Public schools

High School Shames Student for Writing Politically Incorrect Essay It Knew Was Satire

Jonathan Swift "A Modest Proposal" assignment goes awry because everything is offensive.

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Satire
Screenshot via CBS Baltimore

A Maryland high school student who obeyed the parameters of the assignment he was given is now facing widespread outrage because it wasn't politically correct—even though the point of the assignment was to write something inflammatory. 

Here's a modest proposal: in order to protect students' rights and encourage their imaginations, let's murder all teachers and administrators. Of course, no one actually advocates such a policy (not even me—keep it civil, commenters). It's an idea inspired by satirist Jonathan Swift's famous 18th century essay, "A Modest Proposal," in which he jokingly suggested that poor Irish folk should sell their children to be eaten. 

Recently, North County High School assigned students to write essays that pay homage to Swift. That seems like an inventive way to stimulate kids' creative energies while teaching them about the important literary concept of satire. 

Of course, one student who actually followed through on the assignment is now an object of public scorn because his Swiftian essay suggested that black people should be deported to the Sahara Desert in order to solve U.S. racism. 

This seems perfectly in keeping with the spirit of Swift, who, lest we forget, proposed the murder of children in his famous piece of satire. But other students complained, and the school district had this to say

"The student chose a subject matter that was clearly insensitive and struck a nerve with students here and staff members here. And so, they have been meetings today where the staff has tried to allow students to express their opinions and say why they're hurt, why they're angered," said Bob Mosier, Anne Arundel County Schools. 

Meanwhile, the school itself dodged criticisms along the lines of this is exactly what Swift did by noting that the famous essayist could also be credibly accused of "insensitivity": 

In a letter sent home to parents, North County Principal Julie Cares said: "Just as one could argue that the content of [the original] piece was ill-advised and insensitive, such is the case with the content of the student's piece." 

The student wasn't publicly identified, and it doesn't appear that he will be punished. But school authority figures should have done more than decline to punish him: they should have been on his side. The course of action they took instead—coddling the offended and making apologies to parents—suggests the school wasn't really prepared to educate anyone about satire in the first place. 

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  1. There’s no peak in sight on this Derp mountain, is there?

    1. Derp is a renewable resource.

      1. In fact, it seems the more it’s used, the more there is of it!

        1. If you took Fundamentals of Derpodynamics, you’d know there is no Law of Conservation of Derp.

          1. Derp operates on a positive feedback loop.

      2. Satire redeems its own.
        Derp feeds upon itself.

    2. It is good that all men must die, else evil derp would live forever.

    3. It makes no difference what men think of Derp, said the judge. Derp endures. As well ask men what they think of stone. Derp was always here. Before Man was, Derp waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner. That is the way it was and will be. That way and not some other way.

      1. Did Jesus not die for our derp?

      2. Entropy itself fears Derp, however no known force in universe can slay Stupid.

        Stupid vs. Derp…who wins?

        1. If you stare deeply enough into the Derp, it stares back at you.

      3. “Against stupidity, the Gods themselves struggle in vain.”
        …character in Friedrich Schiller’s, Die Jungfrau von Orleans

        1. I thought that was a quote from Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS.

    4. Derp Mountain is a Fibonacci sequence.

    5. Just false summits.

    6. Derp Fusion. It is self-sustaining.

    7. my buddy’s aunt makes $71 every hour on the laptop . She has been out of a job for 8 months but last month her check was $17207 just working on the laptop for a few hours. view it now??????? http://www.elite36.com

  2. Out of an abundance of caution, shouldn’t we close all the schools until we can assess the situation fully?

    Someone is bound to be offended by something if we allow them to reopen.

    1. I endorse this message and would wear your campaign button.

      1. “I endorse this message and would wear your campaign button feed store cap.”

    2. I would have no problem with closes all public schools. Obviously they can’t teach worth shit.

      1. ” And so, they have been meetings today…”

        1. and reportedly, questions were axed.

          1. Oh, heeeeeaaaallll to the no.

  3. Of course, one student who actually followed through on the assignment is now an object of public scorn because his Swiftian essay suggested that black people should be deported to the Sahara Desert in order to solve U.S. racism.

