Monday, January 31, 2005

Sticking to the Figures

I found this story via Tim Boucher's weblog, Adventures of an Occult Investigator: "Students Arrested Over 'Violent' Stick Figure Drawings." I had to read that headline twice before it sunk in. And then I had to check the story link to make certain it wasn't some kind hoax. But it seems to be the real deal. In Florida, two elementary school students, ages 9 and 10, are charged with felonies, accused of making violent drawings ... with stick figures. Yup, these kids were dragged away in handcuffs and suspended from school. The images, you see, are believed to have been drawn for the "sole purpose of intimidating and scaring the victim," said Ocala Police Sgt. Russ Kern. You can read the story for yourself here, here (with comments), and here (even more comments!). In addition to the actual story, you might want to check out Tim's rather passionate arguments regarding creativity and violence. As far as I have read, these kids have not really threatened anyone. Nor have they hurt anyone or anything in the past (including cute little animals). So unless the whole story has not been reported, I don't see the proverbial smoking gun here. In fact, if these kids don't have a history of actual physical violence or other kind of serious trouble, why are authorities making such a fuss over these pictures? I personally feel that they should be damned glad that the kids are working their anger out on paper rather than in public!

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