Is this the future of school writing assignments after Virginia Tech? The Chicago Tribune reports that after being told to express emotion for a creative-writing class, high school senior Allen Lee penned an essay so disturbing to his teacher, school administrators, and police that he was charged with disorderly conduct. Lee, 18, a straight-A student, was arrested and charged with the misdemeanor for an essay police described as violently disturbing but not directed toward any specific person or location.
Neither police nor the school would release a copy of the essay written Monday. Authorities said Lee had never been in trouble with the police. Cary, Il., Police Chief Ron Delelio said the charge against Lee was appropriate even though the essay was not published or posted for public viewing. Disorderly conduct, which carries a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine, is often filed for such pranks as pulling a fire alarm or dialing 911 unnecessarily. But it can also apply when someone’s writings disturb an individual, Delelio said. Students in Lee’s Creative English class were told to communicate ideas and emotions through writing. They were warned that if they wrote something that posed a threat to self or others, the school could take action.