    The author in the 1700s suggested the unimaginable solution of eating babies as a fix for a famine. The student suggested the equally unimaginable response to racism in America, sending African-Americans to the Sahara Desert to be killed.

    Curious omission.

      1. Except this was a high school…

        1. …and? High schools are also referred to as campuses.

          1. Wikipedia has a sad: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campus

            A campus is traditionally the land on which a college or university and related institutional buildings are situated. A modern campus is a collection of buildings that belong to a given institution, either academic or non-academic. Usually a campus includes libraries, lecture halls, residence halls, student centers or dining halls, and park-like settings.

            I generally don’t see High Schools referred to as “campuses” for that matter.

            1. *shrugs* We called the area around the HS I went to as “on campus”. And from a quick search, the usage doesn’t seem to violate CBS News’s style guide either.

            2. You really, really want to get into a pissing match over the fact that Wikipedia doesn’t include high schools in the definition of “campus”, and that you don’t “generally” hear them referred to that way?

              Since you didn’t say, “never”, I’m going to assume that you do, in fact, sometimes hear them referred to as such. I know that was a common usage term when I was in high school. In fact, I did a google search for “high school campus”, and the first result is the website for my old high school, Plano East Senior High. Can you guess at the title of the website? That’s right, it’s Campus Profile.

              If you don’t like the fact that that some people use that word to refer to high school and want to wage some kind of jihad against what you consider improper usage, then fine. But don’t act like someone who uses the word that way is objectively wrong.

              1. I see dictionary definitions of “campus” say the North American definition of “campus” includes “any school”. So yeah it looks my pedantry failed. I generally don’t hear of high schools referred to as campus but it looks like they can and are.

                1. Happens to the best of us.

                  Well, not to HM, but that’s why he’s not counted as among the best of us.

                  1. but that’s why he’s not counted as among the best of us

                    So, you’re saying I’m not ‘you people’?

                    1. No, you are the Other; your mixed racial status makes you a liminal being which threatens the social fabric and the foundations of our society.

                      You can lend money, but you better be sure you’re getting a pogrom up the ass sooner or later.

                    2. Pause, Gojira ….

                      Are you trying to imply that HM is a sort of human embodiment of an Event Horizon for Complete Consciousness?

            3. A modern campus is a collection of buildings that belong to a given institution
              A modern campus is a collection of buildings that belong to a given institution
              A modern campus is a collection of buildings that belong to a given institution
              A modern campus is a collection of buildings that belong to a given institution
              A modern campus is a collection of buildings that belong to a given institution
              A modern campus is a collection of buildings that belong to a given institution
              A modern campus is a collection of buildings that belong to a given institution
              A modern campus is a collection of buildings that belong to a given institution

              1. Jesus, these Simpsons openings are getting less funny every decade.

                1. Jesus, these Simpsons openings are getting less funny every decade.


                  [CLAPPING INTENSIFIES GROWING INTO A THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE]

                2. Since day one.

              2. Unless that institution is hostile to the state, in which case it is a “compound”.

              3. The masturbation euphemisms just keep getting worse!

            4. Shit man, here’s the Wikipedia entry for my high school. It repeatedly uses the word, “campus”, including in the general info box on the right. Do a ctrl+f and go nuts.

              1. Do a ctrl+f and go nuts.

                Euphemisms etc etc.

              2. Shit man, here’s the Wikipedia entry for my high school. It repeatedly uses the word, “campus”, including in the general info box on the right. Do a ctrl+f and go nuts.

                To be fair, most schools around here (Plano East included) are bigger than some college campuses.

                Are you still in the area? Did you get some of the gorilla hail?

          1. And the stock market.

    1. HM, weren’t you arguing this stuff is inconsequential in another thread?

      1. What do you mean by ‘this stuff’?

        Because I don’t recall arguing that overzealous school administrators were inconsequential in any thread.

        1. Overzealous? I don’t think being terrified of negative press for appearing intolerant is overzealous, my good man. I believe it is fear that motivates these people, not some love of equality.

          But yes, get some perspective, they aren’t a “big deal” and should be seen as constituting a “News of the Weird” beat as opposed to challenging Trump as Reason’s newest obsession.

