Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

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Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

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Article excerpt

ENFORCING ZERO TOLERANCE

How sensitive have US public schools become to violence - or even the hint thereof - since last year's shootings? Consider the growing number of essays that have landed someone in hot water since the current academic year began. In September, a Franklin, Ohio, teacher was reprimanded for assigning her students to discuss which famous persons they'd choose to assassinate and how that might be accomplished. Late last month, a Ponder, Texas, seventh-grader spent five days in jail because a Halloween "horror story" he wrote for English class described shooting his teacher and two fellow students. Now, a Batesville, Ark., teenager has been ordered to undergo counseling for his essay and, police say, will be charged with "terroristic threatening." It described blowing up "the whole dang school" to "get rid of all problems." The assignment was partial punishment for carrying a razor from home.

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