"Student arrested as Terrorist Threat" - Have we gone too far?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by COLDLIGHT, Mar 6, 2005.

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  1. COLDLIGHT Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2004
    star 2
    The story so far...

    CLARK COUNTY
    Student Arrested For Terroristic Threatening Says Incident A Misunderstanding

    A George Rogers Clark High School junior arrested Tuesday for making terrorist threats told LEX 18 News Thursday that the "writings" that got him arrested are being taken out of context.

    Winchester police say William Poole, 18, was taken into custody Tuesday morning. Investigators say they discovered materials at Poole's home that outline possible acts of violence aimed at students, teachers, and police.

    Poole told LEX 18 that the whole incident is a big misunderstanding. He claims that what his grandparents found in his journal and turned into police was a short story he wrote for English class.

    "My story is based on fiction," said Poole, who faces a second-degree felony terrorist threatening charge. "It's a fake story. I made it up. I've been working on one of my short stories, (and) the short story they found was about zombies. Yes, it did say a high school. It was about a high school over ran by zombies."

    Even so, police say the nature of the story makes it a felony. "Anytime you make any threat or possess matter involving a school or function it's a felony in the state of Kentucky," said Winchester Police detective Steven Caudill.

    Poole disputes that he was threatening anyone.

    "It didn't mention nobody who lives in Clark County, didn't mention (George Rogers Clark High School), didn't mention no principal or cops, nothing,"
    said Poole. "Half the people at high school know me. They know I'm not that stupid, that crazy."

    On Thursday, a judge raised Poole's bond from one to five thousand dollars after prosecutors requested it, citing the seriousness of the charge.

    Poole is being held at the Clark County Detention Center.


    Original link: http://www.lex18.com/global/story.asp?s=2989614&ClientType=Printable

    Okay, so there are details we don't have (i.e. the exact content of the boy's story, etc), but c'mon! This is starting to sound like McCarthyism or Salem to me.

    Is it possible we're getting a little over-hysterical over all this?
  2. ConcordDawn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2004
    star 4
    I love the justice system. It's so... just.

    Be right back, I'm going to go turn my friend over to the police for having described the magical sorcerer academy of Xan-darbin destroyed by a red dragon in our last D&D game.
  3. NJOfan215 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 5
    This has been discussed several times over in the jcc. There is more to the story then his zombie writings. Mr44 has posted details over there. The thread was posted by leekenobi.
  4. Master_Fwiffo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2001
    star 3
    He wasn't arrested for the story, he was arrested for trying to organize a columbine-like takeover of the school.

    Me thinks the media is biased.
  5. geekgirl76 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 29, 2002
    star 4
    LOL, I have to laugh at the "Land Of The Free". When you start arresting people for creative writing you're way past "too far".
    Although I do wonder how well he's doing in that English class with grammar like that. (off to track down the other thread with more info)
  6. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Yes, this story has already been dissected to death in the JCC.

    As has already been pointed out, Poole was arrested at the school for trying to organize an armed take-over.

    In fact, some articles reveal that he told people he had already hidden weapons in "easy access" spots around the school.

    His writings were turned over to police by his grandparents, because there were similiarities in construction between what he had written as "zombie fiction," and what he actually blabbed to other students in the real world.

    So, to make the claim that "he was arrested for a story," is grossly inaccurate, and doesn't examine the overall situation.

    In an ironic twist of fate, there are more articles that are provided in the JCC, and as such, there isn't anything inherently sensational about this story.
  7. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    The part of the story I'm curious about is this:

    Even so, police say the nature of the story makes it a felony. "Anytime you make any threat or possess matter involving a school or function it's a felony in the state of Kentucky," said Winchester Police detective Steven Caudill.

    Anybody know what that statute actually says? The way the law is described here makes it sound as if someone *could* be arrested for writing a story about zombies taking over a high school. Perhaps the police detective described the law poorly, but the quote lends credence to the idea that this is an exessively prohibitive law, whether Zombie Boy is actually an innocent martyr or not.
  8. JediTre11 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2001
    star 4
    Hot on the trail of the actual law...
    KRS 158.155 and maybe 527.205

    158.155 was definately part of the detective's statement. Link.

