pageok
pageok
pageok
Class VP arrested after coming late to graduation:
I don't often read stories about my high school, Thornton Fractional Township High School North ("Home of the Meteors!" AKA "T.F. North") in Calumet City, Illinois, but this one made the Best of the Web. From the Chicago Sun-Times:
For Maquisha Cosey, vice president of Thornton Fractional North High School's class of 2006, graduation day is not one she'll soon forget.

And not for any of the sentimental reasons.

It's the day that Cosey, who was listed on Friday's graduation program as the leader of the pledge to the flag, was arrested and charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct after trying to participate in the ceremony despite being denied entry for being late.

"I know that this shouldn't have happened to me. It shouldn't happen to anyone," says the graduate.

Instead of celebrating her big day, she spent the evening at the Calumet City police station being fingerprinted and photographed because Principal Dwayne E. Evans, the Cosey family claims, was angry someone had let her into the ceremony after the doors were locked.

It was also her 18th birthday.

"I don't have all the facts yet," District 215 Supt. Robert Wilhite said Saturday. "I have a meeting scheduled for Monday morning with the staff of Thornton North to sort this all out."

Wilhite says he was told Cosey was arrested for "screaming and yelling in the gymnasium long after the graduation was all over." Court papers, with the principal listed as the complainant, allege she "knowingly and intentionally acted in an unreasonable manner and provoke[d] a breach of the peace by continually yelling and screaming and threatening the school staff during the graduation proceedings."

But Cosey, a member of student government who says she never had a discipline issue in four years of high school, denies that, saying, "That's just not my character."

Evans could not be reached for comment.

It all started when Cosey arrived at the high school in Calumet City two minutes before doors were scheduled to be locked. Invitations had clearly stated no one would be allowed in to the 6 p.m. ceremony after 5:55 p.m., and students had been instructed to arrive at 5 p.m.

That Cosey was late, she and her parents aren't disputing. . . .
There's more here.

Update: Tardy Cal City grad may not face charges

Here is some background on Calumet City from Wikipedia. Though it fails to mention its notorious past, it does offer this:

Calumet City is featured or mentioned in a number of major movies. John Belushi's "Joliet Jake" character from The Blues Brothers was born in Calumet City. In film Silence of the Lambs, Buffalo Bill is thought to be hiding in Calumet City, when he is actually in Belvedere, Ohio.
The Encyclopedia of Chicago has much more information:
Cook County, 19 miles S of the Loop. Calumet City is located across the southeast boundary of the city of Chicago at the state line between 143rd Street and 163rd Street, east of the Bishop Ford Freeway. It is north of Lansing and southeast of Dolton. Originally known as West Hammond, Calumet City shares State Line Road with Hammond.

Founded in 1893 when the population consisted mainly of German Lutheran farmers, the early community depended heavily on the factories and commerce of Hammond. The 1900 population of 2,935 grewto 7,492 by 1920. By that time, Poles outnumbered Germans, with residents of Irish ancestry in third place. Poles were so politically powerful in the community that a Polish American was elected village president in 1900 and in 1902 one municipal party was able to field a slate made up completely of candidates with Polish names.

When Indiana went dry in 1916, West Hammond became an attractive watering hole for the drinkers of northwest Indiana. Bootleggers like Al Capone built on this base when national Prohibition came into play, and the town of West Hammond, just 30 minutes from downtown Chicago, gained a reputation as a "Sin City," where gambling, prostitution, and illegal booze joints created a pre--Las Vegas strip on State Street. Hardworking residents were so dismayed by the town's bad reputation that they voted in 1923 to change the name to Calumet City. Despite the city's notoriety, the population grew from 7,500 to 12,300 during the 1920s, reaching 25,000 in 1960, 32,956 in 1970, and 39,697 in 1980. Since the 1920s various mayors and citizen groups battled to shut down the State Street bars with varying success, until Mayor Jerry Genova's efforts in the 1990s seemed to bring that chapter of the city's history to an end.

In 1966 investors spent $35 million and built the 80-store River Oaks Shopping Center. The center's excellent location on U.S. Route 6, a few miles from the Bishop Ford Freeway, brought customers from Chicago's South Side, and a renovation in the early 1990s (completely enclosing the previously open-air mall) maintained its drawing power.

In 2000 Calumet City's population was 39,071, with 54 percent African American and 11 percent Hispanic. Thirteen percent of Calumet City residents reported Polish ancestry, with smaller percentages of German, Irish, and Italian ancestry.

