Yours truly being accused of thinking about doing something violent

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by mephistopheles, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. mephistopheles

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    Yours truly, Josh Dodson, has been accused of toying with the idea of bringing guns to school and killing people.

    Recently I wrote a short text for my Art Appreciation class, and I wrote it in something that interests me... Violence, and Murder. I told Mrs. Trowbridge exactly what I would be writing about and she okay'd it, so I did just as I said I would. I wrote a short story that is incredibly violent, malicious, and to some evil.

    But thats just what it is... a story, fiction, false, fake, not real. Though it appears that the mere idea of a student writing something that isn't jesus christ or rabbits and ponies is a bad bad person and should be stopped at all costs... Even the cost of my education?

    Yes, the school is willing to ban me from school for all time if they see another story written as such. So in other words, by practicing for my education and college I would be destroying my only means of gettng there. By writing.

    This has happened to me before too, in the 8th grade... I wore a trenchcoat to school oneday and some students told the principals I was bringing guns and that i threatened to kill everyone. I was searched, my locker was searched, etc.

    You might see it as logical but as far as I'm concerned its ignorant.

    And it doesnt stop at me and my text... They are going to be putting a dress code against Trench Coats in the near future... I can see it now... 15 years from now everyone speaks one langauge, everyone lives under the sme nation, everyone is given a barcode... just like a can of soup.

    Thats what I see comng, maybe I'm crazy, idk, whatever.

    There is no such thing as a 100% completely secure place, especially a school... So quit trying to make it what it will never be and chill out.
     
  2. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    You know the rules and you've been 'reminded' by those who enforce them.

    Ignore them at your peril, meph. There are certain things that set off alarms and you'd be wise to avoid them like the plague.
     
  3. D_alex8

    D_alex8 Member

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    Absolutely, conformity at all costs. Never rock the boat, never dare to step outside the boundaries of "acceptable" thinking. That's the most important lesson one could ever hope to receive. :rolleyes:

    This incident smacks of a witchhunt mentality, looking for 'easy-to-identify' scapegoats who fit certain assumed stereotypes. None of which has the remotest connection to any of this recent spate of school shootings in the US; perhaps looking for the causes behind those incidents, rather than pointing the finger at scapegoats in time-honored kneejerk fashion, might ultimately prove a somewhat more worthwhile exercise.
     
  4. mephistopheles

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    Thank You Alex8, thats the point I'm trying to make!

    I can't, and I doubt anyone with a deep or original thought I their head, could do such a thing. This s the sort of thing that will take censoreship from the realm of videos and music to Books, which is really something I can't stand to see... That's something I am willing literally to die for!

    Their way or the highway, no trenchcoats or you're suspended, no tattered pants or youre suspended(what if I cant buy new pants? I'm too poor? Too bad!) Comb your hair or you're suspended! Clean Behind your ears or youre suspended! Worship Jesus or you're suspended...

    I can see it now!
     
  5. B_Hickboy

    B_Hickboy New Member

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    That twinge in your intestines
    "I have to be careful not to preach,
    I can't pretend that I can teach,
    And yet I've lived your future out..."

    Pick your battles, pick your times. Free speech carries a few informal norms with it. To some people, I'm the scariest son of a bitch they know. But I have it both ways: A good job, good grades in school, and the occasion to scare the shit out of the so-called "stable" folks.

    I'm writing a song about a person who hates another enough to make them watch him eat a bullet, knowing he can die happy if his last thought is that the other guy will have to live every day with that image before his eyes.

    I just won't be singing it in my cubicle tomorrow. Or in church, :D
     
  6. D_alex8

    D_alex8 Member

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    You see, I do agree with you, generally speaking. I just think that it shows up what a pitiable excuse for "education" is being palmed off by institutions that are more concerned with limiting youth's horizons of creativity, rather than embracing the notion of exploring life's possibilities. The latter notion seems to stand at odds to the stated goal of helping students to increase and expand their knowledge; although this may well never have been the goal of certain 'educational' institutions in the first place, which instead remain more concerned with 'ensuring social, cultural, and behavioral conformity' or attempting to instill a limited form of approved 'knowledge' through rote-learning. Ho-hum. :rolleyes:
     
  7. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    C'mon, Alex, I clearly stated that there are certain things that set off alarms.

