There is a bizarre case out of Maryland where school officials sent teacher and novelist Patrick McLaw, 23, to an emergency medical evaluation for publishing, under a pseudonym, a novel about a school shooting. That’s it. A language-arts eight grade teacher at Lane Middle School writes a book about a school shooting and he is put on leave by the Dorchester County Board of Education, investigated by the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, and sent away for evaluation. “The Insurrectionist” happens to be set 900 years in the future but the board couldn’t just wait for the shooting to occur and had to act. What is striking is that all of these steps have been taken and McLaw has been effectively treated as a danger to children but no one has said a thing beyond the novel that is the basis for the actions. Was there something else that raise the danger of a violent act by McLaw? Officials have not been shy about distributing McLaw’s picture, assuring parents that they will protect their children (presumably from McLaw), and generally portraying him as a possible threat to children. Yet, when it comes to the basis for these actions, no one is saying a thing.
Officials have noted that McLaw has used various names. Yet, news reports indicate that he had his original name “Beale” legally changed and he has said common pseudonyms as an author.
McLaw is the author of two books: “The Insurrectionist” and its sequel, “Lillith’s Heir.”
After he was sent for evaluation, the police swept Lane Middle School for bombs and guns. After all, a novelist had been roaming the halls unescorted. His home was also raided by police.
Dorchester County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henry Wagner (right) assured parents after the novelist was removed that police will be present at the middle school “for as long as we deem it necessary.”
Weirdly, the whereabouts of McLaw is unknown and he is on leave. Dorchester School Superintendent Dr. Henry Wagner said
In response to community inquiries, we are providing the following additional information.
“The concerns regarding Mr. McLaw were originally brought forward by the Wicomico County State’s Attorney last week. They have advised that an investigation is ongoing but the details may not be released, as it may compromise that investigation.
“All appropriate background checks were conducted prior to Mr. McLaw’s employment with DCPS,” Wagner said. “Furthermore, none of the above-mentioned matters took place in conjunction with his employment with DCPS.
“Nevertheless, by way of additional precautions, the Cambridge Police Department (CPD) is providing a presence at MLMS. His photo and the original press release have been issued to all schools. We are working closely with law enforcement (the Dorchester Sheriff’s Department and CPD) to insure that all of our security protocols are followed.”
The 2013-14 school year was McLaw’s first year teaching at Mace’s Lane Middle School but he was one of the nominees for Dorchester County’s First Class Teacher of the Year
The Insurrectionist includes the following quote:
“On 18 March 2902, a massacre transpired on the campus of Ocean Park High School, claiming the lives of nine hundred forty-seven individuals — the largest school massacre in the nation’s history. And the entire country now begins to ask two daunting questions: How? and Why? After the federal government becomes involved, and after examining the bouquet of black roses that lies in front of the school’s sign, it becomes evident that the hysteria is far from over.”
Unless there is some really chilling evidence that has not been uncovered, McLaw may have an extraordinary lawsuit in the making. Various news sites are reporting that McLaw was put through this nightmare because of his novels. If so, this is a ridiculous and abusive series of actions by both school and police officials. If there is something more, these officials need to be clear that there was some evidence beyond the novels that prompted these actions. No guns or bombs were found in the school or his home. So what is going on? As the novel states, it is “evident that the hysteria is far from over.”
Source: The Atlantic
Kudos: Don Clarke