Kid kicked out of high school and arrested for writing about shooting his neighbor’s pet dinosaur.

OK this is just getting stupid now:

High school student says he was arrested for killing dinosaur in class assignment – NBC12.com – Richmond, VA News

Alex Stone said he and his classmates were told in class to write a few sentences about themselves, and a “status” as if it was a Facebook page.

Stone said in his “status” he wrote a fictional story that involved the words “gun” and “take care of business.”

“I killed my neighbor’s pet dinosaur, and, then, in the next status I said I bought the gun to take care of the business,” Stone said.

Holy Sweet Flying Fuck!I wouldn’t make it through high school these days if this is the norm. As a freshman I once wrote a short story about an unnamed student who might have shot himself in the head in the boy’s bathroom (the ending is somewhat vague) one afternoon because I was bored. It wasn’t even part of an assignment, I just was struck with inspiration and wrote it. Showed it to a couple of friends and it got handed off to a teacher.

Do you know what that teacher did? She encouraged me to submit it along with a couple of other creative efforts I had done to the school district’s creative writing contest. I won a bronze medal for that bit and a gold one for a short reimagining of the fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

In my version of the tale, Goldilocks stumbles upon the cabin of the Three U.S. Government workers where she tries all three computer terminals until she finds one that’s “just right” and ends up launching our nuclear payload at Russia setting off WWIII. The story ends with one of the government workers shooting her in the head just as the missiles scream out of their silos. The moral of the story was: “Just because a terminal is just right, doesn’t mean it’s just right. It could be terminal.”

Yeah, I thought that was clever at the ripe old age of 14.

Anyway, I can only imagine the trouble I’d be in if I were in high school and wrote something like that today. It’s bad enough he was suspended for a week, but did he really have to be arrested too?

According to police, when Stone was asked by school officials about the comment written on the assignment, he said it was a joke.

Summerville police officials say Stone was disruptive and was told that he was being detained for disturbing schools.

Stone was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. District officials say the student has been suspended.

You can be arrested for being disruptive at school? Holy shit! Had this been the practice back in the day I’d have a criminal record a mile long now. Probably be on death row for multiple counts of brutal character assassination* too!

*Get it? Character assassination? Because I killed off a couple of fictional characters? Ha ha! I kill myself!

Teaching kids to write in cursive is on the decline.

At least according to this Indianapolis Star article:

Learning to write in script is a time-honored tradition. But in today’s time-starved classrooms, some around the country are questioning whether, given everything else vying for space in the curriculum and the increasing use of technology, teaching these children cursive is even necessary.

Local teachers say, if nothing else, its emphasis has diminished in recent years.

“Historically, we teach less cursive now,” said Webb, whose class works on handwriting for short periods two to three days each week. “It seems we have more and more standards we need to cover. The emphasis is on science and reading.”

[…] Lisa Jones, who teaches third grade at Edgelea Elementary, said she’s noticed that consequence of the de-emphasis, not just by schools but by society: “The most difficult part for me is that now they can’t read it, because they don’t see it anywhere.”

Like Webb, Jones said she isn’t teaching as much cursive as in the past. Not emphasizing it as much at that grade, however, means by the time they hit fourth grade, they’re not able to write as well.

“I don’t think it will be used as much,” Jones said. “When I was in junior high and high school, our final copies of work had to be handwritten in cursive. Now it’s typed.”

Can’t say I’m too upset by this trend because I’ve never been overly fond of writing in cursive. About the only thing I ever write in cursive is my signature and it’s damned near illegible. As a child I absolutely detested having to learn cursive writing. I can recall asking what was wrong with printing, which I was quite good at, and being told that it wasn’t “proper” writing or something along those lines. That made printing into the underdog, and I have always had a soft-spot for the underdog in any fight, which only made me that much more determined that I’d print whenever I could get away with it. I think part of why I got into computers was so I would have an excuse not to write in cursive and could fake it with a quick font change if need be. These days I print automatically out of pure habit. Though I can, if I sit down and really focus on it, write in cursive that’s readable. It’s a painfully slow and annoying process though so I only tend to do it when challenged to prove that I can.

It seems to me most folks are rubbish at writing in cursive which makes reading anything written in it almost as annoying as writing it myself. Sure there’s some folks who have wonderfully beautiful cursive, but most folks’ efforts at cursive are just this side of being a good reason to through them in a padded cell for fear they’re clinically insane. As far as I’m concerned it’s a writing style that can’t die out fast enough, but then I’m biased toward the underdog.