no laughing matter

The other day I was talking with one of Alex King’s attorneys who said he doesn’t read newspapers anymore.

“I get my news from the Daily Show and the Colbert Report,” I replied. It was a jovial moment, and I didn’t mention Public Radio which, like Comedy Central’s fake news programs, I also stream.

Sometimes the news is so disheartening, though, the only way to swallow the bitter pill without gagging is to take it down with a sweet swig of humor.

While researching the “School-to-Prison Pipeline” the other day, I read about Tim, an 11-year-old middle schooler in Arvada Colorado, who last October was arrested and hauled away in handcuffs for drawing stick figures in school.

Tim’s therapist had told him to draw pictures when he got upset, rather than disrupting the class. Tim is being treated for Attention Deficit Disorder, and the school knew it. So Tim drew stick figures of himself with a gun pointed at four other stick figures, and the words “teacher must die.”

Tim felt better and was throwing the picture away when the teacher saw it and sent him to the principal’s office. After it was determined that Tim posed no threat, school officials notified his parents, and returned him to class.

So it was a shock to his mom when the police showed up that night, handcuffed Tim, and took him away in a squad car to jail. Tim’s mother begged police to let her drive her son to the police department and to let her stay with him through the booking process, but they refused. At the jail Tim was booked and fingerprinted, his mug shot was taken, and they put him in a cell. Tim says he thought he would never be able to go home again.

He was charged with a third degree misdemeanor—“interfering with staff and students at an educational facility.”

I don’t know about you, but stories like this make my blood boil. My first reaction was that the best next place where a school shooting should take place is Arvada Colorado—line up those school authorities against the wall and give ‘em a Chicago-style valentine. And these mental midgets are teaching kids?! The gene pool obviously needs some cleansing.

Then I caught myself. If I were a kid, they’d try to arrest me, too, for thinking this way.

Calm down, Dan. Get a grip. Lighten up. Be like Stephen… here’s what he ran on his Valentine’s Day show:



Groove of the Day

Listen to The Beau Brummels performing “Laugh, Laugh”


13 Responses to “no laughing matter”

  1. 2 abram
    February 28, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    I can’t believe it. This is beyond every swear word I know. Is there no common sense or decency left in the U.S.?
    I hoping mad about this just from reading it, if it were my child I think I’d join the majority of Middle Easterners in their way way of change.
    Isn’t it prejudice and mistreatment that has sent many people to settle here in the first place and now we are becoming as bad as the circumstances which drove some of our ancestors to come to America.
    Where is the light?

  2. 3 Gloria
    March 1, 2011 at 12:47 am

    6 year old to psyck ward for drawing a violent picture


    Cops in NJ charge 7 year old for bringing toy to school.


    Kindergarten Girl Handcuffed, Arrested At Fla. School


    Kids act out. They throw tantrums, have food fights, and occasionally, they open their Christmas presents a little early. Usually this type of behavior is met with a stern word from parents, detention, or even some Bart Simpson-esque chalkboard writing. But this was not the case for these kids, who were handcuffed and hauled away before they could say “It wasn’t me.” Check out the hardcore punishments incurred when kids drop cake on the floor, doodle on a desk, and yes, pass gas

    25 Chicago Students Arrested for a Middle-School Food Fight


    10-Year-Old Arrested For Bringing Steak, Steak Knife To School


    14-Year-Old Arrested For Texting In Class


    Girl Arrested For Dropping Cake On Floor


    12-Year-Old Arrested For Opening Christmas Present Early


    Arrested for farting

  3. 6 Armando Marrufo II
    March 1, 2011 at 4:48 am

    Please tell me this lawyer does not get his news from RepubliCorp. TV…..

  4. 7 jbeg
    March 1, 2011 at 7:56 pm


    I do think it is unfortunate that a child is treated in such a harsh manner. With that said, after reading your many posts about what goes wrong in these types situations, what, in this instance and in your opinion, should have happened?

    Lets, for a moment, put ourselves in the shoes of the teachers and administrators who are responsible for the safety of a multitude of children. Now lets take the role of a parent of any given child in this specific classroom/school.

    I do believe the system, as it currently exists, is too harsh, but am very interested in how these situations should be handled.

    • 8 abram
      March 1, 2011 at 9:04 pm

      A talk and a close eye with a possibility of counseling. A squad car, hand cuffs and jail is criminal abuse of power.

    • March 1, 2011 at 9:06 pm

      Jason, I think the first thing that should have been done is the teacher should have just let the kid throw away the drawing. The second thing that might have been done is the teacher could have asked Tim to speak with him/her privately. The third thing that might have been done is that the principal could have called in the therapist and the mother, maybe with the boy present, and had a conference. At every point–and at the lowest point possible–the teacher’s initial concerns and alarm should have, could have, been resolved. But the last thing that should ever be done is to escalate an incident like this into a “crime” involving law enforcement.

      When schools pass the buck and involve law enforcement, they are failing to assume responsibility which is vested in them.

      If schools continue in such a derelict and irresponsible manner, I believe parents have a right and responsibility to keep their children out of the schools and educate them by alternative means.

      Incidents like this support my view that American public schooling is institutionalized child abuse.

  5. 10 Wolfgang
    March 1, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    short said, they should just use common sense.

  6. 11 Wolfgang
    March 1, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    another Scala song that fit

  7. 12 abram
    March 2, 2011 at 12:07 am

    Everyone is afraid of being sued and there is no shortage of lawsuits. The defense is due diligence and that is why officials and others are so gung ho about following the letter of the law and procedure. So make lawsuits more difficult, less rewarding, change the laws/procedures and protect the merciful.

    • March 2, 2011 at 12:46 am

      Abram, you are absolutely right in your observation. When I served on one of our local school boards, I was surprised by the degree to which some of my fellow board members fretted about the school district being sued.

      In this case, however, I think the charge against the boy is bogus and should open his school district up to a whopper lawsuit. Let’s hope the Arvada school district loses its shirt over their absurd decisions.

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