Fines $600+ For Cursing Mesquite Student

MESQUITE (CBSDFW.COM) – Some North Texas students might think twice the next time they want to mouth off in school.

In October, a Mesquite high school student was slapped with a $340 fine, after a teacher reported her to campus police for shouting foul language at another student.

Mesquite Independent School District spokesperson Ian Halperin says the incident isn’t the first time a student has been fined.

“Unfortunately, ya know, people say things that they might later regret or say things out of emotion and, just like if you said it in a public place and someone complained, you could be issued a ticket for it,” explained Halperin. “There are laws against it.”

That’s the bad news. But while Halperin says student fines aren’t unusual, he says there are ways to fix it. “You know, for first offenders the fine sometimes can be waived,” he said. “Parents do need to understand that these are tickets issued by the police and they do need to follow up with them.”

Any action that is or isn’t taken will be the decision of the courts. “The main thing is just to understand is that these [tickets] do become police matters and parents do need to make sure that they look at the instructions on the ticket and talk with the police department if they have any questions,” Halperin suggested.

Mesquite ISD officials say detention or in-school suspensions are also options, but when police get involved it becomes a matter for the courts.

While the student in question denies she said the words loud enough for the class to hear, she never showed up for court; that meant penalties were attached to the $340 fine bringing the total cost to more than $600.

Ian Halperin on 1080 KRLD


One Comment

  1. m.r. says:


    1. PatriotOne says:

      You “Texans” have let government employees point guns to arrest children that have done nothing more than cuss. You have allowed government employees determine that arresting and pointing guns is less violent than cussing. In Texas a “cowboy” must get permission (license) to holster his sidearm. Texas is not a Republic of free men and women, Texas is a place where people go to become slaves belonging to government.
      !! NOTICE !! – “The Constitution is a charter of negative liberties; it tells the state to let the people alone, it does not require the federal government or the states to provide services, even so elementary a service as maintaining law and order.” Bowers v Devito, 686 F.2nd 616 (7th Cir. 1982)

      The police have zero duty to protect any thing. The People cannot sue the police for failing to protect. If the police have no duty to protect, and they do not exist for no reason at all, they must exist to rob, rape, and pillage.

    2. PatriotOne says:

      Who among you will say that Egypt with Mubarak is a corrupt government while praising your own corrupt government for fining and jailing children for committing the mother of all sins ‘cussung’? Egypt BAD, Texas GOOD?
      You “people” are not sane

      1. Texas MOM says:

        AMen Brother,, They take God out of our schools and put Cops.. Just like Hilter did…They wonder why the kids cuss.. watch any TV show,, Listen to the music.. Why is this being allowed?Open Your Eyes People We are not free anymore..We had all better start standing up for our rights.
        Punish kids dont give them a criminal record. That is totally insane.

  2. mamaT says:

    Hit ’em where it hurts! Nothing else seems to work but money talks.

    1. Callie says:

      I totally agree. Some parents don’t care what the “precious little angels” do, but when they have to pay for Junior’s antics, that’s when they become concerned.

  3. Jim says:

    Texas is such a backwards state. The more info that comes out of there the more im glad i dont live anywgwere near it

    1. johnny says:

      And likewise we are glad you do not live here either. Both of us are happy

    2. Eddy Taylor says:

      Glad you don’t live here too

    3. Jason says:

      so are we!

    4. Binit says:

      We are glad you don’t live here also. WE have “Values”.ever heard of them? It is a law.. No foul language in public.

      1. les says:

        define foul language >

    5. jasmine says:

      Good then keep your liberal nasty self out of our state. We dont want you here anyhow!

    6. Danny says:

      people like you are a major part of the problem in our soiety

    7. Okie says:

      hi 5 Jim!! it’s freakin high school! give him detention for a year or something, but a fine????? so with that logic rich kids wont care! so, rich kids can curse and not care, but the poor kids have to take out a loan if they slip up?? completely ridiculous..

      1. OKC says:

        so true, but these Texans and most of the bible belt are stuck in 1879 mentally..if he woulda had a joint they would have sent the lench mob!!

