DeLynn Woodside, 7th grade math teacher at Oklahoma City's Roosevelt Middle School, may know all about her addition and subtraction, but she needs a remedial education in law.
A 13-year-old was arrested Friday in Oklahoma City, accused of violating a little-known city ordinance that prohibits possession of a permanent marker in some circumstances.
Delynn Woodside noted the marker had bled through a piece of paper onto the desk and reported to a police officer that she also had seen the teen writing on the desk with the marker, the report said.
Woodside, a seventh-grade math teacher, made a citizen's arrest on the teen, and the police officer transferred the student to a Community Intervention Center that houses juveniles who have been arrested. The name of the minor was not released.
Leaving aside the officiousness of conducting a citizen's arrest!
then having a thirteen year old hauled to jail for writing on his desk with a pen (if that actually happened), Ms. Woodside has completely misread the statute.
Oklahoma City Municipal Code Section 35-202, the statute under which DeLynn Woodside arrested this young man, has this to say about possession of sharpie pens:
No person may possess an aerosol spray paint container or broad-tipped indelible marker on any private property unless the owner, agent, manager, or other person having control of the property consented to the presence of the aerosol spray paint container or broad-tipped indelible marker.
But Roosevelt Middle School is a public school. It even says so on the Oklahoma City schools website. It is therefore public property. This boy has as much right to be there as Ms. Woodside. More right in fact. He has to be there, whereas Ms. Woodside can quit her job at any time. While it's true that Roosevelt Middle School may not be dedicated to public use, as with a town square, it is clearly not "private property".
And Ms. Woodside may well need to quit her job soon, assuming that the boy's parents consult an attorney. She'll need to dedicate herself, full-time, to defending against a suit for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. Assuming the school board doesn't fire her first.