Tuesday, March 22, 2005


A group in California has raised the bond for the Clark Co. student who wrote the zombie story without zombies, taking over a fictional high school that just happen to be named the same as the school he was attending. This group (and others) felt that the Clark County police over stepped their boundaries and violated his civil rights by arresting him based on writings.

I agree, that, if their arrest was soley on the writings, that there was a serious breach of his civil and first amendment rights. However, in his writings, he talked about his army. There are several students (some in my classes) that say they were approached to join this army. They were told that they would be protected from harm during the assault. It was implied to them that anyone else was fair game for the shooters.

This goes back to my post of yesterday. Some people need to butt out. This is not about a high school student in Clark County. It is about getting your name in the news.

The arrest and investigation has probably done a great deal toward the prevention of a school take over. The knowledge of it's possibility and planning has heightened security and awareness in the school and community. This is a great step in preventing such actions. In all the school shootings that I have read about, no one suspected.

Yesterday, a student killed his grandparents, possibly stealing his grandfathers guns, and went to his school, where he killed 5 students, a teacher, a security guard, and himself. No one suspected.

Where are the protectors of my right to live ? Where are the protestors of my right to work and not expect that, at any time, I might be confronting a student with a gun and no desire to live ? Where is the group that will comfort the widows and parents after they have made it impossible for the police to act on tips and writings ?

One of our founding father said that he was willing to give up some liberty in exchange for safety. There has to be a price for the security that we enjoy. If the price is that my writings be scrutinized, then so be it. If that price is that I explain my writings or actions from time to time, so be it. This is not the abolition of free speech. This is not the end of independent thought and expression. This is the security of our schools. This is the safety of our children.

I am a writer. I cherish the freedom to express myself, but there has to be responsibility attached to writing and expressing. Do we curtail the right of ministers to 'rightly divide the words of God" when we seek to stop the spread of hate speech in the guise of religious writings? Possibly, but is it a price we are willing to pay ? There are convincing arguments on both sides. It is hard to take the overhead view when it is your livelihood that is threatened.

I say, try the kid. Put it to a jury. Let a jury of his peers decide. Let the nay sayers be silent.


Brighton said...

Every year I see teachers stripped of their rights, safety being no exception. Then administration scratches their heads and wonders why there is such a shortage of teachers. Hmmmm.

TammyJ said...

I am trying to figure out if I should worry more about you now that you are a teacher than I did when you were working on steel beams high in the air or in a coal burning power plant.. seems like to me if violating some kids 1st ammendment rights keeps my husband alive..it is worth it... I'm willing to give up my 1st ammendment rights as well if it ensures the safety of not only you.. but of our children as they go about trying to do what school is intended for.. getting an education.. they should be able to do that without worrying about getting shot.. dang.. should have put this in my own blog.. I love you