          Nevertheless, outside of the socio-political wonk-o-sphere/A.M Talk Radio crowd, no one gives a shit. They certainly aren’t seen as “normal” and their behavior isn’t/won’t be tolerated outside of campus.

          I took “inconsequential” from your language there, my good man.

          1. Non-HM is right. These anecdotes are meant to stir up tribal hatred. They don’t constitute a trend.

          2. I’m not even sure of your argument here. You took something I wrote about a moral panic over a “new” generation of hyper-sensitive college kids and claim it has something to do with school administrators punishing a kid. Are you saying the school administrators are still in college?

            Regardless, I agree with you that “it is fear that motivates these people”, with these people being administrators. However, I still don’t follow you by what you mean with “this stuff”.

            1. Let me define “this stuff” for you. Admittedly broad, I meant to convey the idea of “punishment of expression” under the guise of social justice. Things that are no different than crying about “Trump 2016” on a community wall, or Yale girl yelling at Yale Dean about “making college a home.” I understand if that was unclear. Personally I think I was unclear.

              You wrote your opinion of Reason’s comments section (over) reacting to the news; I took from your tone and repeated comments that you don’t believe there is an issue, i.e. we shouldn’t care that “this stuff” is happening. If that is not what you meant, please clarify. Further, “Curious omission” was taken by me to mean “They are leaving this out on purpose;” by that sentiment, I adopted a view of your position as one that was critical of this punishment. From there, I found hypocrisy in that your position on “this stuff” happening on college high schools around the country is a non-issue but administrators acting in accordance with “this stuff” is an issue.

              In my view, they are one and the same.

              1. Yes, if “this stuff” means “punishment of expression” that is not what I meant. As I wrote to Gilmore, I was poking fun of the narrative Robby et al. seems to push of the majority of college students being overly-sensitive pussies due to [insert factor here], as if every generation hasn’t said that of the one that follows it.

                College or high school administrators using their position of power to indoctrinate is an issue that should be taken seriously.

                1. The college kids doing “this stuff” are already indoctrinated. Marxism persists. We are disagreeing on rate and density.

                  All we can do now is watch, and mock.

    2. Not to mention that the country of Liberia pretty much was created by dumping former slaves in the US there.

      Maybe we should mention that to the school authorities.

      http://northcountyhs.org/contact/

  4. NOT A REAL THING.

  5. Of course, no one actually advocates such a policy (not even me?keep it civil, commenters).

    You knew what you were doing when you wrote this article. You knew what the blowhard peanut gallery would do. This is on you, Soave.

    1. Soave knew exactly what he was doing there.

      I’m not really in favor of killing school administrators. Just torture and public shaming.

      1. I see exactly what you’re doing there, Juvie. But Rubio references are pass

    2. I am disappointed in Robbie, he couldn’t even find a way to work in woodchippers somehow

      1. The Woodchipper Party isn’t satire!

        Vote Woodchipper 2016!

  6. Gentlemen, you can’t be hyperbolic in here. This is the Satire Room!

    1. Nice.

    2. Strange comment, but somehow I love it.

  7. The alt-text is meta. I approve…from inside of a box, which, if opened, might possibly reveal me as being dead.

      1. Only if he killed the kitten which Erwin placed inside the box with him.

  8. He damn well better get an A on that.

    1. He did. No press has mentioned that yet. I’m friends with his mother.

      1. Assuming true – at least two people in this drama were sane, the author and the teacher.

  9. Shocker this went over like a lead blimp in a Maryland school. /sarc

    1. Blimp talk at Maryland schools is also a no-no.

  10. I forgot how much I hate Jonathan Swift’s writings. Wheres the trigger warning for this article!!! 😉

  11. Betcha half the assignments were a tribute to Taylor Swift.

    I LOVE YOU TAYLOR!

    1. “Imma Let You Finish”
      The Trials and Tribulations of Taylor Swift
      Johnny Q. Student
      10th Grade English 4th Period

    2. Would

  12. The kid learned an important life lesson: You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

    1. Might as well just drop out and start doing drugs.

    2. If you changed the context a bit, this would be described as a entrapment.

  13. Just as one could argue that the content of [the original] piece was ill-advised and insensitive…

    “”For if you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves and then punish them.”

