Friday, April 27, 2007

Big Brother At School

The thought-police spring into action-

High school senior Allen Lee sat down with his creative writing class on Monday and penned an essay that so disturbed his teacher, school administrators and police that he was charged with disorderly conduct.

What did he do? Write about murdering fellow students or teachers? No, not exactly-

Allen Lee, an 18-year-old straight-A student at Cary-Grove High School, was arrested Tuesday near his home and charged with disorderly conduct for an essay police described as violently disturbing but not directed toward any specific person or location.

Experts say the charge against Lee is troubling because it was over an essay that even police say contained no direct threats against anyone at the school.

But it was violent and "disturbed" his teacher.

Disorderly conduct, which carries a penalty of 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine, is filed for pranks such as pulling a fire alarm or dialing 911. But it can also apply when someone's writings can disturb an individual, Delelio said.

"The teacher was alarmed and disturbed by the content," he said.

Cary Police Chief Ron Delelio said the charge was appropriate even though the essay was not published or posted for public viewing.

Seems like a bit of an over-reaction- the writer is described as a straight-A student. Perhaps his teacher could have perhaps, oh I don't know, spoken to him about it. Maybe, in extremis, she could have suggested that he speak to a school counsellor or some such- but to go to the police and have him charged with disorderly conduct? I guess in the aftermath of the VT shootings we can rely on school authorities to report any "deviant" behaviour, any signs of different thinking which alarms them. And it looks like there is sufficient knee-jerk reaction alarm still around for mental health restrictions to be relaxed sufficiently so that "no one slips through the cracks" again.

I guess we won't be hearing from too many budding horror writers in the near future.

No comments: