings of IEP meetings and other meetings where I (the parent have been intimidated by a school principal(on several occasions. I NEED something done NOW. Maybe anonymous.maybe not. MDLC has decided not to help me since they have in the past already before last year.

  3. Perfect example of why bullying is out of control.. Stop punishing those who defend themselves or stand up to harassment and the issue would be minimized.. I feel for this family and those who speak up but get nowhere!

  4. It's time for this child and his family to get an attorney. I don't know if PA has a state-wide office of advocacy, but if they do this is a case for them. Despite the fact that the recording was "illegally" made it can be rebuttal evidence in a court case (at least in most states). Since this has come to the attention of the schools I would imagine if they have STILL not done anything they can be held liable for harm to the disabled youth by not protecting him from abuse (and this is abuse).

    There have been cases in the past where bullied youth reacted violently. The school then always says something to the effect that they didn't know it was going on or they didn't know it was that bad - blah, blah, blah. This young man acted in a non-violent manner and was told HE was in the wrong! The police officer who tried to have him prosecuted needs additional training in interaction with children, disabled individuals and ADA law. Unfortunately there are no trainings in common sense.

  5. Sandra V. PloutzJune 22, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    Bullying, Domestic Violence, Military Personnel and Legal Law Enforcement have greater challenges ahead as these issues remain on the minds of our society. Is there an appropriate time for violence or not? What groups are being targeted? Is it a hate crime? Are the schools responsible for taking action against bullies in schools? Why and How does it begin? When does it stop? may have some answers and training to assist with the situation, challenge and opportunity.