Child Behavior Community
Should I press charges?
About This Community:

This patient support community is for discussions relating to child behavior, discipline (behavior management), parent-child communications, and social development.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Should I press charges?

I have a quick question for you all. My son informed me about a week ago that a boy named Derek stole his cell phone. He also admitted that the incident had taken place a couple of weeks prior. He, fearing that he would be the one in trouble for showing off his cell phone, decided not to tell my husband and me.

He says, while on the school bus, he told Derek he had a cell phone and this Derek snatched his bookbag, proceeded to go through his bookbag, remove the phone, and when the bus arrived at his stop, ran off with the phone. He then would tell my son nearly everyday that he was going to bring the phone back. Finally, after I'm continuously asking my son where is his phone was because I hadn't seen him charging it to keep in his bookbag or take it w/ him to my mom's on the weekends, he told me about this happening.

So, I immediately wrote my son's teacher who got together w/ this Derek's teacher and they were telling me that some phone had been taken from this boy a week previously but had since been claimed by some parent. So, I'm thinking this boy is in the business of stealing. I went to the front office today, and the disciplinary principal told me she would go talk to Derek, call his parents, and get back to me- which she didn't. She also said that if he denies it all, which he had already done when his teachers confronted him, she suggests I just go on down to Dekalb County Jail and file a police report. Seriously.

Now, here's the thing. This is crazy b/c we are talking about 2nd graders. This is a child. However, I'm looking at the fact that my son has been raised from a tiny tot, in a Christian household, that stealing is punishable in many forms including jail time.  And while it may look petty to outsiders and even this Derek's family, I'm thinking it's better that he be punished now and go through the motions over a $50 cell phone rather than a $500 TV or a $50,000 car. I can't just shrug and let my son see some hoodlum-in-training get away with this mess. It relays a bad message to him going against what I have been drilling into his head for years. It's the principle of it all.

I really just want that boy to give the phone back in working condition or have his family pay for it. That plan isn't going so well, though.  Looks like little Derek lucked out and got a stay-at-home mom who has nothing better to do than take care of this as business, ya'll. So, what do you all think? Should I press charges and file my civil suit?  Any other advice/suggestions appreciated.  thanks
Related Discussions
10 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
171768_tn?1324233699
Have you personally tried to contact his mom? What if you called her with a nonconfrontational approach- express your concern that derek took your son's phone and that perhaps he's embarrassed to admit it or he lost it. You can even say that it was suggest that you file suit but you thought it would be best to try to take care of the problem out of court. See what kind of response you get, and decide what to do from there.
Blank
484465_tn?1347117312
you're right.  i did ask the principal for the number to reach his mother but she told me no, that she would contact his parents about it.  i think it would be ideal if i could speak w/ them myself.  as of now, i don't even know if anyone has even contacted them about this incident.  i was even tempted to drive to his neighborhood street and try to find his home and speak with his parents since the school is not being as helpful as i feel they could.  
i'm thinking about giving that principal another day to contact me back about this and if she doesn't, by friday, i'll contact her again and i should have more of an understanding of how to proceed from there.
Blank
13167_tn?1327197724
Treazzure,  I feel two ways about this.

Stealing is wrong,  and the more this boy gets away with it,  the more he'll do it.

BUT.  Our school system would act like yours - cell phones are not school equipment,  and they will not help a child recover a lost of stolen cell phone.  They're not specifically banned from school - and may be kept hidden with the ringer turned OFF all day,  but if they get stolen,  you're on your own to attempt to recover them.  

I completely agree with Tired.  Call her,  express an opinion about childlike shenanigans and everyone understands kids take things on impulse,  etc.,  but Derek has your son's phone and you'd like to come pick it up this evening.   Explain that Derek has stated he'd bring it back each day and so far hasn't,  you'd like now to come get it.  

If she doesn't state it will be ready to be picked up,  tell her the school has offered the only recourse is to call the police.  

I think she'll get him to cough it up.

Best wishes.  
Blank
13167_tn?1327197724
oops,  our messages crossed.

Do you not have a student directory for your school?
Blank
484465_tn?1347117312
no, i don't.  my son only began there in nov. of last year.  i haven't heard of one. maybe that's something i can ask the teacher
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Try getting the last name of Derek and calling 411 to see if their number is listed.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
you should have your son ask the boy for his phone number and than call the boys parents and speak with them regarding this matter. Another way is to call the parents and see if you and your son can speak with the parents and the boy in person so you guys can sit down and coem to a conclusion in this matter. The final suggestion is to contact the supertintendent for that school and see if she can contact the family or speak with the child regarding that matter.
Blank
765070_tn?1384873394
We had a similar problem with our son when he was in 2nd grade.  This boy unfortunately had parents that did not care and also had some emotional problems.  

The problem we had was that he would take stuff from my son and also tell my son things like, "I am going to burn your house down," (he only lives 1/4 mile from our house) or that he would steal his toys and never return them.  He did take some of my sons wrestlers.  It all started with the taking of my sons books, or his gloves and hat.  Then ended up being a real problem when he would punch my son or thrown him down on the ground.  My son would walk away until one day he decided to punch him back.  Of course, the school called us immediately to complain about my son.  

We had already, made many calls to the school and also went to the school a dozen or more times letting them know about the threats, stealing and hitting.  They told us that there was nothing they could do.  We explained to them that we would contact the police if this happened again and they said that they would talk to his parents.  We ended up trying to talk to his parents but that was a lost cause.  We are a christian family and our son uses those values at school even though the school may not like it.  Now days, threats and stealing should be taken seriously but the school says that this is only elementary school.  

We ended up filing a complaint with the police and moving him to a different school since he was threatening my child on a daily basis.  Just make sure you take care of the situation and don't expect that the school or district will.  Sometimes, no matter what their age, they need to know that they cannot do this to anybody and get away with it.  I really feel that most of all it comes down to the parents allowing their children to act out this way.  Sometimes the child just needs help.  They do not have to arrest the child but they could at least be aware of the problem and then the district and school will take this more seriously since they have no choice.

God Bless......................
Blank
484465_tn?1347117312
thank you all for your suggestions.  

i was fortunate in having Derek's teacher sending his home phone number to me by my son.  i talked w/ his mother this evening and she says he has the phone and that she had previously called up to the school to ask had a phone been reported missing (Derek told her he FOUND the phone).  anyway, she says he's going to give it back to my son tomorrow.  so, that's that
Blank
171768_tn?1324233699
good! I'm glad this was resolved.
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Child Behavior Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
469720_tn?1388149949
Blank
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm-treatable... Blank
Oct 04 by Lee Kirksey, MDBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Top Children's Health Answerers
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
Sandman2
San Pedro, CA
134578_tn?1404951303
Blank
AnnieBrooke
OR
13167_tn?1327197724
Blank
RockRose
Austin, TX
973741_tn?1342346373
Blank
specialmom
4851940_tn?1385441629
Blank
jemma116
United Kingdom
480448_tn?1403547723
Blank
nursegirl6572
PA