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  1. #1
    Terminator's Avatar
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    16 yr old student expelled for possibly putting gang graffiti in his own notebook

    MCHENRY, Ill., Jan. 18 (UPI) -- A 16-year-old boy who doodled an alleged gang symbol in his notebook has been expelled from high school in McHenry, Ill.
    Derek Kelly was expelled for the remainder of the school year Tuesday night during a closed session of the McHenry Community High School District 156 board. The Hispanic teen attended the meeting with his parents, who said he was not a gang member.
    The Chicago Tribune reported board officials said a doodle of a crown, a cross and a spider web with the initials "D.L.K." in the middle was a symbol of a street gang. The youth's full name is Derek Leon Kelly.
    The Latin Kings and the Latin Disciples are rival street gangs. The teen, who has a troubled academic career, had been serving a 10-day suspension for the drawing.
    "He needs to be in school. He didn't draw the picture on a wall," Jose Mercado, his stepfather said. "It was in his notebook."

  2. #2
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    I guess I can see both sides of the.

    10 days seems a little severe though
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmur5074
    I guess I can see both sides of the.

    10 days seems a little severe though

    It's more than ten days. Now they've expelled him for the rest of the year. I can see their worry for the school and for other students, plus the desire to keep gang activity out, but this is still crossing the line IMO. It was in his notebook. That is his personal property and is not meant to even be seen by others. I mean, if someone went back through my old high school notebooks, well, I shudder to think what would happen to me. When you get bored, you doodle. It doesn't need to mean that you are planning something bad. Sometimes a drawing is just a drawing. I never went out and hurt anybody after drawing a sword or a gun in a notebook. I never joined a gang either. I just think this violates his civil liberties. He, as well as everbody else, has the right to the freedom of expression. Of course, this is with certain exceptions and limits placed on it, but I don't feel he crossed those limits. I'm in support of him, and think the only thing this is going to lead to is another big drawn-out lawsuit in which the taxpayers will have to make up for the paranoia of a few.
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  4. #4
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    The crown, depending on how it was drawn is definetly related to the Latin Kings. That's the first thing I thought of when I read that

    But, the letters are also his initials. So, who knows what he was thinking when he wrote it.
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~
    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

  5. #5
    Andrewtx's Avatar
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    I think he just needs to be in school. Unless there's more to the story and he poses some sort of threat to the other students, I think expulsion is only going to send him further down the track they've already assumed he's on.

  6. #6
    Ken K is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrewtx
    I think he just needs to be in school. Unless there's more to the story and he poses some sort of threat to the other students, I think expulsion is only going to send him further down the track they've already assumed he's on.
    Well, since he now has all this free time, he can start...hanging out with a gang.

    Needs to be in school. There is always more to the story it seems but I agree with your point.

  7. #7
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    I can see both sides of the story and the concern of the school administration to control gang activity. But just as others have said it was written on his personal property and I have to agree that the punisment was too severe. A 10 day suspension I could live with and this boy is having trouble with academics already, then why suspend him for the rest of the year.
    "This flag, which we honor and under which we serve, is the emblem of our unity, our power, our thought and purpose as a nation. It has no other character than that which we give it from generation to generation." Woodrow Wilson, 1917

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrewtx
    I think he just needs to be in school. Unless there's more to the story and he poses some sort of threat to the other students, I think expulsion is only going to send him further down the track they've already assumed he's on.


    +1
    "A nation, as a society, forms a moral person, and every member of it is personally responsible for his society."

    -Thomas Jefferson, 1792


    Cotton candy don't get wet until it's in your mouth.

  9. #9
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    I have to agree this is another example of school board trying to play the judge in a criminal procedure. Schools because of the shootings in recent years are a lot less forgivining. While we all understand why they are that way, they still need to understand that just because there are drawings in a notebook that indicate a crown or spider or D.L.K does not mean the kid is in a gang. Hell the way he acts, talks, and even dresses will also be an idication of gang activity or not.

    This is another reason why the school boards need to be kept in check. If I were the parents I would be for finding a lawyer and getting my kid back in school.

    To many times kids cry out for help yet the school just walks by them all day every day. But the first time a kid draws something in their notebook that "could" have gang meaning but your not sure you kick the kid out of school. Now who is at fault for not helping this kid get an education. They have already stated that his grades are not very good, and kicking him out of school is going to help? What the hell are they smoking.

    There is my .02.
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  10. #10
    FishTail Guest
    Excuse me for being an ignorant Brit, but won't the ACLU jump on this screaming racism (since he's Hispanic) and a violation of his 1st Amendment rights?

  11. #11
    chris2001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LongTail
    Excuse me for being an ignorant Brit, but won't the ACLU jump on this screaming racism (since he's Hispanic) and a violation of his 1st Amendment rights?
    Most likely yes. But only time will tell.
    Being the best is not what always counts. What counts is always trying your best.

    Remember who you are, and where you came from. That way you never get a big head.