    1. You seriously expect a modern day HS English teacher to have actually read Swift?

  14. “My lack of alt-text is satire”

    Meta alt text? Mind blown.

  15. Damn it he should have learned that the only proper satire is to advocate that Republicans and Libertarians be sent to the gas chambers, that college should be free and teachers should get $1 million a year..

  16. “The student chose a subject matter that was clearly insensitive and struck a nerve with students here and staff members here”

    Yeah, Jonathan Swift never wrote anything that was considered insensitive by the people in his day. Clearly the best assignment you can give out if you want to avoid offending people is telling the students to mimic the writing of a purposefully offensive satirist.

  17. Racists think you should just export all black people to the Sahara (or deport all illegals ‘to the country they came from’). There is nothing satirical about such a proposal. I don’t see the point in defending this guy. This ‘modest proposal’ is offensive. Should he be expelled? No, but they should take some time to explain real satire.

    1. Would your Reason persona be an example of “real satire?”

      1. NO true satire would ever run afoul of Poe’s law!

    2. “Racists think you should just export all black people to the Sahara (or deport all illegals ‘to the country they came from’). There is nothing satirical about such a proposal”

      If you write an article saying “in order to fix US racism

      1. Oops.

        If you write an article saying “in order to fix US racism, we should deport all the blacks” in order to mock racists, then yes, that is satire.

        If some random person were actually in favor of eating Irish babies, that wouldn’t mean A Modest Proposal wasn’t still satirical.

        1. If some random person were actually in favor of eating Irish babies, that wouldn’t mean A Modest Proposal wasn’t still satirical.

          Moreover, unless the baby eaters cited A Modest Proposal as their inspiration it’s an exercise in offensive free speech just as if he’d taken a picture with his hand up his own ass.

          Until he lays hand on the gun to force blacks on the boat to ship them to the Sahara, it’s all personal taste covered under the 1A. Where “Ship ’em back to Africa” gets put right next to (or even slightly above) “Kill Whitey“.

      2. Fine then export all the racists to the Sahara. Now you have something to work with.

        1. “Export all the black people to fix US racism” is pretty much an identically satirical statement to “Eat Irish babies to solve hunger.” In both cases, you are facetiously arguing in favor of a ridiculous solution in order to mock the callousness of your targets.

          1. “identically satirical statement” – not at all. Because racists want to export blacks (and immigrants and muslims). Whereas even if someone wants to eat babies, that is universally considered ridiculous and therefore a legitimate target of satire. Amazing how tenaciously you will defend racists.

            1. Swift was mocking the callousness of anti-Irish Brits. This kid was mocking the callousness of racists. They’re ridiculously similar, even though you’re too dumb to recognize the similarities.

              ” Amazing how tenaciously you will defend racists.”

              Amazing how everything you say is moronic.

              1. “This kid was mocking the callousness of racists.” No, he wasn’t. He was making light of racism. That’s common in the age of Trump. Obviously you are going to reply to everything I say with ‘dumb’ and ‘moronic’ and all manner of insults. Which perhaps is your own form of satire, who knows.

                1. Hey, idiot, have you read the essay? Oh, what’s that, you haven’t? So you’re making assumptions that he’s a racist, even though all the evidence we have shows that he was mimicking Jonathan Swift’s purposefully offensive style? Man, what’s it like to be a psychic.

                  The original Swift essay was meant to criticize the *devaluation of Irish lives by the British.* As such, you could easily write a similar essay today criticizing *the devaluation of black lives in America.* Based on the available information, it appears that this is what the kid was going for. I could be wrong, since neither of us have read the essay, but if what he wrote was so racist, I’d expect someone to explain what exactly was racist about it, given that it could easily be handled in the same way Swift handled British callousness towards the Irish.

                  “Which perhaps is your own form of satire, who knows.”

                  I know you’re a dipshit, but please stop fucking up threads with your incoherent jabbering.

              2. AdditionMyth has a point, If there are people who actually think the things someone jokingly espouses, then it’s not comedy, it is hate speech. You know, it’s why we gave Mel Brooks the Polanski treatment after he made Blazing Saddles.

                1. “AdditionMyth has a point, If there are people who actually think the things someone jokingly espouses, then it’s not comedy, it is hate speech.”