    I don't care who the heck you think you are, if you make yourself stand out at school as Meph. has, you'll get attention, not necessarily for the good.
     
  8. ledroit

    ledroit New Member

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    Josh/Meph, here's a question for you. How do you prove art is not a rehearsal?
     
  9. majormadness

    majormadness New Member

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    Keep in mind, everyone. There's been, what, ten or eleven school shootings in the US in the last month or so. Including the Amish. It is a clear sign that no one is safe when the Amish are being shot. There are lots of people on pins and needles hoping that kids will stop shooting the crap out of the educational system.

    I love free speech as much as the next liberal hippie, bandana-wearing, southerner, but good taste has never hurt anyone - at least when it comes to school work.

    PS - on a lighter note, the term "just joshing" (as in - "just kidding") was retired at my school when a kid named Josh brought guns to school. I know I sure don't want to be chased through the courtyard at lunchtime - even if the whole school cheers for me.
     
  10. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    Public schools are all run by fuckwits. Best to just get used to it.
     
  11. davidjh7

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    Mest---First of all, I agree 100% that what you are, and have experiecned is bullshit, and the mass hysteria being invoked. Recent insanity in school shootings, and the increasing number, have made admin types extremely paranoid. I bet your teacher waffled and denied giving you approval, or if they owned up to it, they probably backpeddled with something like "well, I didn't think he really meant THAT kind of story...etc." Unfortunately, free speech is in very slim supply in the US these days....and also unfortunately, and what I feel is complete crap, that even though you are legally an adult, in the high school situation you basically have ZERO rights, including the right to spea, think, protest, dress, or express yourself. The powers that be made the rules that way, for their convienience. The US public education system is so bogged down in administrative crap, and political correctness, and conformity, that teachers now spend 2/3 their time filling out forms and running through little rat mazes, all to get their tiny piece of cheese---and if they happen to educate along the way, all very well and good, as long as the forms are filled out, the standardized test scores are adequate (whether they truly reflect reality or not), and Georgie Bush can pretend to the public that he gives a rats ass about anything but he and his butt buddies trying to sell and kill America for fun and personal profit. You do have to pick your battles, and unfortunately, inside high school is NOT the place--you are set up to lose the battle, no matter how well you fight it. This is the kind of thing you bring to the publics attention through Blogs, and make sure the media know about those blogs. This is an end around kind of run you'll have to do to get your point across, and you have to target your audience carefully to keep from coming off as the bad guy. Choose carefully and well, and eventually the assholes will fuck themselves over far worse than you ever could. GOod luck--I'm in your corner!
     
  12. D_Herin_Ghan

    D_Herin_Ghan Account Disabled

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    Dude, you know how teachers and administrators are. Complete censorship, complete conformity or youl be acccused of a bullshit offense and shipped off for detention or suspension. Take it from someone who just got out of the school systems two years ago...pick your battles. Once you get to college, you'll be that much more appreciative of the freedom you get here.

    You had to have known that would set off alarm bells...right or wrong, we've had three school shootings within a month..admins are on a witchunt. If you truly are 18, I'm assuming you're a senior. Just ride out and enjoy the last months as a high school kid. You've gotta grow up real fast once that is done.

    Schools are doing a much better job at preparing kids for college IMHO, but they suck at preparing them for the real world. Just remember that when you choose fight something within your school.
     
  13. mephistopheles

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    No one can prove such a thing, but the reason I wrote a paper in ths fashion was to expand my horizons, and it was Bret Easton Ellis who brought me to it...

    He wrote the most demented book I have ever read(American Psycho) and I have read a lot of books.... A LOT.

    There are hundreds of people that write of things but never do them... Out of the 14 ppl murdered in american psycho how many did ellis end up murdering??
    Give up? None, he's killed no one... Sure he wrote about it, and the character(patrick bateman) enjoyed it... But did Ellis end up killing his ex girlfriend with a nail gun?? No, no he didnt. How many people did edgar allen poe ever kill? None... but he sure wrote about it a lot...

    Fiction is fiction... Reality is Reality, they aren't the same.

    And that question is impossible to answer anyway... I'm just using examples of who inspre me to write, to do wht I love... and probably the reason the school administrators are howling for a burning at the stake... with me as your humble victim.

