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Why I Fought For Two Boys I Never Met (Dennis Prager On Bradley Berry, Oregon's Nifong Alert)
Townhall.com ^ | 08/21/2007 | Dennis Prager

Posted on 08/20/2007 9:31:38 PM PDT by goldstategop

At Patton Middle School in McMinnville, Oregon, students created something called "slap butt day." On one such day in February 2007, according to The Oregonian (July 22, 2007): "Two boys tore down the hall of Patton Middle School after lunch, swatting the bottoms of girls as they ran -- what some kids later said was a common form of greeting. But bottom-slapping is against policy in McMinnville Public Schools. So a teacher's aide sent the gawky seventh-graders to the office, where the vice principal and a police officer stationed at the school soon interrogated them."

A police officer interrogated them?

"After hours of interviews with students," The Oregonian continues, "the day of the February incident, the officer read the boys their Miranda rights and hauled them off in handcuffs to juvenile jail, where they spent the next five days."

Two seventh-graders were read their Miranda rights for butt-swatting?

And hauled off to jail for butt-swatting?

And kept in jail for five days for butt-swatting?

This is worse than a bad joke; it is actually sick.

And it gets worse. The seventh-graders were not permitted contact with their parents for 24 hours, they were brought into court in shackles and jail garb, and they were strip-searched four times.

All because the Yamhill County District Attorney, Bradley Berry, brought felony sex charges against the two boys. When he finally explained himself under pressure from the media, Berry told The Oregonian, "From our perspective and the perspective of the victims, this was not just horseplay."

In fact, it turns out that the girls involved did regard it as horseplay. And they claimed from virtually the outset that they had been pressured into making a case against the boys.

The Oregonian has reported that listeners to my radio show across America provided nearly all of the more than $40,000 for defense costs for the two boys. But they have done more. They have also sent letters to the two boys assuring them it is not they, but Bradley Berry, who acted perversely. One of the boys' mothers, in tears, told me that these letters profoundly affected the boys, who were made to appear as perverts and sexual predators and who could have been placed on sexual predator lists for the rest of their lives. My listeners also reported that when they phoned the office of Bradley Berry, they were told that "there was more to the story," that more evidence would be forthcoming.

That was a lie. Berry had nothing more to reveal and did in fact drop the felony charges. The boys were then charged 'only' with sexual harassment.

Our beloved country is flipping out. The effects of The Age of Stupidity ushered in during the '60s and '70s are omnipresent. It is highly doubtful that there is a living member of the World War II generation who could have imagined that seventh-graders would one day be brought in shackles into an American courtroom for playfully swatting a girl's buttocks. It is also true that there is no member of that generation who could ever have imagined something as low-life as a "slap butt day" in an American middle school. But that is another matter.

Apparently ex-Raleigh/Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong is not the only D.A. in America who has used his almost unlimited power to hurt innocent boys.

Nifong, it will be recalled, brought phony charges of gang rape against three Duke lacrosse players, lied about having more evidence, withheld critical information from the defense and in sundry other ways did whatever he could to ruin three innocent boys' lives.

Nifong has since been disbarred.

Nifong has met his match in Oregon, where Bradley Berry has done his best to ruin two innocent boys' lives. Perhaps the major difference is that the boys Bradley Berry is abusing are seventh-graders, not college students.

The story is so angering that one can only wonder whether America is suffering from a surfeit of district attorneys who are either incompetent or just lack elementary human decency. One prays these two district attorneys are exceptions. But there is only one way to ensure that they are. Bradley, like Nifong, must be removed from office. Anyone who believes that seventh-graders who swat girls' buttocks on "slap butt day" are sex criminals who should be charged with crimes that would permanently label them as sex offenders is a dangerous fool. A district attorney who believes that is a dangerous fool. Bradley Berry has acted like Mike Nifong. He needs to be punished like Mike Nifong.

My show and my listeners have been instrumental in helping getting all the charges against the boys dropped -- this happened just yesterday. Now we will focus our attention on removing Bradley Berry from office.

A democracy cannot long survive the contempt more and more Americans feel for American law.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; US: Oregon
KEYWORDS: ageofstupidity; bradleyberry; buttswatting; childhoodhorseplay; dennisprager; dukelax; mcminville; mikenifong; nifong; ocd; oregon; politicalcorrectness; prosecutorialexcess; townhall; yamhillcountyda; zerotolerance
What kind of country do we have where adults have taken complete leave of their senses who treat kids who engage in childhood horseplay as sex offenders and perverts? Oregon's Mike Nifong - Bradley Berry should be run out of the DA's office for trying to destroy two innocent kids lives. The man is both stupid and a moral imbecile.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

1 posted on 08/20/2007 9:31:43 PM PDT by goldstategop
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To: goldstategop
Bradley Berry should be run out of the DA's office for trying to destroy two innocent kids lives. The man is both stupid and a moral imbecile.

Yup.

2 posted on 08/20/2007 9:35:33 PM PDT by Tribune7 (Michael Moore bought Haliburton)
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To: goldstategop

Heaven forbid that the folks who prosecuted these boys ever see a waterbug in their bathroom. I’m sure they’d find it necessary to dispatch it with dynamite. Common sense has fled the land.


3 posted on 08/20/2007 9:35:44 PM PDT by edweena
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To: goldstategop
I agree, but these are seventh graders whose parents should have taught them basic standards of decency.
4 posted on 08/20/2007 9:37:15 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: onedoug
If the kids did something wrong they should have been talked to and told to treat girls more respectfully. But to treat them like criminals is excessive. To turn an ethical lapse into a crime exceeds both the bounds of fairness and justice.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

5 posted on 08/20/2007 9:40:07 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: potlatch

.

