As expected, this story describes an event however it completely glosses over the real reason this student may have written this! (“…the investigation is ongoing but the essay may have been a “cry for help.”…) I suspect this child’s parents have actually have educated thier children on such things as Coca-cola and asparatame, Wal-Mart and slave labor, Walgreens and birth control drugs–not to mention our dictator Bush. A perfect day just might include “doing violence to President Bush”!!!
Secret Service Investigates Violent Essay by Seventh Grader
February 2, 2006
As posted at boston.com
WEST WARWICK, R.I. –A seventh-grader who wrote an essay saying his perfect day would involve doing violence to President Bush is being investigated by the Secret Service.
The unidentified boy from West Warwick turned in the essay on Tuesday, and his teacher alerted school officials. The assignment was to write about what he would do on a perfect day.
Thomas M. Powers, Secret Service resident agent in charge in Providence, said the investigation is ongoing but the essay may have been a “cry for help.” Threatening the president is a felony, he said.
The one-page essay also said the student wanted to kill Oprah Winfrey, hurt executives at Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart and attack a Walgreens pharmacy, police and school officials told The Providence Journal.
“His perfect day would be to see the destruction of these people,” Schools Superintendent David Raiche said.
Raiche said the student felt the companies were doing inappropriate things. He said the student had been barred temporarily from coming back to school, but as a mental health rather than disciplinary precaution.
The essay did not threaten anyone at the school, and did not detail specific plans for an attack, police Detective Sgt. Fernando Araujo said.
The boy was not arrested, and authorities would not release a copy of the essay.
“He was writing a letter threatening everyone on the planet,” School Board Chairman Daniel T. Burns Jr. said. “He was just mad at the world.”
Steve Brown, executive director of the Rhode Island branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, said reporting the essay was an inappropriate intrusion on the student’s First Amendment rights. He said it amounted to a criminalization of student thought and sends a disturbing message to other students.
“Steer away from any violent themes in writing assignments, or else run the risk of being interrogated by the police,” Brown said.
© Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company