Doing an Ed Rooney: New York Principal Charged With Trespass in Showing Up At Home of Two Boys Who Failed To Appear At School

There is an interesting case out of Chester, New York where Chester Academy Principal Ernest Jackson has been charged with criminal trespass after he followed the lead of the character of Ed Rooney in the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and went to the house of two kids who did not show up at school. Unlike the movie, he has been charged and suspended.

Jackson is a former lieutenant colonel in the Army and noticed that the two students, 12 and 16, did not show up at school. He proceeded to enter their home (when their mother was out) to try to get them to come to school.

The boys live with their mother — though it was their father who lives in Brooklyn who brought the complaint to the police. Jackson, however, may have gotten permission from another relative and went to the home with a school psychologist.

Of course, Jackson is better than the real Ed Rooney. In 2003, Actor Jeffrey Duncan Jones was arrested for possession of child pornography and employing a 14-year-old boy to pose for pornographic photographs. He pleaded to the second offense and received probation. He was later charged in 2010 in Los Angeles for failing to update his sex offender registration status and pleaded guilty to that offense — receiving 250 hours of community service with three years probation.

Jackson and the school district could be sued in tort for trespass as well as invasion of privacy. It is obviously not a practice that most school lawyers would encourage regardless of the good motivation. Nevertheless, the story indicates that Jackson is very popular and was honestly trying to get kids to come to school.

Source: New York Daily News

Jonathan Turley

13 thoughts on “Doing an Ed Rooney: New York Principal Charged With Trespass in Showing Up At Home of Two Boys Who Failed To Appear At School”

  1. This story for Ernest Jackson has pedeophilia all over it. Read about this guy, strip searching 13 year old kids down to boxers making little girls lift their shirt and bra and no contraband is ever found. This guy is sick and shoild be locked up with Bubba and his gang they will teach ernie how tough he is on their playground the CELLBLOCK.

  2. Addiction, funny you mention what people have to go through to get on a plane. That would be jeffrey jones’s dream job. Hope your not next in line for an “enhanced pat-down”.

  3. Sorry. Ernie but you crossed the line.

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” – C. S. Lewis

  4. Buddha is right, as usual. Without an express invitation from an adult, Rooney the 2nd is trespassing. I hope he wasn’t going there for the reasons that Rooney the First got in trouble!

  5. I’ve got to agree with danny.

    Principal Overreach screwed up when he entered the house.

    The criminal trespass charge is valid.

    The suspension, if not eventual firing, is merited.

  6. This man jackson had no right what so ever to enter a home, because he is a principle does not give entitlement to do what ever the hell he feels like. This guidance councelor is a school physcologist, there is an sro officer for the school, and an attendance person. The mother is working 3 jobs you jerks to take care of her family, how dare you any of you. I hope it happens to one your kids and see how you like it. morons.

  7. No harm, no foul. With the idea of personal privacy being important to all of us, we still have to temper the personal with the community. After all, look what we are doing to get on a plane. Of course we don’t know the history of this school with these kids or the family, but I agree with the comment that if they have rescued these young boys, they would be on GMA along with pilots that land planes in the Hudson.

  8. If the boys had been found injured or dead, this principal and guidance counselor would be heros. If the school is too small for a truancy officer, it is probably the Principal’s duty to check out truancy.

    The principal should have left when the guidance counselor did. After all the GUIDANCE counselor is the one hired to do guidance.

    With a mother that apparently has better things to do than see that her kids get an education, these two boys have bigger problems than a concerned principal. And the father’s fears give me a suspicion that he’s out of the household for a good reason.


  9. Yikes! I did not know the gory details about the “real” Mr. Rooney! I sure hope this principal received permission to be there or he should be out of job very soon. Not to mention behind bars.

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