oh-myyy-ribbon

Social media will be blamed as the source of many people's problems, but it's important to remember that it can do some good as well.

Like when a story goes viral because a judge sentenced a juror to jail for accidentally oversleeping.


Earlier this month, a story went viral about Deandre Somerville, a man sentenced to 10-days in jail, one year of probation, and 150 hours of community service after he overslept and missed jury duty in August.

But after the jail sentence was served, the judge reversed his ruling and expunged Somerville's record of the crime.

Man sent to jail for 10 days after oversleeping and missing jury duty | ABC News www.youtube.com

Back in August, 21 year-old Somerville was scheduled for his first ever summons for jury duty. He ended up being picked to serve as a juror for a civil case.

However, he woke up late by about two hours, and it was almost time for him to go to work. Somerville didn't notify the courthouse, thinking the worst that would happen is he would get a fine.

Somerville was visited by police with a court summons three weeks later. There, Judge John Kastrenakes explained to him that court was held up by 45 minutes because of his absence.

He was then sentenced to jail, probation, and community service and given a fine of $223.




Somerville spent the next ten days in jail.

He was worried for his family when he received the sentence. His grandfather recently had surgery and had trouble walking. Somerville would normally take him to therapy and run errands.

He told Buzzfeed News,

"A whole 10 days. It put a bind on my family. It neglected me from helping my family."
"When I am not working, I am helping maintain the house. I am taking my granddad to therapy. I am constantly going. It was hard. My granddad missed days of therapy when I was in jail."

Somerville had no idea how jury duty worked, and to be honest, can you blame him? The public service isn't well explained in school and treated as sitcom fodder on TV shows.

The young man didn't know how important the service is, and wasn't aware there are accommodations your work has to give you for you to serve.

And in the wake of light sentences for White celebrities who knowingly broke laws and a resurgence of discussion about rapist Brock Turner's light sentence because of Chanel Miller's book release for Know My Name: A Memoir, the crackdown on Somerville seemed excessive to many.

This led to public outcry.




Almost no one expected the sentence to be that severe.

"I made a mistake, but I didn't know I would go to jail. They don't tell you that if you miss jury duty you go to jail."

Which, to be fair, you usually don't.

Depending on the state, judges can legally sentence someone anywhere from three days to possibly six months of jail time for skipping jury duty. However, this is usually reserved for egregious offenders.

The most common punishment is a fine in addition to rescheduling the jury duty for a future date. The fact that Somerville received jail, probation, a fine and community service for a first-time mistake was seen as too much by many.

And that public outrage may have gotten to Judge Kastrenakes. He cleared his decision after the story made national headlines.

Kastrenakes claims that he believes Somerville has learned his lesson, saying:

"I know he now understands and respects our system of justice and the critical role jurors play in that system. In conclusion, I do not want even a finding of contempt to be gleaned from a perusal of his background or record."

The probation and community service have been vacated, and the crime will be expunged from Somerville's record.

Though to some, this is not enough.




Somerville is excited about the news and is going through the process of having the crime expunged.

While jury duty is very important to our justice system, so is the recognition and correction of well documented unequal justice. Statistics show people of color receive far harsher penalties for the same infractions as their White counterparts.

Judges like Kastrenakes frequently cite teaching POC a lesson when handing out maximum sentences, but then cite age or first ever offense or making a mistake or good intentions when handing out light sentences for White offenders. It's readily available information compiled from records of the justice system.

It's time the justice system paid attention to their own record.

The book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness is available here.

******

Have you listened to the first season of George Takei's podcast, 'Oh Myyy Pod!'?

In season one we explored the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.

We're hard at work on season two so be sure to subscribe here so you don't miss it when it goes live.

Here's one of our favorite episodes from season one. Enjoy!

Anything dangerous or any foolish act you can think of has already been done by someone out there on the internet.

And I mean ANYTHING.

Keep reading... Show less

@arlenedegaf/Twitter

A White civilian faked being a police officer in order to berate a group of Hispanic teenagers enjoying a swing set in a public, all-ages park, in Fort Worth, Texas.

One of the teens recorded the confrontation on a smartphone and posted the footage online.

Keep reading... Show less

Being in the service industry is an incredibly difficult career. It is not for the lazy or faint of heart. In fact it has been scientifically proven that it takes an emotional toll on the soul, the body and most especially the mind. So what could possibly make a server reject the coin they are working for?

Keep reading... Show less

If you've ever worked with kids you know that their honesty and lack of filter can sometimes make them cringeworthy - and pretty hilarious.

If you haven't (or you don't have a thick skin) then you might not be able to appreciate just how funny kids can actually be. For those who can, this article should be a blast.

Reddit user moosepajamas asked:

Teachers of Reddit, what is the funniest thing you've ever heard a student say?