                  None of us have read the essay, but unless he *meant these ideas seriously* he is not a racist and it is not hate speech. Given that the assignment was to write a satiric essay, I’m going to guess he didn’t mean these ideas to be taken seriously.

                  At the absolute worst he’s guilty of writing shitty satire that hit too close to home.

                  1. “Those who fail to learn from sarcasm are doomed to believe it”
                    ~Harpo Marx

                    1. Mea culpa. I didn’t read the end of your post and missed the sarc.

                    2. Marx Bros Fail. Harpo didn’t talk.

                    3. I find that hard to believe.

                    4. “Marx Bros Fail. Harpo didn’t talk.”

                      Who’s to say he didn’t type and post though ?

                      Or perhaps even just write ?

                  2. “…he’s guilty of writing shitty satire that hit too close to home.”

                    Hammer, meet nail.

                2. All satire is hate speech! At the fringes it is impossible to distinguish satire from extremism. Those holding the extremist positions may take any satire as a manifesto or call to action. Extremist manifestos and calls to action are hate speech.

          2. Hell, we could get rid of 50% of the racism in this country by deporting your lily white bigoted ass.

            1. 50%? What do I look like, some piddling Klansman?

              I am responsible for at least 75% of all racism in this country, thank you very much

    3. Satire should be taught to people by never broaching the subject in a classroom setting and then publicly ridiculing those who engage in it.

      1. publicly ridiculing those who engage in it.

        Being extremely careful never to satirize them.

    4. Satire: the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

      Agreeable definition?

      Press the button.

    5. Oh, so you’re the asshole who knows everything about everything. I thought you were more specialized than that.

      Real bigots thought some terrible stuff about the Irish when Swift wrote. That didn’t make his Modest Proposal not satire.

      1. Maybe he’s got us on the burner. Maybe he’s satirizing us right now, and we don’t even know it!

        crinkles of tinfoil echoing across the taiga

      2. So AddictionMyth is attacking Irish in a thread about “A Modest Proposal”.

        1. Things that make you go “hmmm”…

    6. It is supposed to be offensive. That’s the point you dolt. Are you saying Swift’s ‘A Modest Proposal’ was not offensive?

      What the kid wrote perfectly mirrored Swift’s work.

    7. Racists think you should just export all black people to the Sahara (or deport all illegals ‘to the country they came from’).

      Progressitarianism 101.

    8. For your elucidation, let’s start with Merriam-Webster:

      SATIRE: : a way of using humor to show that someone or something is foolish, weak, bad, etc. : humor that shows the weaknesses or bad qualities of a person, government, society, etc.

  18. I think we should murder all teachers and administrators.

    “Here’s a modest proposal: in order to protect students’ rights and encourage their imaginations, let’s murder all teachers and administrators. Of course, no one actually advocates such a policy (not even me?keep it civil, commenters).”

    Fuck. If you want me to read this, you have to put it at the very beginning because who has the time to read two paragraphs, Robby?

  19. his Swiftian essay suggested that black people should be deported to the Sahara Desert in order to solve U.S. racism.

    The kid plagiarized W E B DuBois.

    1. Another author with whom a modern day HS English teacher would not be acquainted.

  20. I’m getting ready to post a Craigslist ad under “wanted.” I need new irony and satire gauges — mine are broken.

    1. When education declines, humor declines.

  21. Some no-name school bureaucrat is saying Jonathan Swift might have been “ill-advised” in writing the world’s most famous piece of satire? Yeesh.

    1. I know, I can’t stop laughing.

      “It was so ill-advised we’re still holding it up as a masterful piece of English literature 300 years later. What was Jonathan Swift *thinking?*”

      1. That is not the PoMo deconstruction of Swift Irish – sheesh.

    2. Of course, if he came from the Right Kind of School, you know, one that the Tony’s Right Kind of People attend, then it would be newsworthy.

      1. Poor people can be snobs, you know.

  22. “Just as one could argue that the content of [the original] piece was ill-advised and insensitive, such is the case with the content of the student’s piece.”

    So they seem to be exposing the *real* culprit, Jonathan Swift.

    At least the administrators are going to apportion blame appropriately.

