Authority today, and by that I mean mostly those invested with political power, the government, its elected officials, agents, bureaucrats, and employees, seem to be, in many instances, just making up the rules as they go along, without regard to the law, the constitution and the fundamental rights of the people.
So we have Authority run amok; Authority unlimited.
Nowhere is this phenomenon more apparent, in my opinion, that in America’s public schools. Today’s school boards, superintendants, principals, administrators and teachers believe that they have the power and the authority, irrespective of the law, to run their institutions like penitentiaries.
Students and parents, the hapless victims of the system, enjoy no rights. They are compelled by law to participate and when they participate they’re expected shed their fundamental constitutional rights at the school house door.
Last week, high school freshman, Alex Stone, was actually arrested by the police and punished by school administrators for the “crime” of handing in class writing assignment in which he used the word “gun.”
Mind you, this kid didn’t bring a loaded gun to school. He didn’t threaten anyone with a gun. No one at the school was in any kind of danger because of a gun. There was absolutely no harm done; no potential harm; no reason for any concern on the part of his teacher or principal; no reason to call the cops; to have him arrested; to punish him – no reason whatsoever to exercise malevolent authority over him.
All he did was use the word “gun” in his class writing assignment. He wrote an imaginary tale about buying a gun to kill a dinosaur. It was supposed to be an amusing fantasy. It was a joke. There was no dinosaur. Dinosaurs don’t exist nowadays. He doesn’t own a gun, doesn’t have a gun. He simply wrote about an imaginary gun. He put the word “gun” on a sheet of paper and for that the police came swooping down upon him at school; he’s arrested and punished like a common criminal.
Now all of that is bad enough, but I’m left wondering in this matter about where in the world the school found the legal authority to do what they did to this innocent kid. Where in the world did the cops find the legal authority to arrest this innocent kid?
As far as I know there is no law on the books anywhere in the United States of America that calls what this kid did as a crime. There is no law that says the writing of the word “gun” on a sheet of paper is a crime.
Even if there were such a law it would be patently unconstitutional since everyone in America, including school children enjoys the fundamental First Amendment constitutional right of freedom of speech, and freedom of speech includes the right to write the word “gun” a sheet of paper; to write a fictional story about using a gun to “take care of” an imaginary dinosaur.
Guns are legal products in the United States of America. The Second Amendment confers upon Americans the right to bear arms and that means the right to own, use, and yes, even talk about using guns. No school administrator has the authority to punish a student for talking about a “gun.”
That school and those cops deliberately, and totally without justification, violated this kid’s fundamental constitutional rights. They’re just making up the rules as they go along without any regard to their actual legal authority. After cops were called they searched Alex's locker and book bag. The school suspended Alex for three days.
“I regret it because they put it on my record, but I don’t see the harm in it,” Alex told reporters. “I think there might have been a better way of putting it, but I think me writing like that, it shouldn’t matter unless I put it out toward a person.” The boy’s lawyer declared in a statement that this “is a perfect example of ‘political correctness’ that has exceeded the boundaries of common sense.”
The Police Department defended the arrest. Of course they did. They said Alex was charged with disorderly conduct when he became disruptive after school officials confronted him about what he wrote. “The charges do not stem from anything involving a dinosaur or writing assignment, but the student’s conduct,” Capt. Jon Rogers said.
The cops knew they had no legal authority to arrest this kid for the “crime” of writing about a gun. So they found a pretext to arrest him – and search his locker and book bag -- for another “crime” – the “crime” of asserting his constitutional rights to the “Authority.” Those cops should have known as well that school authorities had no justification to confront this innocent kid.
This is all about Authority run amok; Authority unlimited.