    I write what interests me, I write in the first person, but a character is a character and I am Josh Dodson...

    I have a wide future ahead of me, and I think I can do something I love, so whats going to make me throw it away? A couple annoying jocks? a few stupd skateboarders? No. Thats logical, thats common sense, but I guess most people these days lack such an attribute.

    And as far as the freedom of speech and other liberities we, as americans have, I believe that on school grounds you are stripped of every last right to a degree.
     
  14. DC_DEEP

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    I can clearly see both sides of the issue. My advice is to be more cautious about HOW you present your ideas in writing. Learn the mechanics and the art of writing now, and save some of your "no-holds barred" work for when you are a professional.

    "The Columbine Affair" brought out several interesting ideas. At what point should parents/educators take such writing seriously? The faculty at Columbine were villified because they didn't "heed the warning signs." Now your faculty are being villified for "heeding the warning signs." Is there a position that they can take which will not make them the bad guys?

    Again, I say hone your skills, but be mindful of your situation. You can practice writing without scaring the shit out of the teachers. When studying music, I had to play scales. Lots of them. When I was playing professionally, I didn't go on stage and play scales. It did, however, give me a foundation for the music that I did play.

    You did the right thing in clearing your subject material with your instructor, but your work was perhaps a little too convincing. At least while you are still in school, should you feel the need to use that sort of subject material, you could write in such a way as to make it clear that it is fiction, or work the story in such a way that the "evil protagonist" pays the price. Just don't make it look like it's a script you intend to act out. A sellout? Perhaps. But your job right now is to learn, not necessarily to make it to the NYT list.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  15. Lex

    Lex
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    This is a hard call. As a former school administrator (I was Assistant Principal), I can tell you that Columbine changed a lot of things. My school system when into a "risk management" mode where instances of behavior such as writing a story or making "credible threats" were scrutinized. I have had to suspend and expell students for calling in threatening messages to the school--both towards staff and the building at large. I had had to counsel students as to why we have to closely examine such threats, letters, stories, etc. It all seemed silly to me (given my Administration Degree) until the 16 year old girl got off the bus one morning and began swinging the 12" knife (17" including the handle). Luckily, no one was harmed.

    Please remember that while the Constitutional protections do extend to students, the volumes of school law (public school) cases have said that time, and time again, administrators are allowed to place limits on the freedoms of students if it is deemed that allowing limitless speech/expression, etc. would result in disruption to the educational milieu.

    This, for example, is why you can not wear a "legalize marijuana" t-shirt or a shirt with a knife on it. it is further why schools have dress codes that place boundaries on "acceptable clothing" (i.e., not too revealing, no signs of gang-realted paraphenalia, etc.).

    Meph--I would be happy to talk to you more about school law and give you examples of texts where you can read up on case history. it is a LOT more complicated than it seems.
     
  16. madame_zora

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    This is ridiculous. Did everyone miss this?

    Recently I wrote a short text for my Art Appreciation class, and I wrote it in something that interests me... Violence, and Murder. I told Mrs. Trowbridge exactly what I would be writing about and she okay'd it, so I did just as I said I would. I wrote a short story that is incredibly violent, malicious, and to some evil.

    He GOT approval from his teacher before he wrote it because he knew the situation.

    I've posted about this before, but my daughter went through a similar experience except she WAS expelled for the rest of the year, causing her to go to summer school. She and her friend were writing a note back and forth in class one day when they were bored, making fun of their teacher for being fat. They didn't dislike her, she was just boring. Julianna had a 96 in her class at the time, was always polite, but she made an error in judgement, and one comment in the note said "I wonder if you hit her like a pinata if candy would come squirting out?"

    Now, I would consider this obvious sarcasm, but I do understand the need to investigate, even though the note was SIX MONTHS OLD before it magically surfaced to the teacher. We, as parents were interviewed, I didn't mind that. Julianna decided on her own to write a very long and detailed letter of apology in which she explained that she was sorry for calling her fat, she is also a big girl and would be hurt if someone said that about her. She underscored that it was the ramblings of bored kids and was never meant to hurt her feelings. She said with great eloquence that she's never raised a hand against anyone, and in fact is completely non-violent. Not only did the teacher not even acknowledge that she had received the note or read it, she didn't even attend the hearing. It was a plain old case of hurt feelings, and it really soured her on education as a whole. She is not as yet in college, although she's looking into it now at 21. Good call, fuckwits.

