I'm hoping that this case is used to sort the matter out -- because it is even more disturbing than suspending kids for pointing fingers like guns, biting a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun, or writing a story about shooting his neighbor's pet dinosaur (the last kid was also arrested).
From the Dept. of Insane and Dangerous Overreactions to Fictional Threats:
A 23-year-old teacher at a Cambridge, Md. middle school has been placed on leave and -- in the words of a local news report -- "taken in for an emergency medical evaluation" -- for publishing, under a pseudonym, a novel about a school shooting. The novelist, Patrick McLaw, an 8th-grade language arts teacher at the Mace's Lane Middle School, was placed on leave by the Dorchester County Board of Education, and is being investigated by the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office, according to news reports from Maryland's Eastern Shore. The novel, by the way, is set 900 years in the future.
These are clearly a work of fiction. Indeed, they are works of science fiction/fantasy set in a dystopian universe not too different from what has been popularized by books like The Hunger Games or Diverent. Oh, and they are set NINE CENTURIES IN THE FUTURE!
So what do we have here? Well, we have a teacher out of a job, forcibly placed in a mental facility, his home ransacked by law enforcement and his reputation destroyed. For the crime of writing a book -- something that is not a crime and which is a right explicitly protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised that neither the school, the district, nor the cops are saying anything publicly about this matter. After all, public comment on such fascistic activity by government officials might allow the story to live on, and I don't doubt that they want this story to fade away into obscurity as quickly as possible.
H/T Joanne Jacobs