      2. jruli says:

        yeah both sides could be looked at with different opinions. I think it all starts with how we raise our kids and who they are hanging with.

    8. Sandra says:

      Texans are glad you don’t live anywhere near here either.

    9. Redroadking says:

      Well Jim, it’s obvious you do not live anywhere near Texas, look at you spelling (anywgwere???). Let me pile on and let you know we are glad you do not live here as well.

  4. just me says:

    Finally. A school that doesn’t allow the children to run the place. Where is this terrific school that has the grown ups in charge?

  5. Pat Bernstein says:

    Teach your children that you are judged by those you hand out with, your hygiene, proper manners – which also means having consideration for those around who can hear and be witness to vulgar, foul, offensive language – all age groups. This is not acceptable in society, so don’t be stupid in your choice of words in public. Your boss or to be boss won’t accept this, you could be fired for being offensive to others – all others. Chooose your words or you might regret what you said, many conquences.

    1. J Christ says:

      dont judge people, forgive them!

  6. Kim Mansfield Tx says:

    AWESOME!!!!! We need more of THAT! My child has been bullied, my house egged, her car keyed and the school keeps saying their hands are tied… who?????? I say STICK IT TO THESE KIDS! I am SICK of paying the price of poor parenting!

    1. texas_t says:

      Kim….you need to file a police repot. That’s damage to personel property. It did not take place on the school grounds.

      You can’t blame the school for that, but you could press charges against the parents of the children who did this to your home/property.

  7. tracey says:

    How does levying fines that the PARENTS have to pay make the student behave? That is making the assumptions that 1) the parents care, and 2) the parents do anything to enforce good behavior.

    Bad parents make bad kids.

    1. Matt Chappel says:

      Parents are much more inclined to give a care if their kids bring home citations. If the parents STILL don’t care, the kid will go to jail for non-payment of a citation.

      It’s a WIN/WIN situation.

      1. texas_t says:

        And the parents get a vacation from the child…please, do you really think they care. It is the government who told them they can’t touch their own child and yet this child curses at them.

        I would try to knock that child’s teeth and call the police on myself.

    2. Dew says:

      But the fines can change bad parents…especially when it has an affect on them. We need to get back to the era where the adults are right and the kids just need to suck it up and learn to behave like children. If parents did not always take the childs side to every story they “weave” they probably would not be in this situation. Children learn what they are taught. If parents allow “foul” language at home (or use it) then the child is going to do it in public.

    3. byron says:

      Perhaps paying $600 in fines can cause the parents to “care” and even maybe “enforce” good behavior.

  8. Okie says:

    freedom of speech…period, no exceptions! give the kid his money back!

    1. Philo Phool says:

      You miss the entire reason for “freedom of speech’ as outlined in the consitution (aa if was first used in the Magna Carta — something you should become familar with before saying something about the U.S. Constituion — including “freedom of speech.” Pre-Magna Carta (and the U.S. Constitution a person could be jailed or exicuted for speaking agains the KING or ruller of England (the country from which most of the first Eueopan settler migrated to what is now the US of A. The Magna Carta allowed people to speak freely against the GOVERNMENT (king or whoever might be in charge) thus the framers of the U.S. Consitution thought it was a damned good idea to include in in the proposed First 12 amendments to constitution (2 did not pass); Any other meaning is an “ILLEGAL AMENDMENT” to the constitution. Any lawyer who say it is an interperation can be proven wrong in any court. Anyone else doesn’t understand how the law works.

    2. Aaron says:

      dumb. freedom of speech is not an amended right when it causes a public disturbance or infringes on the rights of others ( the girls getting cursed at) Dont jump on an arguement you have no legal basis for starting, okie dokie?

      1. Ryan says:

        Actually, as it has been decided in many courts, anti-profanity laws are unconstitutional. The kid may have been disruptive in class and definitely deserves punishment from the school, but with the information given to us from the story, the kid cannot legally be punished for profanity alone.

        Check out People v. Boomer, Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, Cohen v. California, Watts v. United States, and many more if you want legal basis. Also, for the record the Magna Carta was one of many things used as inspiration for the Constitution, and not the only inspiration.

