A Journal Entry, Expelled

There’s a story on CNN with details of a 14-year old girl being expelled from her school for writing a fictional account of a student falling asleep in class and dreaming of killing her teacher in her journal. While this isn’t an online blog, it is still the same thing, in many ways. I think this is a knee-jerk reaction with no merit, other than publicity and confusion over students having abilities to unleash their creative energies at such a young age.

After all, do we stifle kids from writing fiction? Imagine what would’ve happened had teachers tried to block Stephen King from his desire to write horror novels. He wouldn’t have become famous and rich, and millions of people wouldn’t have had the opportunity to enjoy his fictional worlds. Same with Anne Rice, and millions of other writers out there that write about killing, robbing, flying through space, saving damsels in distress, finding the cure for AIDs, and so on.

Which brings me to these schools having “no tolerance policies”, where they don’t give students second chances. Life is full of second chances, making amends, learning from your mistakes, and moving on. Yet that kind of policy does not reinforce the real-world notion of those qualities about how the world works. It teaches students that if they mess up, that’s it. That’s entirely wrong, and not a good way to introduce a kid to the world.

“[She was removed] from her second-period biology class — with an armed officer,” Boim said. “They had the option of calling us, of asking us to come in with Rachel to talk about the situation, but instead they had an armed guard take her out of class.”

And parents wonder what’s wrong with our school system? That should be the highlight of the day, on the pathetic choices some people make for our children.

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