    I haven't found anything that would make writing about violence upon a school a crime though. That might be in a court decision. Forget searching those.
  9. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    I couldn't seem to find the references you were talking about, although 155.154 is close. There doesn't seem to have been any recent developments on the case, which is a pity, since the situation might have been explained more fully.

    On an unrelated but interesting note: the Kentucky educational code requires a teacher to read a portion of the Bible to students every day, but the students can't be forced to read it themselves against their parents' wishes. No mention of whether kids have to listen against their parents' wishes. (FWIW, Catholic schools exist because Catholic parents got sick of having Protestant teachers read bits of the Bible about Mary's "other kids" to their children.) I wonder if that statute is actually enforced. It's still on the books.
  10. Shadow_of_Evil Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2001
    star 6
    Things like this piss me off something cronic.
    Now he's going to be stuck with this on his record.
  11. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Stuck with what on which record?
  12. Suzuki_Akira Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2003
    star 7
    Where's the "armed takeover" evidence?
  13. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Appearently, it's filed in his permament record.
  14. Suzuki_Akira Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2003
    star 7
    So he told students at his school that he would take over?
  15. anidanami124 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 6
    You know ever sense Columbine people where asking why the Cops did not do anything ahead of time. Well know cops do things ahead of time when it comes to students talking or writing about shoting up there school.

    So now we get really mad at the cops for doing this. Well then I guess they should stop. But if they stop doing that when the next Columbine dose happen people will get really mad and ask why the cops never did anything to stop it.

    It's the biggest Double Standard we have in the US. We want the cops to keep us safe yet we don't want them to do there job.

    So which is it? Do you want them to keep us safe. To do that they have to fallow up on ever lead. Some such as the grandparents did with there grandson. They have to do there job and look into.

    Or do we not want them doing there job until it's to late? Which means they can never look into any leads.

    Me I'm glad that they do there job. Maybe we would not need to have cops if be just fallowed what the laws are.
  16. -Data- Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2005
    star 1
    anidanami124 is right. Let the police do their jobs. The media itself is biased when it comes to things such as this; they only reveal part of the story. Therefore, we don't have all of the evidence, and we don't know if it's true or not.
    Take Rodney King for example. We all know of the Rodney King beating, and how cops knocked the crap out of him. The media drooled all over that part. What they didn't reveal to the public (or if they did, it was mentioned in a tiny article in the newspaper) was that King came out swinging. He started to fight the police, and they responded. And because they responded, and the media played only part of it, the public got pissy. If you take a swing at a cop, you're an idiot; he's got a gun and a club, and a lot more friends on their way.
  17. Suzuki_Akira Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2003
    star 7
    anidanami124

    I thnk YOU are right. We should Not fallow the bad advice of The community before it is to late. How can we be Kept safe. Skool is for learning, I think their isa lot of Bad parents doing bad stuff to there kids which leads to bad Deicions1!one!

    :p

    But seriously...double standards are one thing, but we have to gauge the extremity of each option. If he had not planned takeover and merely wrote this thing like we initially thought, it would have been gross injustice to incarcerate him over it.
  18. anidanami124 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 6
    But we don't really know this kid. We also don't know his grandparents. Let's say it was just to story. There would have to be a reason that his grandparents went to the cops. And even at that point the cops still have to do there jobs.

    it dose not matter if we like it or not they have a job to do and for them to not do it...well it would make me far more worried.

    Do they get things wrong. Sure they are just human. But really there is a big double standard here for cops. No matter if it is a big of small threat they have to look into it. They have to make sure it is something that they can stop before it happens other wise we will have another Columbine. Which will bring people out saying "Why did the cops not do anything."

    We either have to let them do there jobs, or we should just get ready of them. Because if we start putting limits on what they can and can't do the US will become a very dangers place to live.