    1. But Swift was a lame-ass troll compared to Daniel Defoe.

      “Shall any Law be given to such wild creatures! Some beasts are for sport, and the huntsmen give them the advantages of ground: but some are knocked on the head, by all possible ways of violence and surprise!

      “I do not prescribe Fire and Faggot! but as SCIPIO said of Carthage, Delenda est Carthago! They are to be rooted out of this nation, if ever we will live in peace! serve GOD! or enjoy our own! As for the manner, I leave it to those hands, who have a Right to execute GOD’S Justice on the Nation’s and the Church’s enemies….

      “If one severe Law were made, and punctually executed, that Whoever was found at a Conventicle should be banished the nation, and the Preacher be hanged; we should soon see an end of the tale! They would all come to church again, and one Age [generation] would make us all One again!”

      1. The pamphlet resulted with him becoming an agent of the people he was attacking and sounds quite close the real thing, how ironic…

        1. The stuff about hanging Dissenting preachers and banishing their congregations was over the top, but the build up was in the same tones and rhetorical style of the High Church party, so lots of people fell for it.

      2. Fucker couldn’t even get his Latin grammar right.

  23. “And so, they have been meetings today where the staff has tried to allow students to express their opinions and say why they’re hurt, why they’re angered,” said Bob Mosier, Anne Arundel County Schools.

    “There is no sugarcoating it: this so-called ‘student’ has wasted *everyone’s* time.”

  24. The kid shoulda known it wasn’t satire-satire they were looking for but pseudo-satire with lotsa feelingz and such.

    I mean come on.

    1. “That’s really good satire, Jimmy.”
      “Thanks Ms. K. And thanks for showing me how to do satire!”
      “You’re welcome Jimmy. Just remember; if someone isn’t laughing, it isn’t funny.”

  25. My message to the children’s prison colony:

    A: A country created when former southern slaves were deported from the United States and left to fend for themselves.

    Q: What is Liberia?

    Instead of shaming a student for correctly producing an assignment, perhaps you should actually teach history, among other things, and not the current progressive cult dogma.

    1. Liberia isn’t in the Sahara, dude.

      1. It’s *satire*, dude.

        *** bites lip ***

    2. I think you need to brush up on your own knowledge of the history of Liberia.

      Do you have any knowledge of this school’s history curriculum, or are you just making shit up?

  26. I would have written a story about solving the obesity crisis by sawing everyone in half. It’s still cool to hate on the fatties, right?

    1. As long as they’re men. And identify as men.

    2. Only if they are Southerners.

      Preferably male Southerners.

  27. Shouldn’t all the other students who aren’t terrifying the satire-challenged moron classes with their “extremist” views get a failing grade on the assignment?

    1. They should all be sold into slavery…

      Wait, that was a joke! A joke!

      1. Too soon, bro, too soon.

  28. So…what is the origin of the “this sounds like a masturbation euphemism” Reason meme?

    1. An episode of Seinfeld, I think.

    2. Pretty sure it was Johnson Swift.

    3. Each time the phrase “libertarian moment” is typed we collectively masturbate.

      1. Who collects all the masturbates?

          1. “Oh, you never would believe who those Keebler cookies come on!”

          2. So THAT’S where the filling in the cookies comes from!

        1. Welch bathes in the flow to maintain his youth and beauty.

    4. Is that what the kids calling it these days?

      (no, it wasn’t me)

    5. “These masturbation euphemisms are getting pretty abstract.” A comment made a few weeks ago that instantly became a meme. I can’t remember the commentator, but he later wrote that he should have copyrighted it.

  29. And so, they have been meetings today where the staff has tried to allow students to express their opinions and say why they’re hurt, why they’re angered

    If anyone was following the discussion in the last “schools be cray-cray”-thread…

    THIS is what i’m talking about.

    Not the shit the student wrote, not the single-teacher’s over-reaction… or even a single-administrator’s over-reaction

    ….but rather that *anyone else* is being expected to play along as though this shit is “traumatic and a big deal and something people should have a group hug about”.

    Its not the tiny minority of the “actually offended”… its the institutionalized response to insanity with formal processes and meetings and all the air of Official Seriousness Like Some Shit Really Just Went Down.

