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April 30, 2007 - 7:41 am

An Asian student a href=”http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/360827,CST-NWS-essay27.article”was arrested for disorderly conduct /afor writing an essay (Hat Tip: a href=”http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=982986″Steven Erickson/a):br /br /blockquoteOne violent, profanity-laced English essay later and Allen Lee’s future with the Marine Corps appears to be over.br /br /Because of pending criminal charges stemming from his essay, Lee’s recruiter told him Friday evening that the Marine Corps has discharged him from his contract, said Sgt. Luis R. Agostini, spokesman for the Marine Corps Recruiting Station Chicago.br /br /”Basically he is no longer an applicant to become a Marine,” Agostini said.br /br /Police Thursday released portions of an essay used to charge a Cary-Grove High School student with disorderly conduct, leaving several experts puzzled at an arrest based on such schoolwork. br /br /Asked to write about whatever he wanted in a creative writing class, would-be Marine and honors student Lee, 18, described a violent dream in which he shot people and then “had sex with the dead bodies.” …br /br /A second disorderly count accuses Lee of alarming first-year teacher Nora Capron by writing that “as a teacher, don’t be surprised on [sic] inspiring the first CG shooting,” an apparent reference to Cary-Grove High. /blockquotebr /br /Many people seem up in arms about this arrest–it is, in my opinion, over the top, but was it such a good idea for this young man to write this so soon after the VT shooting? But while it might make one question his judgement, it certainly doesn’t rise to the level of an arrest. Writing such stupid stuff is a sign that something is possibly wrong and a diagnostic tool that warrants a possible psychological, not jail time. How can we even embegin/em to talk about sensible public policy issues surrounding violence intervention when the authority figures vascillate wildly between doing nothing to arresting people over what they write?

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