Picture this- you're at work; sitting at your desk and your smart phone rings. You think it's a bit odd to be getting a phone call on your cell in the middle of the day, people know you're at work and if they need to reach you, they normally call you on your work line; especially if it's an emergency.

The area code is familiar, but the number is not, so you answer anyway; on the other end is a police officer who asks you if you have a minute to speak with him about your son. Your heart begins to race as he calmly explains that your son has been involved in an incident at school and he's been taken to a local hospital; you ask what happened and he tells you that he'll explain everything once you get there.

Upon arrival, you're greeted by the officer that you spoke with on the phone and a nurse, they tell you that your child was involved in an altercation with a group of boys at school that resulted in some bruises, a cut to his eye that required stitches and a broken arm. The entire incident was also being filmed on one of the boys cell phones and it had already been shared on social media.

You ask how this could've happened. A group of boys? Why didn't anyone step in help? What's wrong with these kids?

What's wrong is society. We all have a need to be the first to capture and share something in hopes that it will go viral. What most people, especially kids, don't know  is that being a witness to a crime and not doing anything about it could result in criminal charges.

According to NBC 15 in Madison, who recently covered the school fight in Beloit, in the state of Wisconsin, which has a duty to aid victim law, "any person who knows that a crime is being committed must call for assistance for the victim." 

Should you stand by and witness a crime being committed, you could face Class C misdemeanor charges; which come with a fine of up to $500 and a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail.

In the state of Illinois, there is a similar mob action law and had this happened in Illinois, anyone who was involved could face similar charges. A person commits mob action  when:

  1. The knowing or reckless use of force or violence disturbing the public peace by 2 or more persons acting together and without authority of law; or

  2. The knowing assembly of 2 or more persons with the intent to commit or facilitate the commission of a felony or misdemeanor; or

  3. The assembly of 2 or more persons, without authority of law, for the purpose of doing violence to the person or property of anyone supposed to have been guilty of a violation of the law, or for the purpose of exercising correctional powers or regulative powers over any person by violence.

While I understand it might be scary to interfere or there's that need to be the first to share such heinous acts online, it's simply not worth it.

In a Snap! Fitness

Catch Mandy James on “The Steve Shannon Show with Mandy James” on 97 ZOK from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


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