    1. Yep.

      What would happen to the student who said something like “I’m angered because you stupid ninnies put me through all this obvious bullshit and wasted the taxpayers’ money to boot”?

      1. “We’re having this struggle session for your benefit, don’t be insolent!”

    2. Teaching kids to be traumatized by free expression, not great. And I do think it’s taught. Black people have been through worse than someone else’s “ill-advised” homework assignment and were at one time taught to emerge from such ordeals with dignity.

      Real psychological trauma results in people becoming emotional zombies and taking on a booze habit. It’s not something that is addressed with hugs.

      1. Real psychological trauma results in people becoming emotional zombies and taking on a booze habit.

        I’ve got an excuse!

      2. “Real psychological trauma results in people becoming emotional zombies and taking on a booze habit.”

        See: The astronomical rates of substance abuse in socialist countries and countries with rigid class restrictions.

      3. “Real psychological trauma results in people becoming emotional zombies and taking on a booze habit. It’s not something that is addressed with hugs.”

        Damnit, Tony, stop saying things I agree with. Also, I’ve been there. Maybe still am.
        But hugs can help.

    3. Its not the tiny minority of the “actually offended”… its the institutionalized response to insanity with formal processes and meetings and all the air of Official Seriousness Like Some Shit Really Just Went Down.

      Well, I’m in the unenviable position of having to prove a negative, but I’m sure that there are many more schools where the hug-brigade doesn’t muster, but you never hear about that as they don’t make the news. The thing is that a competent school administrator, like a CIA wetworks handler, assures that stuff like this is handled quietly, and John Q. Public never hears about it. As such the phenomenon has much more salience than its actual statistical occurrence would suggest. We seem to get this fact when it comes to terrorism or school shootings, but not in this context.

      1. I’m sure that there are many more schools where the hug-brigade doesn’t muster,

        Of course there are.

        Again = the issue is that the mere-idea of “hug brigades” is becoming normalized; and in fact encouraged by activists, people in govt, etc.

        I sincerely doubt there’s going to be *less* of this kind of stuff in the future

  30. If it was a writing assignment, how did everyone know to be offended in the first place?

    1. “Now, grasp your chosen instrument firmly yet gently, and let the images come.”

      1. “…euphemism…abstract…”

    2. In another article someone said it was ‘posted’ somewhere.

      I think it was a bad idea to even touch this subject for a school assignment and it’s a worse idea to post it for the class. Bad ideas and shitty satire don’t make you a racist though.

      1. I think it was a bad idea to even touch this subject for a school assignment

        “Your assignment, students, is to write a five-page essay comparing today’s society with that depicted in the novel 1984. Hurry, the clock is striking thirteen.”

      2. I think it was a bad idea to even touch this subject for a school assignment

        I can certainly see that point of view, but on the other hand isn’t the point of school to teach kids how (not what) to think? This is a great exercise in that. Grade the grammar, not the subject. Let the kids go crazy. I like it from that point of view.

  31. I guess this kid never heard of Sam Kinison. Or maybe he did. Hard to tell.

  32. How is it that a post about idiot administrators gets more comments than a post about anal sex?

    1. There was no pot or Mexicans involved. You need all three.

      1. Don’t hem me in with your rules, man!

        1. Ain’t my rules. It’s just part of the spontaneous order of things.

  33. Dude that looks like its gonna work out OK. Wow.

    http://www.Web-Privacy.tk

  34. Perhaps we should deport the staff at that school to the Sahara instead.

    “keep it civil, commenters” – You crack me up Rico.

    1. Postrel gave up on us long ago.

    1. The link was too long?

      The Wikipedia link was too long Mr. Squirrel.

      1. If you put the link in html code, it doesn’t matter how long it is, so you don’t need tinyurl. Here’s how.

  35. If I were his teacher, I’d give that kid an “A” for completely understanding how Swift turned his rage against injustice into the art of satire. (Assuming that they still oppress students by giving grades in that school.)

    I say, if it doesn’t go for your throat, it’s not satire.

    I’m just wondering: What do you think were the acceptably polite updates of “Modest Proposal” that didn’t get shamed?