Richard Aubrey (mail):
This is unbelievable. If the school doesn't have something considerably different from Cosey's story, they'd be in character as a public school.
6.7.2006 8:48am
BT:
Randy:
My brother &sister went to T.F. North, probably some years before you. We had left beautiful Cal City by the time I was ready for high school. Do you remember the A &W at the corner of Warren and Burnham? (currently a vacant lot) Lived right down the street. It's nice to see somebody from Sin City hit the big time!!
6.7.2006 8:52am
rbj:
They locked the doors? Presumably they were only locked for entry, not exit, but still that would present a safety issue if a cop, firefighter or EMS personnel had to get in quickly. Was the principal anticipating a problem?
6.7.2006 9:37am
John (mail):
Isn't there something somewhere about the punishment fitting the crime? This apparent overreaction from the principal--invoking the criminal machinery of the government to handle a tiny disciplinary problem--is a total waste of community resources.
6.7.2006 9:37am
Cornellian (mail):
Wow, the principal of a public school is a power tripping petty bureaucrat out to punish someone for being 3 minutes after the deadline for admission to grad??? I'm shocked, shocked I tell you.
6.7.2006 9:37am
Jeek:
She should have shown enough "future time orientation" to show up punctually! Oh wait, that's racist...
6.7.2006 9:39am
Spoons (mail) (www):
Uhhh... guys... the school superintendant doesn't have the power to arrest anyone.
Wilhite says he was told Cosey was arrested for "screaming and yelling in the gymnasium long after the graduation was all over." Court papers, with the principal listed as the complainant, allege she "knowingly and intentionally acted in an unreasonable manner and provoke[d] a breach of the peace by continually yelling and screaming and threatening the school staff during the graduation proceedings."
So, she pitched enough of a fit that a cop who was present felt she should be arrested and a state's attorney who reviewed the case felt she should be charged.

The students were told to arrive at 5:00. Even so, the school didn't lock the doors until 5:55 -- just five minutes before the start of the ceremony -- and students were warned ahead of time that they wouldn't be let in after that point. She got in anyway, and apparently, the principal said something to her. For this she throws a screaming, threatening fit?

Sounds like this won't be this spoiled brat's last experience with the criminal justice system.
6.7.2006 9:49am
Randy Barnett (mail) (www):
BT: I do indeed remember drinking ice cold A &W root beer in the frosty glass mugs at the stand on Burnham Ave. My house was on Burnham Avenue, though a ways south. I still have some glass A &W mugs that I bought in Windsor, Canada. I wish Diet A&W tasted nearly as good as the original.
6.7.2006 9:58am
JohnO (mail):
If I remember correctly, Ray's Music Exchange was in Calumet City.
6.7.2006 10:01am
billb:
This sort of overreaction seems to be going around this year. Check out what happend to Samanatha Medina for raising her arms above her waist!
6.7.2006 10:47am
Freethinker:
Sounds like this won't be this spoiled brat's last experience with the criminal justice system.

Hey Spoons,

Every been to Calumet City? I'm from around the area (Homewood to be exact) and I know Cal City quite well. I doubt many (or any) of the kids at TF North would qualify as "spoiled"; "poor" would probably be more accurate.
6.7.2006 11:53am
Freethinker:
Torrence Ave. in Cal City has gotta be on top 5 worst-traffic-in-the-suburbs-of-Chicago list!

Can anyone else attest to this?
6.7.2006 11:56am
BT:
Freethinker I am not sure but you are probably right!! It is bad. Also something I just learned is that there is a style of country music called "Cal City Swing". Think the song "Big City" by Merle Haggard and you will get the idea. Muscians from just over the border in Indiana all call it that. It has something to do with the bars/feel of the place way back when.
6.7.2006 1:52pm
David Newton:
Looking at the link about Samantha Medina I think that's a perfectly acceptable enforcement of the rules. Whether the rules are an ass is another question entirely. Excluding someone from a graduation ceremony because they violate the rules of conduct for that graduation ceremony is proportionate and correct. Now if they'd stopped her from graduating or something similar things might be rather different.
6.7.2006 4:11pm
Anon1ms (mail):
Given the behavior of many parents at high school graduation ceremonies, I am at a loss to come up with a behavior that would warrant an arrest.

All joking aside, this is another example of the promiscuous use of arresting juveniles -- it's not unusual today to hear of elementary school children being booked for bad behavior.

What a waste of our resources, and what a dereliction of duty by those in positions of authority.
6.7.2006 5:14pm
Frank Drackmann (mail):
Wow, just when you think you know everything, I always thought "Joliet Jake" Blues was from Joliet,IL,now I know better. Wasn't Elwood from Rock Island?
6.7.2006 7:11pm
BT:
Frank:

Joliet was in reference to Stateville Penitentiary which at the time of the movie was in Joliet, IL and is no longer in business. Don't know about Elwood.
6.7.2006 7:47pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Looking at the link about Samantha Medina I think that's a perfectly acceptable enforcement of the rules. Whether the rules are an ass is another question entirely. Excluding someone from a graduation ceremony because they violate the rules of conduct for that graduation ceremony is proportionate and correct. Now if they'd stopped her from graduating or something similar things might be rather different.
How can "whether the rules are an ass" be "another question entirely"? How can it be "perfectly acceptable" to enforce rules that are, to use a technical term, incredibly retarded?
6.7.2006 8:59pm
Jeff Wartman (mail):
I also am from Calumet City, albeit much younger than everyone on this board :)

I graduated from T.F. North in 2003, and one thing I can attest to is the strict punctuality policy for the graduation. It was made very clear that graduates had to be in the auditorium an hour early, and no parents or relatives would be allowed into the ceremony after 15 minutes before the ceremony started, as to keep all distractions to a minimum. It wasn't like she showed up and wanted in; she would've know the consequences for not being at the ceremony on time.
6.8.2006 2:05am