    Oh, she already has almost a full year of college credits from the advanced placement tests she took. Yeah, a real threat to society. :rolleyes:

    Meph, you also seem like an extremely bright young man. The best advice I can give you is to fly under the radar. You can't win at their game, so stop playing it. Write the things you need to write, for yourself. Get a few things published if you want. Julianna wrote an essay upon her return called "Timmy the Firedog and Fluffy the Happy Pink Bunny" in protest to her experience. It was the most inane, vacuous piece of shit she ever wrote. I remember grilling her hard about whether or not this was really what she wanted to turn in, but she decided it was. I don't remember what grade she got, but it was at least a B. If they want shit, give it to them. I think she wrote at least three more essays using the very same characters.

    Your school administrators are scared shitless, but you don't have to join them. You and I know that you could get knifed in the street any day, and your very own parents take more of a risk with your life every time they put you in the car and drive you somewhere than you will ever experience in school. Don't let the fuckwits win- there are so many of them!

    I don't believe that schools have less shootings now than 10 years ago, but I haven't researched it. No one's provided studies to that effect, and what I see on the news doesn't seem to bear that claim out, but I'll reserve judgement until someone backs up their claim. Nomatter, there is no such thing as absolute safety- anyone with even a modicum of intelligence knows that. Zero tolerance equals zero intelligence, and that line comes from a woman who has a doctorate in education and is the founder of one of the most respected Montessori schools in my city (one of the extremely few to serve both pre-school as well as grades k thru 12)- my former sister-in-law.
     
  17. Freddie53

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    I am like Lex. I can see it both ways. I take issue with some of the posters who are blaming the teacher or teachers. It wasn't the teacher, it was the administration that got its panties in a wad.

    Pecker while technically right is a little more vocal than usual iin stating his position.

    Here is the deal. No one can take away your right to right that novel. No one. That is your right. I suggest you really get serious about your desire and do lots of writing. I suspect you are an extremely good writer. That is why the teaher let you write on that subject in the first place.

    However, all Americans, not just youth voluntarily abridge certain rights in certain places. I taught social stuides to elementary students. I taught the Bill of Rights. I tried to teach it on their level. So this is what I told them: "They have every right to talk in any way they see fit, but not in this 30 foot by 30 foot room. This room is owned by the people and they have voted for me to teach a certain subject during these hours. Other activites can't happen in that room during those hours.

    I told students they could challenge any position I made pretty much in any manner they saw fit on their own time and at a time when I wasn't paid to be teaching social studies as in during recess, lunch and my free period.

    No one can take away your right to wear a trench coat. However, on the cmapus of the school between the hours of what ever your schedule is, they can if the school and very reasonable reason that would stand up in court if challenged is there.

    Personally I think administrators sometimes get their panties in a wad too often about matters that really aren't that serious such as a student in class that really needs to pee and the administration says pee in your pants if you can't hold it, barf in the trash can. Unless there is bleeding or seizures tough. Sure, students can abuse leaving class, but these is a bit extreme.

    But, if students are allowed to wear those trench coats and one of them decideds to act out another shooting, those administrators are on the line for the protection of the students.

    Courts have ruled time and again that if it can be proven that the primary reason for such actions is the safety of the students, it is legal.

    A valuable lesson to learn is this. There are stupid people in the world and we all suffer because of it. It has been this way since the beginning to time and it isn't likely to change anytime soon.

    In spirit, I am with you. In reality, I know the shitstorm that would happen if an administration allowed something that ended up costing the lives of several students.

    We have lost some of the best teachers over such as this. Sad. But true.

    I have hated having to do some of this protection stuff. You don't know what adult teachers have to go through. Some adults are afraid to use the restroom if a student is in there. Yet, it is that way at all ball games, stores where communal restrooms are. So when the class is on a field trip the teacher may use the same communal restroom as the students as it is a public restroom. But at school, some administrators, say no, even if it is serious and the teacher restroom is far, far, away.

