The mother of 5-year-old Eric Lopez, who signed a paper attesting to the act of voluntarily ‘depantsing’ in his school playground, is now fighting authorities to remove the stain from her son’s permanent school record.
Accused of the ‘lewd act’, Eric Lopez did not ask that his parents be present at the moment he was asked to sign the incriminating document inside the assistant principal’s office. The boy’s mother said her son had no idea he could make such a request.
"He did not know that he could ask for me," the boy’s mother, Erica Martinez, told azfamily.com. "He's five." The boy also received a detention from school in addition to the permanent sexual misconduct charge on his file.
Martinez, who says school officials failed to take her son's age into account when they labeled his ‘depantsing’, has been locked in a legal battle for two months to have the charge scratched from her son's record, arguing that Eric's actions were simply the innocent behavior of a child.
Under Arizona State law, every school district is advised to consider the age of a student before painting any actions on the part of a child with the black brush of sexual misconduct.
Dean says Martinez has the right to include her objections to the report in her son’s permanent file. The other option for Erica Martinez is to move her son into a completely new school district, where his file will then become a clean slate.
Here`s a good reason why we should not be building up huge databases on children from zero to eighteen.
Coming at the issue from another angle, Big Brother Watch has this to say in their Class of 1984 report:
... here are more than 100,000 CCTV cameras in secondary schools and academies across England, Wales and Scotland. Some schools reported a ratio of one camera for every five pupils, and more than two hundred schools reported using CCTV in bathrooms and changing rooms, whilst others reported more cameras inside school buildings as outside.
Setting aside the issue of privacy for the moment, think about the opportunities for misreporting, mislabeling and mass databasing.