Thursday, January 27, 2005

Bush's America: Kids Aged 9 and 10 Arrested for Drawing Violent Stick Figures

Yeah, it happened Monday in the proud state of Florida:

Two boys were arrested for making pencil-and-crayon stick figure drawings depicting a 10-year-old classmate being stabbed and hung, police said. The children, charged with a felony, were taken from school in handcuffs.

(Actually, the AP story is incorrect on the "felony" matter. The kids were suspended from school, but have not yet been charged with a crime. But still.)

From the Pulse:

"Welcome to the new reality," Executive Director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Charles Brownstein told the Pulse. "I get one of these every five or six weeks, like clockwork. Zero-tolerance policies are establishing a system that treats kids like criminals for being kids. What teenager doesn't harbor some violent emotions? Reasonable people recognize that drawing them isn't the same as acting on them, but the zero-tolerance policies, while understandable, are not reasonable.

This is apparently just the latest in a series of similar disturbing events. As Brownstein says, It's a weird, troubling trend.

In fairness to Dubya (who is implicated in this entry's headline), I should add that Florida actually went fascist during the Clinton administration - though back then they only arrested adults for drawing. In the 1990s, crappy cartoonist Mike Diana became the first American artist ever to be convicted of obscenity:

Diana was sentenced to a three-year probation, during which time his residence is subject to inspection, without warning or warrant, to determine if he is in possession of, or is creating obscene material. He is to have no contact with children under 18, undergo psychological testing, enroll in a journalistic ethics course, pay a $3,000 fine, and perform 1,248 hours of community service.

Get it? He was forbidden from drawing in his own home. That's sane.

God Bless America, and God Bless Superblog!!


Silver Turtle said...

Should those kids be arresetd and/or suspended for drawing? Or punished at all? No.

Is it a good thing that the teacher (or whomever it was) took notice of their drawing? Probably.

How many fingers were pointed after the Columbine shootings saying that so-and-so should have 'seen the signs'? Granted, the kids should have just gone to see a counselor about their drawings. I remember being a kid, and I don't think there was a single boy that didn't draw something violent at some point - guns, army men, weird dungeons & dragons stuff.... and so far none of them have turned out to be crazy.

Koala Mentala said...

I dunno, even seeing a counselor about a few stupid drawings seems a bit extreme to me, but I guess it's a different situation in the U.S. (especially post-Columbine), where kids seem to have ready access to firearms. (Granted, this was knives...) And sure, it couldn't hurt.

This, on the other hand, will most likely hurt plenty.