BROODING TEENAGERS….Via The Daily Rant, here’s a Newsweek story about Brian Robertson, a high school senior who wrote a story featuring masked teenage commandos, a group of students that sets bombs around the building, and rooftop snipers firing at cops and bystanders below. Unfortunately, it turns out that excercising your literary 2nd amendment rights can get you thrown into jail in Oklahoma:
Prosecutors concede there?s no evidence that Robertson?s work was anything but a disturbing burst of creativity. But they say criminal intent isn?t required to prosecute someone under the ?planning a violent act? law, which was enacted by the state legislature in June 2001 following school shootings at Colorado?s Columbine High School and elsewhere.
Nope, no censorship based on content there. Still, it’s not porn, it’s not wartime sedition, and it doesn’t present a clear and present danger, so with the ACLU on the case it seems unlikely that Oklahoma’s law will pass constitutional muster. I doubt Robertson will spend a day in prison.
Given that, here’s the part that really bugs me:
Oklahoma isn?t the only place where authorities have started scrutinizing students? writing for signs of trouble. In the past four years, juveniles have been suspended, expelled and arrested?though not prosecuted?in Virginia, Wyoming, Arkansas, California and Texas, among other states, for penning dark poems, short stories and essays. School administrators say they?re simply trying to prevent a repeat of the Columbine scenario.
This is absurd. Brooding teenagers are a dime a dozen, and trying to rid our schools of them is a ridiculous overreaction that doesn’t do a thing to make anyone safer.
Everywhere you look, it’s either overreaction or underreaction. Is it just the curse of humanity never to get things right?