Indiana Teen Pulls Prank in School And Is Charged With Felony

We have been following the trend of criminalization of every aspect of American society from charging or investigating students to parents to teachers. Police in Rushville, Indiana have given us the latest disturbing example. Rushville High school Senior Tyell Morton, 18, simply tried to carry out a prank at his school — and ended up facing a felony charge.

Morton was captured on a school video dressed in a hooded sweatshirt and wearing latex gloves. He carried in a package and then left without it. Clearly, security was correct in taking the matter seriously and investigating. After it investigated, however, it confirmed that the package was just a blow-up dolls that Morton put in the girls’ restroom. That should have led to a reprimand and parent-teacher consultation. Instead, the police charged Morton with felony criminal mischief. School officials insist that the prank cost the school cost them over $8,000 — though it is not clear how. Presumably, the school is citing the costs of the evacuation of the premises.

Morton now faces eight years in prison . . . for a prank. He has never been in trouble with the law.

This is not the first prank charged criminally in our schools. When combined with our continued use of “zero tolerance” policies, the trend threatens to transform our society.

The question is what type of society we are creating when our children have to fear that a prank could lead them to jail for almost a decade. What type of citizens are we creating who fear the arbitrary use of criminal charges by their government?

Source: WGN

Jonathan Turley

41 thoughts on “Indiana Teen Pulls Prank in School And Is Charged With Felony”

  1. what exactly did he do to cost you 8 thousand dollars?! (greedy assholes you make this country look bad) faced with 8 years in prison? (an clearly innocent kid, with an innocent prank, has to go live 8 years in prison after graduating with actual criminals where he could posibly get killed. people who did this to this kid should not be a part of this country your greedy and down right fuckin dumb.

  2. Well good thing he doesn’t live in Florida. They have a judge there called ‘Sick Rick Howard who gave a 16yr old ten yrs in adult prison for taking a six pack of beer from his neighbors garage. The kid has gone thru hell in prison. I left a post on a site that talks about this judge saying that if the kid got out of jail and put a bullet in the judges head is should be calleed justifyable homicide.

  3. It should be noted that Tyell Morton was punished not for the prank at all. School security reacted not on the doll, which was discovered only later, but on the fact that he entered the school with the bag, and left without. This is what has caused evacuation, bomb squad, and “losses”, if any. If he placed a bag into his own locker and walked out (with hood etc, for whatever reason), the outcome probably would be the same.

    Then, his charge involves mischief, which is property damage by definition. Again, the cost of the reaction to the event has nothing to do with property damage, when no physical damage to anything has occurred at all.

    Obviously, the officials felt that after the panic that ensued, somebody had to pay the price, so they did their best to come up with any fabrication that came to their mind and to bend the law to suit their feelings. Hopefully the judge will react accordingly.

  4. He is a kid for God Sakes!!!! What a true example of “Abuse of Authority!”
    Is there a petition or something that can be done. If so I would like to be part of it. Someone needs to fight for this young man.

  5. “What type of citizens are we creating who fear the arbitrary use of criminal charges by their government?”

    Realistic ones.

    This is simply the American educational system teaching kids the truth about their government.

  6. This is craziness. That is one of the reason that the and the Free Tyell Morton facebook pages were created. We have been working very diligently to let others know about this abuse of power and the over zealousness of the “Zero Tolerance” policy in some areas. Thank you for writing about this.

  7. Even in Belgium, like me, a lot of people were baffled by this story.
    I first thought I misread and it all happened somewhere in Iran, pakistan or North-Korea.
    Makes you figure.

    The last few years we see a lot of these stories about absurd US justice being covered in Belgian national newspapers. The only reason these stories are being published, along more serious cases, is them being so outrageous.
    In Europe you would probably get a 2 hour detention, and maybe some apologies from the principal for overreacting.

    You can find more news on
    or support Tyell Mortons case on facebook:

  8. Are you serious???!!! I remember when zero tolerance was about to be instituted, and I was hoping parents paid attention (I didn’t have kids then). Our society has lost its ever-loving mind! Killers and rapists are walking the streets, Wallstreet thugs are free, and this kid is facing PRISON and loss of his future over something that did NO ONE any harm??? I agree with “Hostdog” – have him pay the fine and move on… It’s certainly going to cost more than $8,000 to try him and house him in prison, plus this is JUST WRONG. God help him and his family.

  9. Are you kidding me? I’m concerned there just may be some sort of “profiling” going on here. The young man does not have criminal record. It concerns me that the Indiana school board is adopting a communist attitude. I honestly don’t get it. I’m outraged.

  10. Felony charges for that?? What the kid did was stupid but the onus should be on school officials and police to take care of threats BEFORE it happens. That means taking preventative measures as well as active ones.

    If the school had been proactive enough, that kid wouldn’t have been able to slip through the halls unnoticed. You can’t be negligent with security details then blame someone else after making a faulty threat assessment.


  11. Someone needs to start a petition for this kid and protest this gestapo type shit.
    I wonder if he were a white football player if he’d be facing the same charges?
    This is totally going too far!!!!!!

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