Monday, December 31, 2012

New Jersey Teen Arrested for Drawing Cartoons

When a 16-year-old New Jersey boy doodled in his notebook on Tuesday, December 18, he probably didn’t expect to be arrested by the end of the day. However, when school officials saw the sketches, which they state appeared to be of weapons, and the boy “demonstrated behavior that caused them to be concerned,” the police were called.

A subsequent search of the boy’s home led to his arrest because they found several electronic parts and chemicals. He was charged with the possession of an explosive device and put in juvenile detention.

The details on what was precisely in the drawings are sketchy, as are the details on the behavior that caused concern. The school claims the drawings were of weapons, but the boy’s mother told various press outlets that, “He drew a glove with flames coming out of it.” If true, then the drawing wouldn’t be out of place in the notebook of any teenager who loves comic books.
Count the flaming gloves
I would never have made it through high school under this kind of scrutiny.  While my drawing skills were such that no one would ever recognize a flaming glove or machine gun if I had tried to draw them, I was a science nerd, so I had all kinds of miscellaneous parts and chemicals; and yes, I did experiment with back yard explosives of various different kinds, and I still have all my eyes, fingers and toes.
Cedar Creek opened in September 2010 as a magnet school with programs focusing on engineering and environmental sciences and specializing in hands-on learning.

The distressing thing about this is that the education establishment is patting itself on the back about this over reaction:
He [the superintendent of schools] praised the teacher for reporting the drawings in the notebook.

"In reality, we followed what we're trained to follow," he said. "I'm thankful that we had a staff member that (saw something that) caused her some concern, and that she had the sense to report it to school officials. These are things that teachers receive training on all the time."
Instead of putting kids in jail for drawing flaming gloves and weapons, they should get him an apprenticeship at DC or Marvel Comics.  And the teacher and superintendent should be sued.

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