A 15-year-old special education student was charged with disorderly conduct after he secretly used his iPad to record audio of his classmate bullying him.
The incident occurred at South Fayette High School in McDonald, Penn., during a special education math class.
The victim, Christian Stanfield, said he was tired of the torment from his classmates and decided to make an audio recording of the bullying in hopes of getting the offenders in trouble.
Stanfield suffers from ADHD, anxiety and comprehension delay disorders.
Instead, Stanfield got himself in trouble and threatened with wiretapping charges by the principal.
That prompted Stanfield's mother, 40-year-old Shea Love, to call for swift and decisive consequences.
"What I want is for heads to roll,” Love said to Fox News. “But he said to me, ‘Mom, it might make you feel better if people get fired, but that won’t change anything.’ He said there needs to be more compassion for people and changes to the zero tolerance policy."
SFHS principal Scott Milburn was presented with Stanfield's audio evidence on Feb. 12 and promptly called police, claiming he had "a wiretapping incident" to report. It is illegal in Pennsylvania to secretly record audio.
Milburn then ordered Stanfield to erase the file. When police arrived, the evidence was gone but Stanfield was still charged with disorderly conduct. He was found guilty on March 19 and fined $25 plus court costs.
According to the hearing transcripts obtained by the Tribune-Review, Stanfield claimed he made the recording because be felt "like it wasn't me being heard."
“I wanted some help,” Stanfield said. “This wasn't just a one-time thing. This always happens every day in that class.”
Love testified under oath that the recording included a portion where one student telling another to pull Stanfield's pants down. The teacher then told the students that if what they were talking about did not involve math, they needed to be quiet.
Love claims the incident has affected her son's health. She claims he has lost 10 lbs. and has had to attend additional therapy sessions to deal with the stress, causing him to miss school.
Love is pursuing an appeal that will be heard April 29.
Johnathan Steele, Stanfield's attorney, expects to file a civil suit against the school for their handling of the incident.
"The damage is done,” Steele said.
“In terms of an apology, that’d be great, but the student has already suffered psychological damage, emotional trauma and increased therapy, which he truly needs because of what happened to him. He feels like a criminal.”