The answers could sometimes be insulting, sometimes silly, and sometimes downright baffling - just like kids themselves!


September 31

Giphy

One time I was asking students their birthdays. One boy told me that his birthday was September 31st. I tried to explain that this was not possible, but he insisted. Later, I looked it up. I then informed him that his birthday was November 17th.

He looked at me kind of confused and said "ohhhh." Then his face brightened and he said, "Well, last year I KNOW it was September 31st!"

- RedditStateOfMind

Jesus

I teach elementary band. One time we were preparing for a challenging playing test and a student said: "Man, I need to practice."

Without missing a beat the kid next to him says "My mom says I need Jesus."

- moosepajamas

Shown Up By A 5th Grader

Giphy

Was tutoring after-school a couple years ago. A kid asked "What time is it?"

I joked "Time for you to get a watch."

He responded "Time for you to get a new joke" without a moment's hesitation.

I had to laugh at getting shown up by a 5th grader. Two reading levels behind but witty as hell.

- Garlic_And_Sapphires

Jogathon

I had a student who was a newcomer (just moved to the US, almost no English) from Latvia. This kid is very bright and was one of my favorite 6th graders ever. We were having our annual jogathon, which is linguistically and culturally not translatable from Latvian.

Student: "So I pay you and you make me run?"

Me: "Yeah, that's actually how it goes."

Student: "This is simple. I don't pay you, you don't make me run."

Me: "uhhhh...."

- estrogyn

Rosa

Middle school field trip to a different state. One of the chaperones (a large black woman) wanted to get in a little nap in the back seat of the bus, so she made one of the students move to a seat in the front that was far from his friends. He got in the seat and started sulking. He was normally a pretty lively kid, so I leaned forward and asked what happened.

To which he replied: "I think I just got reverse Rosa Parks-ed!"

- almost_queen

The Moon

Giphy

I teach sophomores. One day, this girl was sitting at her desk, looking very concerned, and obviously wanted to ask me something. Finally, she blurted out, "Did anybody else see the moon in the sky during lunch? It's supposed to be out at night, something is wrong!"

- cubfanbybirth

Physically

Teacher to student: "Were you in class yesterday?"

Student, sounding more lost than anything and probably answering too honestly: "Physically... ?"

It wasn't so much an attempt at humor as just the summation of how we all felt in that class, one of those "it's funny because it's too true" things... we all were showing up, we were all sitting in the class physically... but being there? That was another question...

- Allisade

The Ladies

First grade. 6 yr. old lil dude about 3 ft. tall and 80 lbs. walks in late from recess.

Me - "Why are you late?"

Kid - grabs his hunk of belly with both hands like a ball of cream cheese and says "The ladies love this!"

Sits down like nothing happen with no smile.

- BoBoShaws

Synchronized

Giphy

He asked me "If a synchronized swimmer starts drowning, do they all start drowning?"

I lost it in class.

- bunsenbernerr

It's A Miracle

I teach high school, and one of my sophomores referred to merry-go-rounds as "miracle rounds". He legit thought that's what they were called 😂😂 I corrected him and he refused to believe me lol.

- royalredhead

The Pizza Guy

I was sharing information about math in art to my students (they're about 13 years old) and mentioned Leonardo da Vinci. A student said: "The pizza guy?"

I was confused, but later she said, "See! The pizza party!"

We were looking at The Last Supper.

- catpflug

Astronomy

Giphy

"I thought Astronomy would be easy because I know all about it but he hasn't even brought up horoscopes yet and we're 6 weeks in."

- chrisrayn

Budget Cuts

I teach band. One day I'm working with the high school jazz band and we're going to start mapping out some basic compositions. I pass out blank sheet music for them to use, which is simply blank 5-line staves with no notes, no symbols, etc.

One kid gets his sheet music expecting it to be a new song we're going to work on, sees that it's blank, looks up and says "Wow, budget cuts must've hit us hard, huh?"

- SquirrelSanctuary

Life Choices

Math prof. I finished a proof and to check understanding, I asked "does everyone understand my choices?" One of my favorite students ever piped up and said "Are we talking about your proof or how you've chosen to live your life?"

- coldstainlessnail

Before

Giphy

Wore a Captain America shirt to school since the student council had a super hero day. A student said I looked like Captain America - before the super soldier injections.

- numero1uno

Parenting isn't always easy, but most parents recognize that their kids are going to mess up and need to be taught how to behave. Some, however, have deluded themselves into thinking that their little angel couldn't possibly misbehave or do anything wrong.

Keep reading... Show less
Laura McIntyre / Facebook

Nurses are often one of the most undervalued professionals we have. Doctors tend to get the spotlight when it comes to healing.

But in the past week, many are placing nurses and all they do in the limelight–all thanks to Laura McIntyre celebrating her twin sister Caty's dedication.

Keep reading... Show less