DORI MONSON

Whatcom County deputy says his son’s teacher is telling kids how to skirt the law

Sep 3, 2021, 1:11 PM | Updated: Sep 7, 2021, 7:20 am
A hallway is empty with most of the lights off and one classroom light still on at a school in New ...
A hallway is empty with most of the lights off and one classroom light still on at a school in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

A father, who happens to be a Whatcom County Sheriff’s Deputy, is upset about what one of his son’s teachers is instructing students in the high school civics class.

Scott MellEma told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show that his son was looking forwarding to taking this class on rights and case studies on law to help further his career choice to follow in his dad’s footsteps. That is, until this lesson on searches.

MellEma said his son lost interest in the class last spring because he didn’t agree with the approach his teacher was taking.

One of the examples MellEma really had a problem with is: A principal heard that a student had marijuana in his backpack and they want to search the bag. What should the student do?

The teacher is heard saying, “I’ll tell you what you probably should do. Run. Let’s say you bust out of the office and you run to your car, got in the car, and you blow out of the school. Could the school call the police?”

The teacher explains that the police would need probable cause to search a student. The principal only needs reasonable suspicion.

“When I brought it up to the school staff, this is one of the clips that bothered me the most because you’re basically telling kids to break the law, how to get out of trouble, and that it’s better to get suspended for three days than get a drug charge,” MellEma said. “Also, leaving campus, high speeds, what if he hit somebody?”

MellEma had other examples, including one that emphasized that things can go bad for a person of color who is pulled over in a traffic stop. Another included a mention that a person who admitted to using meth while pulled over for a traffic stop could have lied and said the needle was for diabetes.

The teachers also suggested the students memorize two important phrases for encountering police: “I do not consent to a search,” and “am I free to go?”

Dori said that teaching students their rights doesn’t bother him, but MellEma said the presentation is what he had a problem with.

MellEma said he has tried to get the school to deal with it several times and has never got acknowledgment that this lesson for students was wrong.

“The only answer that we got from them is that they consider the issue closed and that they have dealt with it, but they couldn’t tell me what the discussions were,” he said. “They couldn’t tell me if there was disciplinary action taken. There was no real communication or accountability that I could see.”

MellEma said he has another child in high school that he plans to steer away from this particular class.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dori Monson on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dori monsonTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

Dori Monson Show

Dori Monson

Inslee Phase 2...
Dori Monson Show

Mayor of Winlock says Gov. Inslee should ‘submit himself to medical review’

The mayor of Winlock passed a proclamation saying he believes Gov. Inslee requires professional medical intervention for narcissistic personality disorder.
4 days ago
Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta...
Dori Monson Show

State Senator disagrees with making insurance rates a ‘zero sum game’

State Senator Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah) explains why he's pushing back against Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler's emergency rule.
4 days ago
teen hit and run...
Dori Monson Show

‘We are a country of laws’: Councilmember echoes calls to prosecute teen hit-and-run suspect as adult

King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn is calling for the teen suspect of an alleged series of hit and run incidents to be tried in adult court.
5 days ago
class, quarantine...
Dori Monson Show

Federal Way mom says school district is unprepared for class to quarantine

A mom in Federal Way says her son's entire class has to be in quarantine after one kid tested positive for COVID, and there's no remote learning option.
7 days ago
Stolen truck, Everett...
Dori Monson Show

Stolen truck found, returned to 83-year-old Everett man

An 83-year-old Everett-area man is looking for his mint condition 1997 F-250 truck, after it was stolen out of his driveway earlier this week.
10 days ago
Tahoma High School...
Dori Monson Show

Student says fight at Tahoma school wasn’t racially motivated

A Tahoma High School student involved in a fight witnesses say included racial slurs is claiming that race was not a factor in the incident.
11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...
By Alaska Airlines

Calling all football fans: follow Russell on the road

Take your Northwest spirit that we’re known for on the road this season with Alaska Airlines.
...
By Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
Whatcom County deputy says his son’s teacher is telling kids how to skirt the law