Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Writing as punishment?

So a twenty-year-old juror crafted this post on her Facebook account before the trial she was sitting on was over: "actually excited for jury duty tomorrow. It's gonna be fun to tell the defendant they're guilty."

I opted not to include the cutesy semi-colon smile she used to end her post because I'm already disgusted by the entire event, her inability to correctly use pronouns and antecedents and the judge's punishment.

I love the detective work that led to exposing her Facebook comment. This smug youngster must have thought nobody would find out about it. She must have thought this Internet thing was a private forum. She must have thought "innocent until proven guilty" is just a senseless idiomatic expression.

For her punishment the judge fined her $250 and made her write an essay about the 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The English teacher crafting this blog post says throw her in jail for 48 hours and don't use writing as a punishment. Why must writing be the punishment? Why not geometry? I hated those proofs. Make her explain those.

Make her figure out math word problems. "If the blue canoe traveled down the river at 2 m.p.h. and the yellow canoe was manufactured in Guam, what gives you the right to trample the judge's orders for this court case?"

Make her dissect a fetal pig. Make her reenact every scene from Stephen Crane's short story, "The Open Boat". Make her memorize The Declaration of Independence. Make her watch student videos on books they never read. Please, however, don't use writing as punishment.

Oh, I get the idea. Perhaps she will better understand and appreciate the 6th Amendment and respect the privileges and responsibilities of our judicial system. I also understand that writing as punishment is never good.

Toss her in jail for a couple days and let her mull over the idea that actions have consequences but do not use writing as punishment. It's hard enough for me to convince the teenage faces in my room that writing is something more valuable than punishment.

This doesn't help.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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