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Write an essay and go to jail: only in third world countries?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 28-Apr-2007 13:51

This reads like something happening in a third world country or a country under a severe level of restrictions on free speech. But it happened in America, where a teacher asked students to write an essay, but was so "disturbed" with the writing from a straigth-A pupil that police was called and the teacher had the student rrested for "disordely conduct".

Now, if I understand what's in the Chicago Tribune, this was a private document, created on request, with no specific targets, person or location otherwise. The contents are not disclosed. For our safety?

What's next? People will have their thoughts controlled? Oh, they do this already. If you don't write what they want to read then the police is called upon?

I mean, hello, Stephen King's writing is disturbing for some people...

Now that they started this they should either let people read the essay and let us know what's so disturbing, or get off the back of this student. Otherwise is just plain censorship. Like book burning and obviously a restriction of speech.

From the Chicago Tribune:

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

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.

But a civil rights advocate said the teacher's reaction to an essay shouldn't make it a crime.

"One of the elements is that some sort of disorder or disruption is created," said Ed Yohnka, a spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. "When something is done in private—when a paper is handed in to a teacher—there isn't a disruption."

Simmie Baer, an attorney with the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University, called the Cary incident an example of zero-tolerance policies gone awry. Children, she said, are not as sophisticated as adults and often show emotion through writing or pictures, which is what teachers should want because it is a safe outlet.





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Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

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