We just discussed a story of a kindergartner who was disciplined for a LEGO gun that he brought to school that was smaller than a quarter. Now we have another kindergartner who was suspended for the rest of the year (10 days) for bringing an orange-tipped toy gun to school. Rather than simply discuss the matter with his parents, school officials proceeded to interrogate him for hours without calling his parents– a growing problem that we discussed in another story today. The toy was in the boy’s backpack and he was pulled into an interrogation with police. I cannot imagine what officers did for two hours in questioning a 5 year old child but it is clear that Calvert County officials have zero crime and even less judgment. During his detention with the officials and police, the boy wet his pants.
John Dryden, is a social studies teacher at Batavia High School in Illinois. It may have been his social science background or his concern for basic rights of students, but Dryden felt that he should mention that students have constitutional rights not to incriminate themselves in a school-mandated survey. The survey, after all, was asking the student if they had used drugs, tobacco, and alcohol. In response, the school disciplined Dryden and docked his pay.
Many people in the world have been waiting for the departure of extremist Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. From the sounds of his likely replacement, Saeed Jalili, some may look back with longing. Jalili is a former Revolutionary Guard who continues the extremist Islamic principles of governance of his predecessor. This week, he promised to “defend the rights of women as mothers” as opposed to what he referred to as “economic context” of feminists and the West. Men will continue of course to be defined as men as opposed to fathers.
The Catholic Church’s top exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth is calling on Pope Francis to relax current limits on priests performing exorcisms. He insists that the demand of the faithful for exorcisms is rising and the Church needs to increase the supply of the rites. For his own part, Amorth now claims to have sent 160,000 demons to hell — that is over 1818 a year or roughly 5 a day or one demon every 4.8 hours every day every week every month.
In the last couple weeks, it has been astonishing to watch Democrats once again abandoning a core principle — in this case the protection of the free press — to excuse another abuse of the Obama Administration. The new talking point for defenders of the Obama Administration is that it is really not that bad to seize the records of journalists or label a journalist a potential criminal co-conspirator so long as they are not actually prosecuted. None however are quite so adamant as Georgetown Professor and MSNBC Political Analyst Michael Eric Dyson who called Eric Holder our “law giver” and “the Moses of our time.” In this case, of course, Moses came down from the mountain and endorsed the killing of any citizen deemed a national security threat, allowed warrantless surveillance, blocked public interest challenges to abuses of power, and attacked the free press. While some of us believe Holder should be fired, Dyson apparently believes Holder should be be beatified.
There is a troubling case out of Harris County, Texas where a court has issued an order barring 16 individuals from a Houston neighborhood on the ground that prosecutors alleged that they are gang members up to no good. However, this was a civil proceeding where the 16 individuals were neither given representation nor were present. The precedent established by such a public nuisance ruling is chilling if prosecutors can bar citizens from neighborhoods based on associations or future conduct.
I have previously written about my concern with the criminalization of conduct in America, particularly at our schools. A case in Columbia, Missouri again raises this issue with a 17-year-old Hickman High School junior facing possible felony charges for a prank. The student changed the last name of Raigan Mastain to “Masturbate” and more than 700 yearbooks went to press with the change. Now a prosecutor is considering a charge of first-degree property damage and harassment — a felony prosecution for an immature prank.