Ohio Student Expelled, Arrested, Jailed For 13 Days . . . After A Small Pocketknife Is Found In His Locked Car Trunk By School Officials

jordan-wiser-e1394634913232Jordan Wiser, a student at Ashtabula County Technical School in Jefferson, Ohio is rightfully confused after being being arrested for bringing a weapon into school. The “weapon” was a pocket knife that he had in his EMT medical vest . . . that was locked into the truck of his car. That’s right, in the latest example of the insane application of zero tolerance rules, the school officials called police after searching the trunk of a locked car to find a pocket knife used by a senior in his work as a EMT. He was then fed into a legal system that refused to show discretion in his prosecution. Notably, prosecutor Harold Specht ran for office based on a pledge that he would maintain a “hardline, zero tolerance policy” as a prosecutor. It was the perfect storm for Wiser: zero tolerance administrators handing a student over to a zero tolerance prosecutor. But it gets worse . . .

Wiser may now be barred from fulfilling his dream of joining the Army. School officials say that he consented to the search but Wiser insists that he declined to give consent and asked to speak to this parents or a lawyer. School officials searched the car and found the small folding knife and an airsoft gun. (The airsoft gun was legal and used in a school club). They say that they had probable cause after monitoring comments Wiser made on an online forum. They specifically referred to videos that Wiser posted on YouTube discussing home defense techniques and self-defense.

The police was called and the school moved to expel him.

He was then charged with an illegal conveyance of a weapon for the knife.

He then spent 13 days in the county jail. That’s right, 13 days.

He now must enroll in a special online program to complete his education.

We have previously followed the suspensions and discipline of students under zero tolerance policies that are used by teachers to justify zero judgment or responsibility. I have long criticized zero tolerance policies that have led to suspensions and arrests of children (here, here and here and here and here). Here is a prior column on the subject (and here).Children have been suspended or expelled for drawing stick figures or wearing military hats or bringing Legos shaped like guns or even having Danish in the shape of a gun. Despite the public outcry over the completely irrational and abusive application of zero tolerance rules, administrators and teachers continue to apply them blindly. If you do not have to exercise judgment, you can never been blamed for any failure. Conversely, even when the public outcry results in a reversals, teachers and administrators never seem punished with the same vigor for showing no judgment or logic in punishing a child.

The stripping away of fourth amendment rights of students parallels the same erosion of first amendment rights, as discussed in this recent column. We are increasingly raising the next generation in an environment of authoritarian learning.

To make matters even worse, the conditions of Wiser’s bond prohibit him from having contact with his grandfather at his home because of the presence of guns in the home. His grandfather is dying from cancer. The first judge ordered Wiser to be held on a half million-dollar bond and a psychological evaluation. He passed the exam but he was then hit with a $50,000 bond and an ankle monitor on Christmas Eve. It is important to remember that he is not charged with a conspiracy or threat against the school. The charge remains a four-inch folding knife in a vest in a trunk in a locked car in a parking lot outside of the school.

1551583_1383209458610125_2084158175_nOnce again, a student with a bright future has been victimized by school administrators who refuse to show an ounce of sense or humanity in the handling of children. What should have been a simple matter of a note to his parents was quickly elevated to an arrest and an expulsion. The police and prosecutor are no less at fault. Harold Specht, the chief assistant prosecutor at the Ashtabula County prosecutor’s office insisted in an interview that “We charge [people] with everything that we feel they are guilty of, and in this case, he is guilty of a felony.” Specht (right) shows the same robotic, uncaring approach of the administrators. What is lost is the welfare of this student and any element of logic. The incarceration of this boy for 13 days only magnifies the abuse. Yet, Specht insists that a trial will vindicate him and added “I know that there’s a load of people out here that just think we’re the devil because we’re allegedly ruining this young kid’s life . . . If this goes to trial, it will certainly come out in the wash.”

What is really scary is that Specht now wants to be a judge and is campaigning on his zero tolerance approach. He seems intent on convicting this young man to prove himself in the right. The kids has already been expelled, removed from this Army enrollment program, and forced into an online school. Yet, that is not enough for Specht. He wants to give him a felony record for a four-inch knife locked in the trunk of his car.

