December 05, 2003
Bloggers speak out about Sashwat's Suspension

A number of "bloggers" (folks who operate web logs, or "blogs" -- popular public online journals) took note of Sashwat's suspension, and I'm overdue in making note of them.

Kimberly Swygert decries the fact that when school officials nowadays say "We have to treat every incident very seriously," what they mean is that they can't use any personal judgment or common sense. In this case, it means they couldn't consider the fact that Sashwat is an honors student who meant no harm, in determining whether what he did was threatening.


Indian blogger Om Malik says of Sashwat, "Damn - we got our own 50 Cent in the making."


Joanne Jacobs, whose blog entry was combined with a number of others to create her "School Principals Gone Wild" piece for FoxNews, says this:

The boy's lawyer now says he was expressing his opinion that his school is run like a "police state." No kidding.


Sajit Gandhi of DESIBLOGS posted, "I don't think making a CD is on par with bringing a gun to school, arson, or any sort of violent crimes. I think it is more of an exercise in free speech than anything else."


Blogger Ryan MacMichael heard about Sashwat's situation, and repeated what so many of us who are already out of school have said:

If the sensitivity about kids' creative output was as high ten years ago as it is now, I would have been kicked out of school and charged with threatening students, teachers, and administrators.

He then goes on to add some very wise comments:

This goes far beyond being cautious. You can't just take words by themselves... you have to look at the individual, their history, their demeanor. The things I said (and sometimes still say) aren't indicative of what I'm going to do. If that was the case, every mystery or horror writer would need to be put in jail because their characters were doing something violent.


Suman Palit makes this observation on his blog:

Every teenage button that is pushable, is not just being pushed. It's getting hammered into the bone by these idiots. They are raising a generation of angry, radicalized youth. A generation that is unlikely to trust the educational establishment to teach their own kids.

He then goes on to say tongue-in-cheek that he hopes Sashwat gets a record deal out of all this, and closes with a refrain very similar to Ryan's above:

A final thought occurs to me.. if I were a high school teen here in the US, this blog would probably get me committed to Guantanamo for several lifetimes.


And last but not least, Glenn Reynolds of the super-blog InstaPundit simply called the Journal-Sentinel story that started this all, "more news from the educational quagmire".


Sadly, Glenn's comment might be the most astute. If there is no lesson learned, and no progress made, and nothing productive accomplished via Sashwat's suspension, then it really does just end up being "more news from the educational quagmire".

Posted by Lance Brown at December 5, 2003 12:19 PM | TrackBack
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