School Discipline

Caleb Cannon,14, sits with his mother Liana Cannon. He was arrested at his school last year for posting a message on Instagram that was considered threatening.


The way Caleb Cannon, 14, sees it, some five months after the fact, is that he was just trying to attract viewers to his anonymous Instagram account. But that’s not how it was taken at all.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230;


(21) comments

Charlene Adams

These schools’ first reaction should be to have a child get counseling (especially a child with no history of violence) before immediately turning to legal consequences. Maybe if they took the time to find out what might be going on with the child, the situation could be handled more appropriately. As it is, they cause the child to perhaps be ostracized by their peers, making them even more vulnerable. I understand the worry for safety but we should not sacrifice any of our children to an inadequate legal system not designed for children without first trying to help them! And no child should have legal consequences follow them around for life when there was no harm done. A more thorough investigation should have followed before throwing a child into the juvenile justice system!

Donald Glywasky

I am having trouble identifying the conduct that justfied an arrest and placement in alternative school. A tweet that says you will get a hint of who i am in a few days? Really.

Bailey Jones

They might have just asked him about it, before calling the police.

Wayne Holt

Exactly my reaction. I am all for discipline for obvious misbehavior and certainly threats but read this in isolation, as if you know nothing of the circumstances.

"Remember the date March 22, next hint for who I am is on that date.”

Doesn't there need to be some reasonable standard of likely threatening language? According to the narrative, he was almost immediately the object of police attention. For this? Really? A kid who had never been in detention getting this treatment is a lot more worrisome than this statement ever could be.

Adults under our system have a lot of leeway in what they say and promote, as long as direct violence is not advocated. Are 13-year olds stripped of all these rights when they enter a school door?

Safety at all costs including sacrificing reason, pre-crime thought police techniques and political correctness has led us to the point that a 13-year old writing something like this is made the object of such scrutiny. I suggest authorities save the third-degree treatment for those who have made direct and explicit threats that other students and teachers are aware of. It seems like those keep flying under the radar. Meanwhile, mentioning a date and hint of who you are warrants the full wrath of the system.

Jose' Boix

All aside, these are some points to consider. This one selected event took place back in March. There are 8 ISDs within Galveston County encompassing something like 81,000 students. Therefore, it seems that this one event was not solitary within our County ISDs. So it would be interesting to know how many similar events have been recorded along with details and actions taken. And then, we somehow need to assess some degree of responsibility to the student; one who seems to be able to use/manage (misuse/mismanage) social media and other current information technology devices and systems. It seems that when we look back things seem to become clearer and simpler; reminds me of the term "Monday morning quarterbacks." Just my thoughts.

Carlos Ponce

Here we see the future of "Red Flag Laws".

Don Schlessinger

My thoughts also.

Michael Byrd

It's ironic that educators who are supposed to "educated" tend to default to "zero tolerance" policies which require little or even no critical thinking before acting.

Carlos Ponce

Educators are told to enforce the rules by principals. Enforcement of the rules becomes part of the evaluation system for continued employment.

Michael Byrd

Carlos... You’re correct. I should have been more specific. I was referring to administrators.

Carlos Ponce

And administrators are given orders by elected officials called school board members. And school board member are elected by the people, or in the case of most school board elections - only a handful of people.

Jose' Boix

Somehow, we must convey to the students that there are consequences - significant ones - to misuse social media. These students seem to be smart enough to push the limits of the tech-tools, as such they should learn "consequences." Second guessing the wrong way can be disastrous. Just my thoughts.

Wayne Holt

Somehow, we must convey to the students that there are consequences - significant ones - to misuse social media.

What would you say the "misuse" was? There is no explicit threat in what was written. There is no implied threat in what was written. What there apparently is, is a young man who wrote some obscure line who wanted attention...and the system came down on him like a ton of bricks.

Perfect safety in this world isn't possible. We should require those in authority to concentrate their resources on those who make explicit threats, are known to have behavioral problems, are disruptive and sullen, etc. What has happened here is the apparent fact of a young person using social media to say something that someone, somewhere can twist into threatening language. Is this the way we want to live?

You can have perfect safety and security in a total police state, as long as you don't say the wrong thing. Looks like we are closer to that than we thought.

Carlos Ponce

"There is no explicit threat in what was written." There's more to it than what was written, Wayne. We really only know one side of the story. The school district must speak only in generalities. Otherwise they would violate the student's privacy. "[S]chool officials, who quickly identified [Caleb] Cannon as the author and took him to the school’s administration office where deputies eventually arrested him." We're not told what Caleb told the officials that led to his arrest. School officials cannot tell us and Caleb and his mother did not elaborate on what was said that led to the arrest. His mother conceded "school officials were simply following district policy". There's more to this story.

Jose' Boix

Mr. Holt, it is just the sign of times and my "perception is my reality." Messages - written or verbal - today seem to carry much different connotation that a few years ago. So with the outreach of today's social media and related information technology, I believe we have to be much more judicious on what we say, write and communicate; that is all. Just my thoughts.

Raylene Morgan

If something appears to be suspicious, then "authorities" are supposed to take necessary precautions! No matter if the "alleged" person never had a record. Many ppl who've had clean records have committed heinous crimes! This kid wanted attention, he got it. You don't want to get caught up in the judicial system than don't do stupid stuff! These kids know exactly what they're doing to draw attention whether they're a dangerous or not to society, I agree with them being placed in the system. I take nothing lightly in this present day and time! Especially when it comes to kids! Parents to busy wanting to be their child's friend instead of being a parent. They're given way too much privacy! Parents need to do frequent random checks of their children's rooms, backpacks, etc. Unacceptable when I hear "I didn't know he was building a bomb"

Tamala Robinson

Raylene I laugh at these people on here that post their comments in GDN often because most will comment like this regarding certain people or a certain race, but if it were a minority, people like Carlos Ponce and others would be singing a different tune. They would have said he was a thug and talked about the lack of parenting and he should be locked up. They are all such hypocrites.

Carlos Ponce

Tamala posted, "but if it were a minority, people like Carlos Ponce and others would be singing a different tune." It is apparent you did not read my post. To summarize, the school had probable cause to have him arrested after his interview with school officials and officers.

Josh Moore

How is, "Remember the date March 22, next hint for who I am is on that date.” considered doing stupid stuff? Really? Yeah that is a great reason to ruin some kid's school career over.

Carlos Ponce

There's probably a lot more to it than that but the lad and his mom are not forthcoming as to his remarks to school officials and officers. What did he say? If he gave the right answer it would have been, "Okay, thank you now go back to class." Instead it was, "You are under arrest." It's what he said in clarifying that posted statement that led to his discipline.

Charlene Adams

You have no idea what led to his arrest so you have no idea if what he said or didn’t say was the cause. The schools have gotten ridiculous about things. This boy is 13. If you’ve ever had children you know how hard this age can be for them and with his parents’ divorce, he is crying out. Arresting him just made the situation worse. They should have sent him to mandatory counseling or psych visits and maybe alternative school while they figure it out.

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