    May those that lost their lives in 9-11 RIP, for the things you did not many could do. You left so many behind so that you could save so few. For now we stand strong as one, and will not look back till the fight is done. (me)

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    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are MY PERSONAL OPINIONS only.

  12. #12
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    Desperate times call for desparate measures.

    I read this story in the Chicago Tribune, yesterday. It also said that the youth in question, had been warned several times about drawing the crowns. It was pointed out to him that they were being seen as gang-related, yet he continued to draw them. The parents also have three other school-age children and plan to withdraw them and move. The mother says she does not want to pay any more taxes to this district.

    Since he is expelled there, he is not allowed to go to any other public school in Illinois. They will either have to home-school or move to another state. If he hadn't already been given warnings, I might see it in a different light.

    The schools are full of gangsters and worse yet, wanna' be gangsters. Educators have their hands tied in most respects; there is no more discipline in shcool. Many parents think the school is supposed to educate, babysit and raise their kids, but if a teacher were to lay a hand on Little Johnny, career over.

    Since the board made the decision, the lawyers can battle it out.
    'The Art of War' teaches us to "Rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's coming, but on our own readiness to receive him"--Sun Tsu

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris2001
    To many times kids cry out for help yet the school just walks by them all day every day. But the first time a kid draws something in their notebook that "could" have gang meaning but your not sure you kick the kid out of school. Now who is at fault for not helping this kid get an education. They have already stated that his grades are not very good, and kicking him out of school is going to help? What the hell are they smoking.

    There is my .02.
    They're (staffs) overreacting. OR just do not like children. Like here in this middle school, everyone knows that this MS is way off the line. Staffs continue to ignore the children. I was there, jeez. Children were shoving others against the lockers and the female staff just walked thru like nothing. MS is at fault. You could see many parents coming to their offices like bees to the hive and yelled at the staffs for ignoring their children's plea of help, and not reporting the injury when a child's teeth brace snapped after biting, and not reporting a child when a child has a fever,...the list goes on. One boy died on the track three years ago of asthma attack, they knew about his condition but they ignored his health. I know his family and it hurts them bad. His family moved to another state for fear that the MS might harm their younger children if they go there. I'm still worryin' about my daughter in that school as well.
    I SEE NEKKED PEOPLE! AIN'T SKEERED!!!!!

  14. #14
    Virginian's Avatar
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    I've got no sympathy for this kid. I think it's clear that he's trying to push the limits of the no-tolerance gang policies of the school system, and he knew what could happen. Even if my name was Kris Kenneth Kain I still wouldn't go around writing my initials in public view surrounded with hoods and flaming crosses. He knew what he was doing, and he's paying for it. Other kids should not have their educations suffer because one punk kid wants to play tough guy.

  15. #15
    Ken K is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by slamdunc
    Desperate times call for desparate measures.

    I read this story in the Chicago Tribune, yesterday. It also said that the youth in question, had been warned several times about drawing the crowns. It was pointed out to him that they were being seen as gang-related, yet he continued to draw them.
    As Paul Harvey would say..."the rest of the story."

  16. #16
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    ok...I'm slow and just now getting a chance to give my opinion....

    I am dealing with a similar incident here at my school... we have not had a chance to talk to the kid yet b/c he has been absent.. his books were left outside the other day and another student brought them to me. Of course being nosy, I mean trying to figure out whose books they were I noticed the childs agenda (something they have to carry with them when they are here at the school) inside is the student handbook, in that handbook there is a section on Gang Related Activity. Here is our policy:

    HMS is committed to maintaining a safe and positive environment for students and school personnel.Any negative activity that threatens safety and disrupts the education of students is prohibited and will be subject to disciplinary measures. They may range from simple detention to arrest and expulsion, subject to the type and severity of the infraction. All prohibited gang activities are subject to disciplinary measures. Articles of clothing identified as gang attire cannot be worn on campus. Placing graffit on property, books, notebooks, books, book covers, and papers is prohibited activity.Flashing of gang signs and yelling gang slogans and gang names are prohibited.
    ok now with that said, in my students agenda he had highlighted this section and then on he back cover he had a south/central american hispanic gang name written on the back.. It reads "MARA SALVA TRUCHA" I am not sure the exact translation, but SALVA means to salute with guns. This is inappropriate. This kid has an attendance issue and his grades are terrible. I know we should suspend him, but more than likely he would be put in ISS for some days.

    I just did a search of the MARA SALVATRUCHA and this is what I find out... It is MS-13.. I have heard of that a lot around here and this is the definition Mara Salvatrucha, MS-13, or MS, is a Central American (predominantly Salvadoran) gang that is also active in the United States. The gang originated among Salvadoran emigrants living in Los Angeles, California, but it has since spread to other parts of North America. It emerged in the 1980s during El Salvador's violent civil war and is estimated as of 2005 to have 50,000 members in Central America and between 8,000 and 10,000 members in the U.S.

    GREAT...JUST GREAT
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