Steve and Kelly D’Allesandro are VERY angry with their son’s junior high school dean. With very good reason. They filed a federal lawsuit against the school arising out of an odd series of events last year. The saga started back in 2006 when their son Tyler, a student at a suburban Chicago junior high school, inadvertently brought a knife to school in his backpack. The knife was from his dad’s workshop and Tyler claimed he had no idea how it got into his backpack. When Tyler noticed it at school, he pointed the knife out to friend. The friend then got hold of the knife. A third boy[who Tyler did not know]grabbed the knife and allegedly brandished the knife at other students. Tyler’s friend go the knife back, and got it back in the Tyler’s backpack. Nothing else happened. Tyler went home, thinking the episode was over.
The following morning, a school parent made a complaint to Michael Brumbaugh, the Dean of the school. And this is where it gets weird. According to a lawsuit filed by the D’Allesandros, Brumbaugh rounded Tyler up and then drove him to his home. Brumbaugh then demanded that Tyler allow him to enter the home. Brumbaugh then went into the house and looked around for the knife. While he was doing so, Mrs. D’Allesandro was in the bathroom taking a shower. According to the D’Allesandros, Brumbaugh was informed that Mrs. D’Allesandro was in the shower. Not to be deterred, Brumbaugh continued searching for the knife. When he found it, he took the knife and Tyler back to school. He later called Mrs. D’ Allesandro and told her to come pick up her son at school. According to the lawsuit, he neglected to advise he had been rummaging around in the home.
Shortly thereafter the D’Allesandros complained to the school about the way this episode was handled. They were then advised that Tyler was suspended for 10 days. They continued to complain and the School District continued to ratchet up Tyler’s punishment. Ultimately, Tyler was expelled.
Should the kid be punished for bringing a knife to school? Absolutely, even if he did so unknowingly[which is hard to believe]. But should the Dean of the school be allowed to allegedly: 1) unilaterally take a kid out of school; 2) drive that kid home; 3) enter the home without permission from the homeowner; 4) search the home, again without permission from the homeowner[who, may I remind the reader, was in the shower while an adult male she likely did not know was in her home]; 4) seize evidence from inside the home; 5) drive the kid back to school and 6) never tell Mom he had done any of the above? I think not. Perhaps someone at the school could drag out a copy of the Bill of Rights[assuming the Dean didn’t suspend the Bill of Rights of course]and direct Mr. Brumbaugh’s attention to the Fourth Amendment. Specifically the language about unreasonable searches and seizures. In the event the guy loses his job, he might want to look for work with Progressive Insurance. He sounds like their type of guy.

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