Friday, April 27

Student Arrested For Writing Essay

Here is what we are going to see because of what happened at VT. Just because VT administrators and local authorities blew it, students and people everywhere will be under increased scrutiny.

A student in the far Northwest suburbs of Chicago, was arrested for an essay he wrote for his class. Apparently the teacher was so disturbed that they had the student arrested for disorderly conduct. Ironically the school didn't suspend or expel him, but he can't return there for classes.

(Chi Trib) 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."
I must have missed the part of the First Amendment that said "except for disturbing stuff". And like Ed Yohnka said, there was no disruption because only the teacher had read the essay. It's a fine line when you start arresting people for their thoughts(especially in a creative writing class) and not their actions.