This case is chronicled by Houston Chronicle columnist, Rick Casey (no relationship to Casey Harmeier. It involved a ten-year-old child who is accused of pulling a fire alarm in the school when there was no fire. The child received placement in alternative school and is accused with a crime that will be tried in the court systems. Casey points out that the child did not set off the alarm. A teacher did.
Quote from colum:
When the principal of Beckendorf Intermediate School in Tomball thought 10-year-old Casey Harmeier deliberately set off a school fire alarm, she took action that some school administrators would support and some, even in these days of terrorist fears and zero tolerance, would think excessive.
Without calling Casey's parents, she had him hauled off by the police, who charged him with a felony. That was last Oct. 25.
After further investigation, however, Tomball ISD officials discovered they were mistaken. Casey had not pulled the fire alarm. He had, on a dare, removed a clear plastic cover from the alarm, unaware that he would trip a very loud horn designed to prevent students from pulling the alarm.
A persistent father
"There is overwhelming evidence to conclude that a BIS staff member inadvertently set off the building fire alarm while attempting to deactivate the local alarm on the pull station," wrote Huey Kinchen, assistant superintendent for administrative services, in a Jan. 19 memo. "There is overwhelming evidence to conclude that Casy (sic) Harmeier did not pull the lever on the fire alarm pull station, and did not activate the building fire alarm."
It took them 51 days to come to that conclusion, which likely would not have happened were it not for the persistence of Casey's father.
Frank Harmeier knows how schools work. He is a teacher at Tomball ISD's alternative center. (read the rest)