    This is how stupid the rules are for adults. Give you another one. In my church, on youth trips, youth and adults may not sleep in the same room if it is hotel style accomadations as in five or less people in a room. but on camping situations adults use the communal showers at the same time as the youth. Of course adults and youth never share the same bed unless they are clearly family. Older brother, younger brother, father, son etc. It is not that it is immoral for a minor to sleep in the same bed. It is immoral if something happens that shouldn't. And no adult wants to have a minor make an accusaation against them that is false as you guessed it, the adult is guilty before the trial no matter how esteemed the adult is and the horrible track record of the minor. You need to understand that adults also have these restrictions placed on us.

    Yep, everyone laughs at this kind of thing. But someone wrote the rules. My point for bringing up the adult situation is to let you know that at 18, this won't magically go away.

    In the work place, just on the work site during the hours you work, you agree to follow certain rules. That is part of life.

    But don't let anyone take away your free spirit. Excercise it to your heart's content on YOUR property and not on someone else's time.

    Understand that some rules in certain places are for your protection. I believe you that you are innocent. But the next kid in a trenchcoat may have a concealed weapon. We the teachers and administrators simply can't take that chance unless everyone was stripped search including cavity searches at the start of each school day.

    I can imagine how you would be howling if that rule were put in place by your school.

    Pisses me off too. But that is the way it has to be for the safety of all.

    About the novel. There is no way I could possibly judge that without reading it. It might be extremlely great material in the eyes of some. It might be considered smut for the majority of people. Without reading it, no one here really knows for sure.
     
  18. Don Alejo

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    Mephistoles,

    I understand and relate to what you are saying, but I have found that I have to know the difference between morbid reflection and constructive thought. Focusing on the the guns and the violence and the death is morbid reflection, trying to understand why people commit mass murder is constructive thought. Understanding that most of us are capapble of commiting mass murder if all the conditions fall into place is wisdom.

    What you are seeing in your school is how people -- individually and as a group -- will react to fear, and how it will make them do, say and think things that they might not do, say and think under different ("normal") circumstances. That is what happened in Nazi Germany and what happened in the the Balkans in the eighties. To be well rounded though, I think you need to ask yourself why you are acting in the way that you are. If fear equals anger, then which fear is making you angry?

    I walk around all the time muttering to myself that we live in a nation of morons, but if I think that I am ahead of the curve, then when I open my mouth to explain things to others, I must do it in a way that they can understand. And if I can't explain it to others, then I don't yet understand it myself. A poet once said that "man can only learn that which he almost knows." Plato had an allegory about a cave. Those who help others to understand are called wise. (There's that word again.)

    In my experience, far too many people look back on high school as some of the best days of their lives. I think that you will really begin to soar once you are in college, and then even more after that.

    Seek out those who are smarter, wiser and more experienced than you are and they will show you a path that you have never imagined.

    If you aren't familiar with it, look up Plato's Cave. It is a tool that will explain a great deal, IMO.
     
  19. DC_DEEP

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    No, Madame, I didn't miss that. Please re-read my previous post.
    Got it. Please understand, Mephistopheles may indeed be a bright, well-adjusted student, just like Julianna. But a teacher cannot possibly be expected to intimately know every student to the degree that their parents do. If you have never been on that side of the desk, you cannot possibly imagine what a difficult job teaching is, especially considering the pay scales.

    Please indulge me for a hypothetical. Let's say the teacher took Josh at his word, and accepted his story as a work of fiction. One month later, we discover that it was actually a script, and he acts it out. Your child was one of the casualties. You discover that the teacher had this presumably fictional work in hand, and did nothing. How would you feel?

    Every single day, teachers are hit with the same thing that the moderators on this board get: damned if you do, condemned if you don't. In the midst of all that from the parents and the students, they get other crap from the administration and the state. Oh yeah, and they are also supposed to dump some education into the kids' brains while they are at it.

    Your daughter was an exception to most of the rules, Jana, but how can a teacher deal with that with 35 or more students in each of 7 classes, every single day?[/quote]
     
  20. MattBrick

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    I didn't even read your post this time, lol
    Not past the first couple of lines anyway.
    Why are you always having these dramatic moments in school?
    Not that I don't have sympathy or anything, but....
    You have to be there anyway, can;t you just behave and make your time there a little more pleasant for yourself :)
     
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