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Maryland’s thought police strike

Teacher suspended and school locked down over sci-fi novel

keystone cops

Stephen King should thank his lucky stars he doesn’t live in Maryland.

A teacher in Cambridge, Maryland has been suspended from teaching, banned from school property, had his home searched, and been taken in for emergency medical evaluation because of a novel he wrote under a pseudonym in 2011, three years before he was hired.

 A Maryland middle school teacher has been placed on administrative leave after he allegedly authored two fiction books using a pseudonym, with one depicting a “futuristic school shooting.”

Members of the Dorchester Sheriff’s Office, the Cambridge Police Department and the Dorchester County Public School board have removed Mace’s Lane Middle School teacher Patrick McLaw for allegedly penning two books under the alias, “Dr. K.S. Voltaer.” One of the books, “The Insurrectionist,” depicts “the largest school massacre” in history,WBOC-TV reports. A second book from 2013, “Lilith’s Heir,” is also available on Amazon and is described as a sequel penned by “K Voltaer.”

As part of this epic overreaction the school where McLaw taught was swept for bombs and guns and police remain on duty there.

The Cambridge Police Department told WBOC that police presence at Mace’s Lane Middle School will continue “for as long as we deem it necessary,” adding that the police and sheriff’s department say there is nothing to worry about.

It would seem we, as a society, have reached a point where there it no action so stupid, so perverse, so small-minded in conception and pig-ignorant in execution that law enforcement officials at every level will not hesitate to carry it out and expect us to be grateful that they have again abused their authority.

The absurdity of this situation should be obvious even to even the dimmest of low-wattage bulbs. The novel depicts, according to Amazon.com:

On 18 March 2902, a massacre transpired on the campus of Ocean Park High School, claiming the lives of nine hundred forty-seven individuals–the largest school massacre in the nation’s history. And the entire country now begins to ask two daunting questions: How? and Why? After the federal government becomes involved, and after examining the bouquet of black roses that lies in front of the school’s sign, it becomes evident that the hysteria is far from over. 

Eight hundred twenty-five kilometres north of Ocean Park High School, situated in the suburbs of Phantom Park, Pacifica, is Krossephire Technical Academy. Having a student population that exceeds nineteen thousand, it is the nation’s largest school. Krossephire is known as a very structured, academically superior institution with very minor problems. At least, that was before the threats began. 

After Krossephire Tech begins receiving sinister threats foreshadowing the occurrence of a massacre substantially larger than that of Ocean Park, Agent Jessica Leigh Hearn and her federal investigative unit become involved and the severity of the situation only intensifies as they pursue a dangerous and intelligent killer who is as invisible as the government agency they work for. 

Amid the hysteria that inescapably follows, Keith, Nick, and Mitchel–three twelfth-year students at Krossephire Tech–intervene after Mitchel overhears a confidential conversation. As the administrative effort to conceal the terrorising occurrences rapidly begins to fail, the three begin to conduct their own amateur investigation that ultimately puts them into serious conflict with the federal government, the Krossephire administration, as well as themselves. Simultaneously, Jessica and her team discover that the events of Ocean Park and Krossephire Tech are interrelated. And as they follow the trail of black roses, they learn an interesting yet appalling story–a parallel of the shooter’s identity. And as Nick, Keith, and Mitchel struggle to survive their slowly deteriorating school, this teenage executioner makes known that he is not like typical school assassins. He is not a copycat killer. He is not a psychologically unstable maniac. He is intelligent and knows how to kill silently and without detection. His victims are not selected at random. He is after someone–and he will stop at nothing until he is face-to-face with the one person to whom he owes much retribution. However, he will not distinguish between those he hunts and those who get in his way.

It is nearly impossible to understand how anyone, much less someone with a badge and gun, could make the pole-vault of logic necessary to go from this novel to a decision that necessitated a teacher’s suspension, his home being searched, and a school being effectively locked down “for as long as we deem it necessary.” Unfortunately, this is not unusual. The Rutherford Institute’s John Whitehead has documented a veritable cornucopia of a kind of oppressive nonsense that even Kafka would have rejected as to fanciful for fiction:

Whether it’s the working mother arrested for letting her 9-year-old play unsupervised at a playground, the teenager forced to have his genitals photographed by police, the underage burglar sentenced to 23 years for shooting a retired police dog, or the 43-year-old man who died of a heart attack after being put in a chokehold by NYPD officers allegedly over the sale of untaxed cigarettes, the theater of the absurd that passes for life in the American police state grows more tragic and incomprehensible by the day.

This is not law enforcement. This is not public safety. This is garden variety stupidity of the most egregious sort.

 

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