  9. Mike Skaggs says:

    Total violation of the constitution. This is what the ACLU is here for. The parents are going to have to pay. This is asinine.

    1. STEERS AND...WELL, YOU KNOW says:

      TRUE!!!! and people curse on tv, is that not public?? and i’d like a list of what i can and can’t say in public!! is it George Carlin’s old list, his newer list, or a completely different list???? only in the bible belt, China, and Nazi Germany!!

      1. Paul says:

        …and what about the freedom of the one who has to listen to that trash? A TV can be turned off if the language is offensive. A lack of courtesy and disregard for others is inexcusable behavior for responsible citizens. Words of spite directed towards certain social groups is considered a hate crime…why not give all citizens the right to be in an atmosphere free of vulgarity? There have been numerous teen suicides propagated by little more than the spoken and printed words of their peers. What we say is important and says a whole lot about the one speaking…

      2. Aaron says:

        actually its not public. you choose to watch that tv program. getting cursed at in class was not the kid’s choice

  10. Glenn says:

    Alot of replies on here…..guess I am the only one who remembers high school and how we talked in the 80s. I would not pay it and would sit it out, esp if it was a word is commonly used on TV. Now dont get me wrong….my mom told me that she would beat me if she found out I was talking like that in front of OLD people. That I had better Respect the generation….but come on….times have changed. The old people now are 60’s throw backs…..

  11. Whwlf says:

    Sorry to disappoint Okie, but this is not a freedom of speech issue. Four letter obscenities tell world of your lack of vocabulary. Additionally, four letter obscenities are treasured by those of us who appreciate this country and the values that it was founded upon. Keep your explicatives at home.

    1. Okie says:

      It’s not?? so if i, or you, or anyone else, trips and falls on the sidewalk and happens to say ‘OH SH@T!!’ WE COULD GET A FINE??? have you ever seen Demolition Man?? freedom is soon becoming a thing of the past. and why can you say poo, or doody, but not SH@T…THEY ALL MEAN THE SAME THING!! and you can say make love, have sex, whoopie, but not f@ck?? i misspelled my cursing because you ignorant vagina texans might turn me in…lol. i think the p@ssification of america is the true problem here

      1. Aaron says:

        who’s the vagina in oklahoma starting this into a debate it doesnt have to be about? If the parents stepped in and did their job the school wouldn’t need to be parenting their kids for them. I can imagine your kids or parents talk like this okie which would be why its completely acceptable to you

      2. gerrod says:

        i totally agree Okie and its not just Texans, but really people if it was still legal to belt your children there would not be these problems

  12. texas_t says:

    Grown ups in charge, really? By bringing the Police into it? Now the family are stuck paying a ticket they can’t afford, because the teacher chose to involve the police rather than the parents?

    Shouldn’t they have called the parent for a conference with parent & child. Recommended a term paper on the use of Profanity in public places?

    These children are the way they are because of the stupidity perpetuated by adults…all adults.

  13. Whwlf says:

    Sorry, I meant to say, four letter obscenities are NOT treasured by those of us who appreciate this country and the values that it was founded upon.

  14. Trailermixer says:

    Oh, please! [Note to those pedantics at the MISD: Grow-up! It’s not the 1950’s, after all.] From what I’ve seen of the “holier-than-thou” teachers of the MISD, they are hardly strangers to the powerful cathartic effects of using a four letter word. In fact, teachers routinely sympathize with one another when a questionable word arises in a conversation. Among colleagues, a teacher’s use of profanity is simply chalked -up (forgive the pun) to having had a bad day in the classroom and is quickly forgotten. Yet, when a student avails herself of the same words all hell breaks loose. And instead of receiving a gentle reprimand and perhaps an impromptu etiquette lesson from her teacher, the student is fined $600 fine. Nonsense! It’s a classic example of “do as I say and not as I do”. Besides, can the MISD really afford to pursue such absurdity when it’s facing much bigger challenges, namely, its poor academic standing? I say knock-off the hypocrisy, it’s positively medieval!

