Friday, April 27, 2007

This is just retarded - Student arrested for writing an essay

And now the overreaction begins. A high school student is charged with a CRIME for writing a freaking high school essay. Story here. I can't believe anyone could possibly get away with filing charges on something like this. This is utter bullshit. The prosecutors should be disbarred. Any judge who doesn't immediately throw out the charges should be impeached. What, am I overreacting? Isn't that the whole point?

The kid wrote an essay of his stream of conciousness, as per the assignment. He did not censor himself, as per the assignment.

A rational response would have been to talk to him, find out why he wrote it, find out that yes, he was just following the assignment, and leave it at that. But rationality is not one of humanity's strong points, apparently. Ugh.

8 comments:

antiprincess said...

you'd think the marines would want to take him sooner...

armagh444 said...

Being the royal pain that I am, I actually looked up the DC statute in Illinois, and I have to say that my mind is more than a little blown by the way it's written. There are two subsections in the law that might work in this fact scenario (720 ILCS 5/26-1(a)(1) & (a)(4)), but not without stretching and shoehorning, at least that's how it looks to me based on the statute and the information provided in the news article.

armagh444 said...

The full text of Illinois's DC statute should be accessible here.

DBB said...

Thanks for the link! I've done that as well on occasion - looked up statutes on stories - though I think the last time I did this was probably when the right-wing extremists were calling for a journalist to be charged with the violation of a federal statute for agreeing to be interviewed by the Iraqi press during the beginning of the invasion. I looked up the statute and noticed, rather prominently, that the statute could not apply because it only applied within the borders of the united states. Not that any of the intrepid MSM reporters bothered to check it when reporting the story.

With this story, the problem is, it is an essay, written speech, and since it doesn't appear to actually threaten to do anything, just talks about it, no matter what the statute says, it cannot trump the first amendment. (And it seems, at first glance, to not really fit into any of the exceptions for the first amendment, like fighting words and such).

Looking at what the teacher asked the class to do, I wonder if the teacher wasn't hoping to catch someone in this to "identify" a "problem" student.

In any case, I guess I shouldn't be surprised there was a statute that almost applied - it almost seems like there are enough laws out there to make just about everything everyone does a violation of some criminal statute, giving the authorities the option to arrest anyone at any time. Or is that just too cynical?

hedera said...

I thought I'd read that story. That teacher should be fired immediately for massive breach of trust. Unfortunately, it isn't the only instance - there was one in San Francisco a year or so ago, where a student was kicked out of a private arts school for a creative writing essay that his teacher felt was too, too freaky. I can't locate a link. But what fries me here is that this kid was told, no censorship and no consequences; and now they've hung him out to dry. Baloney.

Maya's Granny said...

There is more of this sort of thing every day. Kids being arrested or expelled or suspended for minor infractions at the most. This poor boy didn't even commit any kind of infraction, he simply fulfilled his assignment. I'll bet the rest of that class won't trust that teacher again.

TinaH said...

Unfortunately, I'm not shocked. After all, there are 4 and 5 year olds being accused of sexual harassment.

hedera said...

This story, at least, looks like having a better ending. According to the the AP, the school has had an attack of terminal common sense, realized that the young man isn't a threat and never was, and has allowed him to return to class. (Assuming he wants to return; in his shoes, I'd have some reservations...)

More to the point, they're trying to get the D.A. to drop the misdemeanor charges, in which case he would actually be eligible to join the Marines again. Astonishing.