    1. “Bring Back Dodge Ball”

      “It’s OK to be Offended”

      “My Father and Mother”

    2. Shaming homosexuals by sodomizing them?

  36. In a letter sent home to parents, North County Principal Julie Cares said: “Just as one could argue that the content of [the original] piece was ill-advised and insensitive, such is the case with the content of the student’s piece.”

    Therefore, one could argue, that the student deserves an A+ for the assignment, as he captured Swift’s spirit better than the rest of the students.

    Next rationalization?

  37. What the kid learned is to be wary of SJW bureaucrats setting traps for him.

    -jcr

  38. “If you didn’t want to go to Chicago, why did you get on the train?”

  39. “In a letter sent home to parents, North County Principal Julie Cares said: “Just as one could argue that the content of [the original] piece was ill-advised and insensitive, such is the case with the content of the student’s piece.”

    Did this slow-wit just take a swipe at Swift?

    And you want us to ‘keep it civil’ Robby?

    This person, if this be her intellectual position, has no business being anywhere near education.

  40. If the intellectual capacity and education of the officials administering this school system are reflected by their poor grammar and word choice, then I am sorry to say that this is already a lost cause. Not to be a stickler, but what the hell? Read the school administrators’ statements again!

    As for the content of the kid’s assignment? “Why so serious!?”

  41. I was once given a prompt in high school that went something like this: “you’re a principal at a local high school. The parents of one of your students has written you an angry letter after reading ‘A Modest Proposal’ because they did not understand that it is a satire and believe their child was assigned an essay legitimately endorsing cannibalism. Write a response to the parent explaining the situation.”

    Being the smart ass that I am (and because the assignment wasn’t actually graded), the short version of my response was this: “I am very sorry that your child was assigned this horrible work that advocates the unspeakable act of boiling children; everyone knows that a boiled child becomes tough and loses most of its flavor. The best way to eat a child is, of course, to saute it in some butter with a little garlic and onion for added flavor. In the future, I will ensure that our pupils receive the best instruction on the cooking of children and that this essay on sub-standard cooking methods will be promptly removed from the curriculum.”

    My teacher had me read the essay out loud because she “thought it was awesome that I mocked the parent in a way that the parent would be too stupid to understand she was being mocked.” I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t go to this school or I would have triggered so many people.

  42. Actually I think people look for ways to be offended. They have nothing in their miserable little lives so hurt at least tells them they are still alive. The only good thing I ever heard about the Socialist revolution of Czarist Russia is that Educators, Reporters and Politicians were the first to be killed. Isn’t it ironic that those 3 groups love socialism.

  43. Better Proposal:
    Let’s shoot all public teachers into space.
    The end.

  44. Then I come down to Houston, I went to a bowling alley. I couldn’t go bowling, there were no bowling balls. The people here throw ’em all in the sea — they thought they were nigger eggs.
    Kinky Friedman said that in a stand up routine and everyone lost their minds. Jesse Walker was one of the few who saw it as satire.

    1. Technically, he was insulting white “rednecks,” not black people.

      Edgy.

      1. He also had a band called Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys.

  45. I remember reading that stupid book in High school. I asked the teacher how do you know he didn’t really mean what he wrote. Many people us “Satire” as way of getting ideas out there. the teacher did not appreciate that. Of course when any teacher was an ass I gave it back and they knew I had them.

  46. As a poor Irish person I want to know how much much black people will pay me to eat my kids in the sahara.

  47. Well the liberals are nothing if not confusing as all get out. Recently, there was a live production of “Grease” on a major network station. In the movie version the characters were all white people. In the TV production, a black female had a major lead and other black actors and singers were involved. It made no difference that the setting was the 50’s when the likelihood of black people co-mingling, dating, kissing, etc. would not have been part and parcel of mainstream life. In short, we were asked to disregard that the actors were black people. In another breath, liberals then tell us we have to see black people as black people; i.e., they have their own “cultural sensitivities,” according to some Democratic mayors of big U.S. cities, and we don’t live in a color-blind society. It’s okay for #OscarsSoWhite to point out how many black people don’t get them. But disregard the fact that Hamilton in the Broadway “Hamilton” is a black guy.

    I suggest that when we allow liberals and Democrats to keep messing with us like this that we are damned if we do, and damned if we don’t.

  48. Overly sensitive people are the reason why we need edgelords.

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