Conferences

Scenario

The Dare
Jason, 17, visited his friends at a neighbouring school one day at lunch. When the lunch hour was almost over, his friends dared him to pull the fire alarm before going back to his own school. "I just might!" he called as his friends were heading to their classrooms. Just before walking out of the school, he surprised himself by pulling a fire alarm near the exit door.

He began heading back to his own school but didn’t run as he didn’t want to look suspicious. "Oh, I hope they enjoy the sunshine," he said as he looked back at the students and staff starting to gather outside the school. He was a little nervous and hoped no one had seen him pull the alarm.

It wasn’t long before the rumours began to spread. When the police questioned Jason’s friends, they told the officer about daring Jason to pull the alarm. When the police visited Jason, he accepted responsibility for the offence and admitted that he had pulled the fire alarm.

Jason was in Grade 11. He had already had a couple of run-ins with police before—like the time they dumped his beer out when he was drinking in the park with a bunch of friends, but he had never been to court. Jason was not great in school but he was getting by. He did not have a job but hoped to be a car mechanic one-day.

Your job:
Look up mischief (Criminal Code section 430) and false fire alarms (Criminal Code of Canada section 437) and find out what the penalty is for adults.

Think about these questions:

  1. Did this crime have a victim(s)? Give reasons for your answer.
  2. Should Crown Counsel proceed to trial in a youth justice court? Explain.
  3. Does the public need to see Jason receive a major punishment for this offence?
  4. What options for dealing with Jason are available?
  5. Is a police warning sufficient in this case? Why or why not?