Friday, February 03, 2006

Prudent Response Or Overreaction?

A seventh-grader in West Warwick, Rhode Island, wrote an essay advocating the use of violence against several public figures and someone called the Secret Service:
The Secret Service is investigating a seventh-grader who wrote a school essay that authorities say advocated violence against President Bush, talk show host Oprah Winfrey and others.

The boy's homework assignment for English class was to write what he would do on a perfect day. In addition to the president and Winfrey, the boy wrote that violence should be directed at executives of Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart, police and school officials said.

"His perfect day would be to see the destruction of these people," Schools Superintendent David Raiche said.

The Secret Service investigation is ongoing, but the essay may have been a "cry for help," said Thomas M. Powers, resident agent in charge in Providence. Threatening the president is a felony, he said.

Authorities would not identify the boy or his teacher or release a copy of the essay. He was not arrested, police Detective Sgt. Fernando Araujo said.

"It wasn't any detailed, minute-by-minute plan," Araujo said. "It didn't meet the criteria for a criminal charge."

The boy has been temporarily barred from school, but as a mental health rather than disciplinary precaution, Raiche said.
Heh. I wonder if it was the threat against President Bush or Oprah Winfrey that was the catalyst for dropping that dime to the Secret Service?

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