    I for one don't want to live in a country where I have to watch my back ever time I walk down the street. Or lock the doors all the time 24/7 and look at ever one as if they are going to hurt me.

    I like the fact that there are people out there willing to do a job to keep us safe even if they sometimes do things that we don't like.

    He started to fight the police, and they responded. And because they responded, and the media played only part of it, the public got pissy. If you take a swing at a cop, you're an idiot; he's got a gun and a club, and a lot more friends on their way.

    Which brings up a whole other group of points I could add. But I will add one.

    1) Cops are there to keep us safe. When someone they stop on the streets starts to get out of hand cops have a job to make sure he dose not hurt any one else. That means they have the right to us any kind of force to stop said person.

    I would be asking for the heads of the cops if they did not do anything to stop the person and put people in the area in danger.
  19. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    Oy, here's another one: A Work Of Art Or a Harbinger of Violence?

    Some college student wrote a disgusting story for his creative writing class, scared his teacher, and then got expelled. The teacher got fired too, for good measure. It seems the cops aren't even interested in this guy--he's just a random kid with a sick head.

    I'm starting to think that this issue isn't all smoke and no fire.
  20. SaberGiiett7 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2002
    star 6
    An Islamic-directed strain of McCarthyism was bound to resurface sooner or later...

    <[-]> Saber
  21. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Didn't this happen last year?

    And how is an internal college expulsion related to "Islamic McCarthyism?"
  22. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    Yeah, the the article above was dated March '04, while the other one was February '05. I'm not sure why a difference of 11 months keeps the incidents from being essentially part of the same issue, though.

    And I also don't get the Islamic McCarthyism reference.
  23. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    When an art school in San Francisco starts punishing people for thoughtcrime, and then hiding behind petty technicalities, we as a society need to take a long, deep breath.

    To this day, people are hysterically afraid of another school shooting. Never mind that you're three times as likely to be struck by lighting as you are to die on school grounds; never mind that most shootings at schools are related to gangs, not lone nutjobs; no, it's easier to just fly into continuous panic and stomp as hard as one can on anything one might perceive as a threat. Of course, since anyone might, theoretically, present some sort of threat (however remote the chances might be), that requires stomping on everyone...

    And it still doesn't work.

    You don't prevent violent thoughts by repressing them. Certainly not by punishing them; that just fosters more resentment. And you don't make people safer by piling on metal detectors, going out on random locker searches, and treating every single student like a criminal. All that does is create distrust; after all, if authority doesn't trust you, then why should you trust authority?

    Besides, as any competent hacker will tell you, no security is foolproof--and not all those who eventually turn violent or suicidal give out convenient warning signs beforehand.

    The two Columbine shooters were not some poor, misunderstood misfits, as miguided sympathizers have tried to portray them. One was a clinical psychopath, who delighted in hate, destruction and manipulation (he often bragged in his journals about how he was at hiding his rage from his parents). The other was content to be his lap dog. They were outcasts by choice. They picked the fights they got into. They didn't strike back at the people who bullied them; they fired indiscriminately, and planned to kill hundreds more, including the rescue workers (luckily, they were completely inept with explosives).

    Think of all the millions upon millions of people in this country, and then count the number of people who have actually done--not thought about, not written about, but done that kind of violence. Everyone has a dark side; very few people ever act on the urges of that dark side.

    In other words, those two were simply bad seeds. Born wrong--and to treat every other student in the country as if they could do the same at any moment is as insulting as it is ignorant and cowardly.

    A student who harbors violent thoughts, or who writes a violent work of fiction, has harmed no one. If we're going to punish people for things they haven't done yet, just on the grounds that they might do them someday, we might as well start locking up everyone who knows how to pull a trigger.

    Now, there are exceptions, of course; it's fine to arrest a would-be killer if you catch him as he's bringing down the knife. And there are laws, rightly so, against directly threatening specific individuals. But to extend that as far as we already have is to let blind panic run our society, and when that happens, everybody loses.
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