There should be discipline in this case, but it is not Wiser but the school officials, police, and prosecutors who produced this perfect nightmare.

69 thoughts on “Ohio Student Expelled, Arrested, Jailed For 13 Days . . . After A Small Pocketknife Is Found In His Locked Car Trunk By School Officials

  1. Gotta wonder if everyone who reads this blog just got added to one of those Federal counter-terrorist association lists.

    At 2:35PM, March 18, a comment was made on this thread by someone using the name and photo of a Michigan Militia movement wanna-be revolutionary. The revolution never happened, but Michigan’s keyboard revolutionaries continue ranting online, most notoriously in the form of the Hutaree Hillbillies from Adrian.

    http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/mark-koernke-resurfaces-those-famili

    What put this guy in the FBI crosshairs was his bizarre fax to Texas Right-wing Congressman Steve Stockman immediately following the McVeigh/Nichols Oklahoma City massacre.

    http://archive.adl.org/learn/ext_us/koernke.html?

    I’m as pro free speech as anyone, but the commenter’s guns and ammo mentality disturbs the hell out of me.

    You want change? Get involved in local politics. It’s the only place you’ve got any influence.

  2. Obviously this is insane. From uncompromising school officials to an overzealous prosecutor nutcase. What a travesty

  3. On the brighter side, hopefully Wiser will never be allowed to enlist in the military. This will at a minimum preclude him from becoming a brainwashed trained killer for the government believing it okay to initiate violence on command much like an attack dog. Amazing how a face to face encounter with government may reshape this young man’s understanding and possibly make Wiser that much wiser..
    In a strange way, if I were keeping score, I would say 1 for the people, 0 for the state.
    Sadly this is what it usually takes to wake people up to the absurdity of statism and its monopoly claim on the initiation of violence and aggression.

  4. We are increasingly raising the next generation in an environment of authoritarian learning.

    THATS THE POINT,,,,

    its all about showing the next generations that they are slaves and only to do what they are told to do.. its exactly why they have destroyed the educational system so that the young do NOT know how to read. and without reading they do not understand what democracy and freedom mean.. they have no idea they can fight back and win. because thats not what they are told about the world….

    sorry my kids are all well aware of it and i spread the word as much as i can whether the people are listening or not.. they can not say they werent warned and informed of what is going on,…

  5. Prosecutors are the least accountable members of the legal system. They break the law routinely. This prosecutor and many others are sociopathic in my opinion.

  6. This is a perfect example of a zombie apocalypse. They say, “I found this here,” or “Look at this thing,” and it ends in a federal offense. The first three words of the Deceleration of Independence:”We, the people”. Nothing about politicians, doctors, scientists, or any crap like that! Our forefathers made this country, America, now WE have to defend it! I swear, if they could see what America has become, they would be TURNING IN THEIR GRAVES. If they think they can do anything they want and get away with it, they are as wrong as HELL! WE put these people there, WE can TAKE THEM DOWN! It’s time for a second Revolution!!! People of America, OF THE WORLD, RISE UP! RISE UP!!! We CHOOSE to conform to their tyrannical rule. WE DON’T HAVE TO LIVE AS THEIR FAITHFUL MAGGOTS, WHO WILL DO ANYTHING THEY TELL THEM! If we all wait for someone else to start something, NOTHING WILL START! We don’t have to live as their pawns, their sex toys, their slaves, their servants, THEIR ZOMBIES! WE HAVE MORE POWER THAN WE GIVE OURSELVES CREDIT FOR! If we want to live in a land of freedom, WE MUST MAKE IT A LAND OF FREEDOM!!! WE MUST TAKE THE REINS, RISE UP, AND TEAR THEM DOWN!!!! The only reason anyone is determined “qualified” for a political or other position, is because they know they will do as they’re TOLD! “The kids shall inherit the world,” so they say. Well, if we’re going to inherit the world, WE SHOULD MAKE IT A WORLD WORTH LIVING IN!!!!! NOW, RISE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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