Let's see if I can cut to the chase in this story. A high school student like to play an online version of a first-person shooting game. He created an online map of his school so he and his friends could have these battles in an environment they know and love.
One parent found out about this, raised a stink, and school officials got involved. His parents consented to a search of their house where a hammer (weapon!!!) was found in the boy's room. The boy was identified as a potential terrorist, sent to the district's alternative school, and told he couldn't graduate with his friends. No criminal charges were filed.
The parent complaint coincidentally was made the day after the Virginia Tech shootings, raising the emotional stakes, but there was no indication that this kid wanted to fire up his schoolmates. I mean, really--I think it would be much more fun to play a videogame centered on somewhere I know rather than on some random location. Administrators way overreacted here, which seems to be something they teach in administrator school.
Lawyers got involved and the district backpedaled somewhat by allowing him to graduate with his class, but tried to cover their tracks by adding more layers of stupidity.
A Clements High School senior, disciplined and removed from his campus after officials learned he'd made a 3D computer game map resembling the school, will be allowed to participate in graduation ceremonies if he and his parents agree in writing to several conditions (to show they've done something). (boldface mine--Darren)
But Michael McKie, Fort Bend Independent School District assistant superintendent for high schools, told the boy's parents and attorney he won't grant their request that records calling the boy a "terroristic threat" be cleared, or that the boy be allowed to return to classes at Clements...
McKie said the district will allow the boy to participate in graduation ceremonies "conditioned on my receipt of your written assurance that you have custody of all weapons in your household, that (the boy) has no violent tendencies, that he would not cause harm to himself or others during the graduation ceremonies and that he will behave in an appropriate and dignified manner at graduation."
Neither Cease nor the boy's parents could be reached for comment Monday morning. FBISD spokeswoman Mary Ann Simpson said "we have received a letter from the parents and the young man, agreeing to the terms in the letter from Mr. McKie."
"They have no choice. They are not happy about it," said Naomi Lam, a former FBISD board member and a friend of the boy's family. "I'm not very happy with the decision either."
If the injustice here isn't clear yet, try this:
The school police department's threat assessment office concluded no crime had taken place. And, according to the police report, Fort Bend County Assistant District Attorney Paul Tu told campus police “he knew of no criminal offense that had occurred; there were no threats on any specific person or people; there was no evidence found to pursue the case any further.”
Yet the boy was still sent to an alternative school for the end of his senior year.
Is common sense really not so common?