Juvenile Hall makes determination based on overcrowding, prior arrest history
By Allen Payton
According to Antioch Police, on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017 at 10:58 am, a 13 year old male was arrested after assaulting a classmate at Antioch Middle School. The juvenile suspect was sent to Juvenile Hall for felony assault.
Then on Tuesday, Jan. 24th at 1:46 pm, Antioch Middle School staff called to report a 13 year old female student was detained in the office for assaulting her teacher. Upon the officers’ arrival, they determined the student had punched her substitute teacher in the face several times causing her to fall to the ground. While on the ground, the student continued to hit the victim several more times. School staff attempted to intervene and the student assaulted one of them. The victim suffered minor injuries from the assault. Several students filmed the assault with their cellular phones and the videos were collected as evidence. The student was issued a juvenile citation and was released to the custody of her mother.
When asked why the girl wasn’t taken to Juvenile Hall, Antioch Police Captain Tammany Brooks said it was up to Juvenile Hall to decide due to overcrowding and other details.
“When a juvenile is taken into custody for a felony, officers call over to Juvenile Hall, explain the charges, and Juvenile Hall staff determines whether or not they are willing to accept him/her,” he said. “When Juvenile Hall refuses to take an arrestee, we issue a citation and release to a parent.
“Juvenile Hall is extremely overcrowded and typically take kids arrested for very violent felonies, and who are a threat to the public,” Brooks explained. “They also are mandated to take kids who have outstanding warrants. Therefore, they screen all potential incoming kids and turn away ones who don’t fit that criteria.”
When asked why the boy was treated differently and what message that was sending to the other students, Brooks explained further.
“Each case is different,” he stated. “Boy or girl, prior arrest history, availability on the module, etc. that’s why we call first to get a yay or nay.”
“We’d prefer to send them all (to Juvenile Hall), but we’re at their mercy,” Brooks added.
When asked about the two incidents and if the school or district had taken any disciplinary action against the students, Antioch Superintendent Stephanie Anello responded.
“Our disciplining students is separate from any action law enforcement might take so I really can’t speak to the decision to send one student to Juvenile Hall versus the other,” she said. “The school discipline is based on the California Education Code and our discipline matrix and is in addition to any action law enforcement might take.”
However, she did not say if either of the students had been or would face any discipline, such as suspension or expulsion.