Friday, April 27, 2007

Hysteria in Wake of VT Massacre

The lead paragraph from the Chcago Tribune tells the story:
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.
And a report from WBBM News in Chicago reveals that the reportedly straight-A student intended the entire essay as a joke, and indicates, perhaps, why the teacher was so very offended:
"At the very last sentence, I said that this teacher's method of teaching could lead to a school shooting," Lee said Wednesday. He said he'd intended the entire essay as a joke.
Gee, an adolescent making a tasteless joke in a creative writing assignment? Who ever heard of such a thing?

This first-year teacher overreacted. Instead of providing a calming influence, the school administration held a "roundtable" discussion that fed the hysteria, resulting in an even greater overreaction.

If a teacher has a legitimate concern about a student, the appropriate action would be to remand the child for counseling, not have him publicly arrested and charged.

Thanks to larwyn for the tip.