Teen jailed for courthouse call

Filed under: Teens, In The News

Kids these days! I tell ya! I can understand bringing your cell phone to court -- you might break down on the way there or back and need to call for a tow truck or you might just want to call someone afterwards and let them know you'll be home for dinner instead of in three to five. I could even understand forgetting to turn it off or set it to silent mode and looking around sheepishly and apologetically while you frantically try to shut the thing up, should someone call while the court is in session.

Actually taking a call, however, seems a bit much, especially if you're sitting in the front row. Apparently, magistrate Daynor Trigg of Australia's Northern Territory thinks so too, and told a seventeen-year-old so when the boy did just that. The teen was in court to answer two charges of breaking and entering and stealing when his phone rang. "How dare you answer a phone in court ... that allows transmissions from court ... which is a serious contempt,'' shouted the judge.

The teen responded flippantly and the judge sent him off to cool down in the court's holding cells. Two hours later, the boy was back in court where he apologized to the judge, saying "Sorry your honour for um ... having my phone on and answering it during court and backchatting." What made the boy's actions even worse is that the phone call came in moments after the judge had warned the court to turn off the cell phones.

"One of the problems that seems to be developing within our community." the judge opined from the bench, "is that there is so much time devoted by schools and others to telling people what their rights are, without the corresponding lessons being taught as to what people's obligations are." I agree completely. In many places, we enjoy great freedoms, but with those rights come great responsibilities as well. Hopefully, this kid learned his lesson well.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.