Incognito Press

truth. knowledge. freedom. passion. courage. Promoting free-thinking, activism & rogue writing.

Orwellian student suspension over creative writing exercise

Posted by E on February 5, 2008

I awoke to today’s news at noon, and the insane story of a grade 12 student being suspended over a creative writing piece. The school’s justification for involving police and suspending the student: the ending culminates with a teacher being killed by a student.

 Check it out here: Story

They could have interpreted the story more than a dozen ways: as an expression of what is going on in schools today, as a literal commentary on student-teacher relations…but no. Cops have to be called in.

This makes me wonder: why are the writers of CSI Miami, Law&Order, and Numbers (to name a few), the producers and script-writers of gory flicks like Saw and Hostel arrested immediately? Why are they not interred in special custody in a barbed-wire encampment a la Guantanamo Bay and occasionally poked with pitchforks? Why aren’t all the creators of blood & gore video games arrested right on the spot? Like, today?

If you are going to stand there and justify punishing a student for a creative writing exercise that would make Stephen King giddy with excitement, then why not punish the world of which he is a mere by-product? Why ruin his chances of getting into university? Would this not actually feed any deep-seated fantasies he may harbour over doing away with his teacher – that is, since we are expected to accept this school’s decision on the premise that there was something in that story that made them want to run off and get a restraining order.

Oh wait…I know. They’re thinking of that crazy Korean guy who massacred dozens at Virginia Tech…and nobody did anything about the violent fantasies in his creative writing. But wait, other than writing some shitty fiction pieces, that guy actually harassed two students, threatened others, and scared his entire class to the point that they had him thrown out of it.

Did this Brendan Jones kid do any of these things? No. He merely handed in a homework assignment that had not been prefaced by: You can write only about pretty, lovely things, but you can’t write anything about violence in the society you are surrounded by.

Good going, you academically-stunted Heart Lake Secondary staff/jerks. How about you pass a mandate to preface every assignment your creatively-challenged staff hand out with: You shall write only that which your teacher would like to read.

Otherwise, why don’t you stick to marking the creative writing papers (gee, isn’t the very definition of “Creative” Writing that it is creative? Read: fiction) based solely on their scholastic, grammatical and topical merits, and leave your perversely-flawed subjectivity out of it.

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6 Responses to “Orwellian student suspension over creative writing exercise”

  1. C. Fraser said

    I agree that calling the cops and suspending the kid is taking this a step too far, but the school had every right to investigate the situation and even discuss it with the student.

    Also, we don’t know what the history of the student was. Did he already have a history of violent behaviour?

  2. Elisa said

    There is no suggestion anywhere, whether by the school or in the press that the student himself has had a history of violent behaviour. This is why the school is backpedaling by calling saying that they didn’t really suspend Jones, they just “sent him home for a few days.”

  3. Reminds me of a Dead Kennedys lyric:

    “Now it is 1984
    Knock-knock at your front door
    It’s the suede/denim secret police
    They have come for your uncool niece”

    I am ready for the thought police and Big Brother’s interrogation squad. The recent news out of Canada regarding the hate-crime legislation is chilling and creeping south. To me it is a motivation to write more brashly and often, I want to be the light to the despicable little pathetic anti-free speech moths.

  4. Elisa said

    You are fortunate that your country still -on paper- adheres to the 1st amendment. There is no such thing here – it is frightening to voice thoughts to paper or anywhere where someone can point a shaky finger at you if you say anything against the status quo. It’s sickening. I wonder if I am ever going to see the day when political correctness is lined up against a wall and blasted to smithereens as it so rightfully deserves to be.

  5. “I wonder if I am ever going to see the day when political correctness is lined up against a wall and blasted to smithereens…”.

    Yes. That is unless you stop writing, educating, and warning others. The media/government/corporate-controlled sheep are being led willingly to the slaughter. It is necessary that there are people who can advocate alternatives to this form of slavery.

  6. Priya Raju said

    The teacher & the school totally botched up, I think. They should have spoken to the student, his class-mates & his family to see if there was any cause for alarm. Instead, paranoia set in, they just panicked & censured the student.

    But in all fairness: In the light of all the gun-toting freakazoids in schools – the fiction written by Jones is scary. He knows that people are totally stressed out about Columbine et al. He should have shown more restraint if he didn’t want to land in trouble.

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