April 06, 2005

Now we're arresting children...

This piece in the New York Times doesn't begin to delve into the certain complexities of this case, but it is one more in a series of recent articles I have read that basically suggest that any teenager - perhaps younger - who expresses in writing, thoughts that are possible to perceive as being about certain subjects (suicide, bombing, shooting, hating people in school) open themselves up to suspension (if they're lucky) or worse. This case looks like a real mess, and touches on homeschooling, traditional religious values in public schools, (excessive?) parental control, immigration violations, you name it. However, I'd really like to see the school assignment in question. At this point, it's impossible to see what are the facts of the case after one article, and I hope that more reporting follows to shine some light on the issue.

And it makes me really sad for kids who are trying to become creative writers, or artists, or hell, just are trying out ideas on paper. Shoot, it's a good thing I'm not in school...I used to fill a good bit of time drawing sketches of dinosaurs biting the heads off of teachers, or blood dripping off the (in reality metaphorical) knives I imagined catty teenagers driving deep in each others' hearts. And I'm sure the VH (Van Halen, not VH1) symbol is some kind of crime. Oh wait, no, because I listened in the Diamond Dave days and did not commit the sin of accepting Sammy Hagar. But seriously, what teenager doesn't think gloomy thoughts? How many are obsessed or at least fascinated with death or suicide? How many write about those thoughts, either in a journal, a creative fiction assignment, or a report for social science or health class? What is happening to our children's ability to express themselves?

Posted by binky at April 6, 2005 11:51 PM | TrackBack | Posted to Law and the Courts


It's really terrible that these kinds of things (not necessarily immigration charges, but certainly suspensions) are becoming the norm. In a way I suppose it's to be expected - school boards and other officials wanting to cover their ass from potential litigation. But it's terribly arbitrary, and 9 times out of 10 (or, sadly, usually 10 out of 10) it's an entirely excessive move. I mean as 1st grader I knew not to use the black crayon - you'd have to go some some unpleasant people if you did. As much as people so often bemoan the state of what our schools have become - people don't often discuss the fact that it's parents and administrators that have been key in making them that way (in addition, in many cases, to tax payers who have no interest in paying for improvements other than metal detectors).

Posted by: Armand at April 7, 2005 09:49 AM | PERMALINK
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