Late penalty

Maquisha Cosey, vice president of the class of ’06 at a Chicago-area high school, came late to her graduation ceremony, a few minutes before doors were scheduled to be locked. A teacher told her she couldn’t enter and locked the door. She eventually found another door where a parent and a police officer let her in. After the ceremony, she was arrested for criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. She spent graduation night, also her 18th birthday, being fingerprinted and booked at the police station.

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  1. Michael E. Lopez, Esq. says:

    So I read the article… and I realize that the problem isn’t that she was arrested. That’s typically what happens to people who try to break into secure facilities guarded by armed officers, so no surprise there.

    What’s really shocking, and what I think is actually a problem, is that a high school graduation would be a secure facility guarded by armed officers.

    What the hell is going on there?

  2. LibraryGryffon says:

    And, if she was let in by another attendee, AND one of the police officers, it would hardly seem to be “criminal tresspass”.

  3. I’ve become aware, only recently I’m sorry to admit, that disciplinary measures against black teens (and black adults) are quite different from those for white teens & adults.

    I’m appalled by this story.

    Late or not, this girl should have a right to attend her own graduation.

    The teacher who turned her away should be disciplined.

  4. The teacher who turned her away was only following the rules to the letter. Why be disciplined for that? Now, the principal on the other hand seems to have had a huge bug up his butt (pardon the expression)…something needs to be done about him.

  5. Twill00 says:

    First, you don’t have a right to disrupt a ceremony by being late or by yelling or by screaming. If she did so, then she should be treated accordingly. However, I don’t believe the noise she made outside can be considered criminal trespass. A conviction is extremely unlikely, and I would even expect a grand jury to no-bill her, in which case the next scenario takes over.

    On the other hand, if her version of the facts is corroborated by witnesses, she’s going to get a full scholarship for her trouble. She didn’t break in and you can’t be trespassing when someone with authority (i.e. the officer) lets you in. And if the people in power were lying when they said she was acting disruptive, they should be prosecuted for making false statements to police. Let them spend the time being booked and see whether they think it’s a light matter.

  6. dogbert2 says:

    I happen to agree with Twill00, you cannot be charged with criminal trespass if someone lets you into a facility in a position of authority (like a police officer), actually you can be charged, but I would hope that the judge assigned to this case would dismiss it with prejudice to send a message to the school that such idiocy by administration cannot and will not be tolerated.

    I also sent a e-mail to the superintendent of the district outlining the flaws of logic that staffers at the school in question must suffer from (it was polite enough to let the good doctor figure out from it that I called the principal and dean of discipline at Thornton North complete boobs).

    I’ll let you guys know if I get a reply or not (I’m not gonna hold my breath, btw)


  7. Anthony says:

    The newspaper story was unclear – did she arrive at 5:53, or 5:58? If 5:53, the teacher who locked the door on her should pay her college tuition, out of pocket. If 5:58, then the principal should, for pressing charges after she was let in by a cop.