  15. Ryan says:

    I would put out the money and contest it. As long as they weren’t inciting violence in any way or slandering the person they were talking to, the 1st amendment gives everyone the right to curse wherever and whenever they want. Police have just lost cases in a couple different cities for fining people for saying “vulgar” words. In my opinion though, vulgarity just shows your lack of intelligence. If you have to resort to vulgarity when arguing with someone then you are more than likely already losing said argument.

    And you conservatives yelling at those you think are liberals aren’t very good conservatives if you want the government to regulate what people can say when it can in no way harm someone else. You might want to rethink where you stand politically. For the record I am Libertarian. Keep the government as small as possible and make your own choices on everything, economically and socially.

  16. Whwlf says:

    Sounds like a few people need to learn that one person’s rights’ end where another person’s rights’ begin.

    1. Ryan says:

      What right is being violated by hearing profanity? Just because you don’t like a word does not mean it is illegal. One of my favorite quotes was said by Voltaire, and during the late 1700s believe it or not. “I may not agree with what you say, but to the death I will defend your right to say it.”

      Voltaire’s works influenced many of our founding fathers whose values you speak about.

  17. J says:

    Parents have to pay for their kids actions all the time. Your kid skips school, gets a ticket, steals, etc the parents have to go to court and pay the fees. That is part of being a parent. Why is this any different?

  18. low tolerance says:

    Looking at the comments here I’m no longer questioning why the kids today are such ill-mannered little cretins. Good on you, MISD.

  19. f@ck knuckle says:

    cursing is not against the law! the school can punish the kid, but the cops can’t fine them…or take them to jail. if she takes it to court with a half as…oops, sorry, almost broke the law!! if her lawyer is worth a..oops…she will win. its not illegal, if it was they would shut down every construction site in the country, and comedy club, and network tv, and all radio, and Howard Stern would be doing life in prison……some of you people who think your soooo patriotic are very very unamerican! this IS a free country…at least it is suppose to be

  20. DOC says:

    If I were the child’s parent I would already have an ACLU lawyer and would be suing under First Admendment rights. Doesn’t surprise me this is occurring in Texas where dinosaurs and man roam the earth at the same time (Go conservatives).

    1. byron says:

      You are the real cause of this type problem. Violators of morals, ethics, and law, need to be brought into the mainstream of society – not “protected” from it. The First Amendment was never intended to protect adolescent kids from discipline for unacceptable behavior.

      1. Ryan says:

        Nobody said the child shouldn’t be punished. He should be punished in the school for disrupting the classroom and given a proper punishment though. Like I have already pointed out, laws in different cities against profane language have already been fought and deemed illegal and have been overturned

  21. truth hurts says:

    During the 70’s they would have made a gazillion dollars on this one………all those families with all those children. Everyone would have gone to the poorhouse.

  22. Mike H says:

    I have an idea… if we are going to fine for cursing in public (including school), let’s send police to our arenas, stadiums, athletic fields, rinks, etc. From professional to little league ages, lets start enforcing these laws equally if these morality laws are broken on public property. Anyone else think this is a little over the top?
    C’mon… just because a kid uses foul language does not mean that the parents are bad parents. It also does not mean the kid is a bad kid. It means the kid said something, often in a moment of (gasp) being a kid and using less than stellar judgement.
    I cursed on occasion growing up, but the worst I would ever had gotten would have been having my mouth washed out with soap, maybe a grounding if I was cursing at someone. Let’s get back to punishments fitting the ‘crime’!!!!!

  23. les says:

    i have read these comments and just what is the definition of a curse word ?? who decides what is a curse word ? does anybody have an answer ???

  24. George Luttmann says:

    This should not stand! Free speech is free speech no matter what is being said, as long as the words physically harm no one, and does not violate the rights of others. For the student to pay this ticket is acceptance of a violation of our first amendment right. This was not on the radio, and this is not on the television, but in a public setting. If the state of Texas has any form of reasoning ability, they will let this student off. But yet again, a bit of is a bit too much to ask for now a days.

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