Pingeroo


6 posted on 08/20/2007 9:45:43 PM PDT by devolve ( _Google-Illegals_Killed_25_Americans_Each_Day _A_Mex_Illegal_Alien_Sold_911_Terrorists_IDs_)
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To: edweena

It seems fairly routine for cops and prosecutors to pile on felony charges which they use to bargain for a guilty plea to a misdemeanor.


7 posted on 08/20/2007 9:47:23 PM PDT by Emmett McCarthy
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To: devolve

Thanks devolve but I’ve had enough of this. I didn’t even get to some posts from yesterday on the other ‘schooling’ threads.


8 posted on 08/20/2007 9:47:58 PM PDT by potlatch (MIZARU_ooo_()_ooo_MIKAZARU_ooo_()_ooo_MAZARU_ooo_()_ooo_))
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To: goldstategop
In my day some 45 years ago Mr. Kelly (our principal) would have handled this in very short order. The victim and I would have been hauled into his office. He would have found out what the hell happened. If he thought the punishment need not be severe I would have been placed in detention hall for a week. If he thought it needed quick remedial action he would administer three swats with a paddle that was a baseball bat that had been planed down to about 3/4 of an inch in thickness. If he thought the punishment needed to be more severe, the coach would swing the paddle and a call would be made to my home. A call to my home was not good, not good at all.
9 posted on 08/20/2007 9:51:26 PM PDT by cpdiii (Pharmacist, Pilot, Geologist, Oil Field Trash and proud of it.)
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To: Emmett McCarthy
Down to "sexual harrassment" - which implies girls can't say NO to boys. How patronizing.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

10 posted on 08/20/2007 9:51:45 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop

Yeah, there are lots of girls who can say “No”. I’ve met most of them! Hey, maybe that means my odds are getting better that, sooner or later...Ah,skip it.

Seriously, though, I have teenage children and I’ve told them never to talk to a policeman. Sirry, but they’re part of a power structure that seems intent on criminalizing as many people as possible, especially young men.

There’s an old expression: “There is no situation so bad that it can’t be made worse by the presence of a policeman.”


11 posted on 08/20/2007 10:02:45 PM PDT by Emmett McCarthy
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To: goldstategop
Only caught a short part of this on local news tonight.

The girls accepted an apology and the 2 boys were fined.

The 2 boys looked so out of place in the courtroom.

Not sure if there was more or not as I was passing through the room.

12 posted on 08/20/2007 10:04:06 PM PDT by wanderin
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To: wanderin
It couldn't have been settled with an apology? DA Bradley is even stupider than I thought. No matter - that man must never be allowed to continue as Yamhill County DA.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

13 posted on 08/20/2007 10:08:57 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop

Bradley Berry mocked in song on YouTube - http://youtube.com/watch?v=lIQRox1E4Dk


14 posted on 08/20/2007 10:12:21 PM PDT by doug from upland (Stopping Hillary should be a FreeRepublic Manhattan Project)
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To: goldstategop

Thanks for the excellent post. I’m very happy someone is speaking out on this, it was a travesty. This should have been handled at the school level without the police or DA involved. Berry and the pricipal and vice principal should be forced to resign, they overreacted.


15 posted on 08/20/2007 10:14:22 PM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.com)
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To: goldstategop
Other reports of the Patton Middle School "Slap Butt Day" case, such as this one, mention that the girls engaged in the same behavior, but were not charged.

From the linked piece:

But police reports filed with the court said other students, both boys and girls, slapped each other on the bottom.

"It's like a handshake we do," one girl said, according to the police report.


16 posted on 08/20/2007 10:32:07 PM PDT by TChad
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To: goldstategop
What kind of country do we have where adults have taken complete leave of their senses who treat kids who engage in childhood horseplay as sex offenders and perverts?

Welcome to the New Amerika! Our solution to every little problem is to criminalize it. With only 5 percent of the world's population we have 25% of the world's prisoners.

Give it some time, and in 10 years if two 13 year olds do this the Feds will sweep in and they will get 25 years.

So sad to see the country I loved turn into a Gulag. Maybe we will get another good piece of writing like The Gulag Archipelago from one of these young men.

After all, this is what Americans want. The perp walk is our national march. History will not be kind to our generations.
17 posted on 08/20/2007 11:10:16 PM PDT by microgood
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To: goldstategop

” Now we will focus our attention on removing Bradley Berry from office.”

Good! This whole incident should have been handled in school. Nothing that these boys did rose to the level of a crime. Come to think of it, the principal of said school should be axed as well.


18 posted on 08/21/2007 2:39:26 AM PDT by Mila
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To: goldstategop

Ya know, the nuns wudda scotched something like “slap butt day” without saying a word, one look would have done it. And if they had called a kop it would have been to kick the bejesus outta his own kid.

The only time the district attorney came to our school it was for the Holy Name Society father/son breakfast. (Our district attorney had been a defense attorney portrayed in Alfred Hitchcock’s, “The Wrong Man”, and was something of a celebrity for it.)


19 posted on 08/21/2007 2:48:06 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (NYT Headline: Protocols of the Learned Elders of CBS: Fake but Accurate, Experts Say)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

bump for the morning


20 posted on 08/21/2007 5:09:46 AM PDT by Tribune7 (Michael Moore bought Haliburton)
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