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Teacher detained for writing 2 SF novels

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by ThinkerX, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    Cambridge Mace's Lane Middle School Teacher on Administrative Le - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

    Not mentioned is that his tales are set 900 years in the future in a dystopian world.

    This is disturbing.

    I am not linking to it, but there is a thread on this topic at 'Wattpad'. A couple of the posters in that thread support to some extent the authorities actions.

    So...how many teachers/novelists do we have on this site?
     
  2. Noma Galway

    Noma Galway Archmage

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    Wow. Just wow. All I can say here. I'm going to read these books now. For sure. Haven't heard of him before this, but I have to read these books now.
     
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Sounds like the school is asking for a lawsuit.
     
  4. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    Hrm...disturbing. I mean, Who let Stephen King walk free all those years? Have you seen the sick shit that man dreamed up? He's probably got a back yard full of bodies, if you go by his work.

    This is utterly ridiculous. Now, if the teacher is putting his own books on the mandatory reading list? yes, by all means, have a heart-to-heart with him. If he's just a teacher who writes to dispel the stresses of his day job and has a vivid imagination (however gritty his writing), give me a break!

    We've discussed the problems that exist with readers taking written words too seriously, in the manner of: If you write about drug gangs or a criminal rapist, are you condoning the actions taken by characters/ do you have a moral duty to not write certain material/ if someone copycat's events of your work are you liable, but this is as Steerpike said, a lawsuit in the making.

    I think having a pen name is a smart way to keep personal matters/ your day job from mingling with the fiction you write, not a red flag of suspicious behavior. I mean, what would they have thought if he wrote erotica under a female pen name? Is that enough to get you pink-slipped? I know several housewives or accountants who write naughty fairy tales or inter-racial (and by that I mean werewolves, elves, fairies, etc.) romance. Are they creative spirits who love writing fiction or depraved humans we should shun?

    Stupidity, plain and simple. If you read my work, I'm as deranged as they come. This is enough to almost make me rethink some of the works I have planned and the decision not to ever use a pen name.
     
    deilaitha and Chilari like this.
  5. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    Thought Police. :(
     
  6. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    I'm a teacher/writer, but thankfully I live in a country where fear/paranoia isn't connected to art (at least from what I understand.) It's one thing if it's someone writing journal entries or blogs about such a thing, but SF books?

    The only way I could see something like this being legal is that if he signed some kind of contract that forbid making money outside of the school (which I'm pretty sure is unheard of.)

    It seems like one of these "where do we draw the line" kind of deals. I agree with Penpilot. Very Orwellian.

    Edit: Not all the info has been released about this yet, so may need to dig more into this before judging one way or another.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
  7. SM-Dreamer

    SM-Dreamer Troubadour

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    I find this to be highly disturbing and think that it is wrong on... on so many levels. I hope that he gets justice...
     
  8. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    The only remotely valid reason for something like this I have seen in other discussions (visit the SF 'club' of 'Wattpad' if interested) is that there may have been a 'moral clause' buried somewhere in his contract, meant to hold teachers to a higher standard overall. But that is just speculation, and the teacher types posting in that thread claim to not know of such a thing, though contracts vary a lot. But its still difficult to make the connection between 'immoral behavior' and writing a couple of not so great SF novels. (Most of the people who claim to have read the books cite issues with adverbs and adjectives, among other writing problems.)
     
  9. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    I don't want to speculate further on this until all the facts come out, but this may be a deeper issue than it appears on the surface. You make a good point about the "moral clause." I've signed contracts that say something to the effect that I am representative of my company while I'm working for them and they can fire me if I represent them in an unflattering light. However, not sure if this is the case here.

    I'll just keep my mouth shut until the dust settles. :)
     
  10. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Auror

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    The fact that they swept the school for weapons and took him away leads me to believe it wasn't a moral clause issue. Usually that sort of thing just ends in being fired; I seem to recall a teacher a couple of years back who was fired when it was discovered she used to be an adult actress, for 'moral' concerns.

    Perhaps there is more to the story, more to this man's history that may have had him being monitored to begin with and this was the tipping point. But otherwise? Definitely easing a bit into Orwellian.
     
    Steerpike likes this.
  11. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    There may have been one other non-legit reason for this mess which I didn't realize until seeing the authors picture:

    he's black.

    If that somehow figured into the authorities motivations...
     
  12. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    I certainly hope he isn't facing charges for bad grammar and adverb misuse...
     
  13. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    I believe if his books were about a school shooting they should be investigated, even if 900 yrs in the future.
    He could be telling of his "grand plot".
    But I believe he was probably just writing what he knows.
    There should be an indepth review to link actual people and layout of buildings to see if the attack could be completed with modern weapons.

    No different then expelling a current student for pointing a finger gun or pointing a piece of bread eaten in the shape of a firearm. Even the stupidest things are considered a threat.

    zero tolerance equals "no reasoning". Will not be suprised if a shadow on the ground forms the appearance of a gun, the person be taken in for questioning.

    Published 2yrs ago, before he was employed at the school.

    Has anyone sampled the story?
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
  14. Big Brother is watching.
     
  15. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    @Opiucha:

    Yes. Latest is that the school knew about the stories for at least a couple of years and presumably didn't have a problem with them. More recently, a four-page letter the teacher sent to school officials is what set off the chain of events and wound up with him being under psychiatric observation.

    Of course, as a society we tend to rush to judgment based on the first tweet or blog post :)
     
  16. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Cambridge, Massachusetts? Yeah… bad timing for them (or good for the teacher)!



    Two things make the timing especially bad:

    (1) There's a new MTA union president. The old one was in bed with the Department of Secondary and Elementary Education. Just one example: when a new self-evalutation procedure gave teachers several hoops to jump through that didn't exist in the past, he actually had MTA reps try to spin the system to teachers at pilot schools (I worked at one) with the claim that being forced to compile evidence to justify your existence "empowers teachers." I heard talk (just hours ago) that she intends to reverse this and other idiotic procedures.

    (2) Has anyone outside of Massachusetts and New Hampshire (other than Californian business school professors) heard about Market Basket? Short version: non-unionized employees went on strike when Arthur S. Demoulas fired his cousin Authur T. Demoulas. The six-week strike cost the family-owned grocery store chain an insane amount of money (as much as $100M per day, I heard) and the employees had one demand: let Arthur T. buy out his cousin's side of the family. Their risk finally paid off last Thursday. Basically, these non-union employees proved stronger than any union, making every union on the planet look like wimps and fraudulent thieves.



    MTA lawyers certainly have a case, and the new president's credibility would be at stake (I'd like to believe) if the MTA refused to take the case.



    Oh… Maryland. But still, I agree a lawsuit is in order.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
  17. Noma Galway

    Noma Galway Archmage

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    What was this letter?
     
  18. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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  19. Noma Galway

    Noma Galway Archmage

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    Yeah, I just found that. Now I wonder what the letter said...
     
  20. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    If the letter started the problem, that is different. Did the letter communicate a threat or did it just make someone higher up angry and they used the books to punish him?
     
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