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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » School teacher put on leave and investigated for writing fiction?

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Author Topic: School teacher put on leave and investigated for writing fiction?
scifibum
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http://m.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/09/in-cambridge-md-a-soviet-style-punishment-for-a-novelist/379431/

The local reporting on this is incredibly lazy. The link above is to an article that points this out, but the author wasn't able to get any additional facts.

Here's the gist from the local news aces:

quote:
CAMBRIDGE, Md.- He's a man with many names, and the books he has written have raised the concerns of the Dorchester County Board of Education and the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office.

Early last week the school board was alerted that one of its eighth grade language arts teachers at Mace's Lane Middle School had several aliases. Police said that under those names, he wrote two fictional books about the largest school shooting in the country's history set in the future. Now, Patrick McLaw is placed on leave.

Dr. K.S. Voltaer is better known by some in Dorchester County as Patrick McLaw, or even Patrick Beale. Not only was he a teacher at Mace's Lane Middle School in Cambridge, but according to Dorchester Sheriff James Phillips, McLaw is also the author of two books: "The Insurrectionist" and its sequel, "Lillith's Heir."

Those books are what caught the attention of police and school board officials in Dorchester County. "The Insurrectionist" is about two school shootings set in the future, the largest in the country's history.

Phillips said McLaw was taken in for an emergency medical evaluation. The sheriff would not disclose where McLaw is now, but he did say that he is not on the Eastern Shore. The same day that McLaw was taken in for an evaluation, police swept Mace's Lane Middle School for bombs and guns, coming up empty.

Dorchester County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henry Wagner said the Dorchester County Board of Education has taken its own action.

"We have advised our community that the gentleman has been placed on administrative leave, and has been prohibited from entering any Dorchester County public school property," Wagner said.

The 23-year-old language arts teacher had already taught at the school for a year.

There's no indication in that original article that anybody sees a problem here.

I'm hoping that now that the Atlantic has published a story about it, pointing out some of the concerns, some new facts come to light.

My gut feeling is that there's more to the story, but speculating on what that might be seems defamatory and wrong. The police and school seem to have no problem with that, though.

If there isn't more to the story, at least McLaw will live comfortably on the proceeds of his lawsuit.

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scifibum
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The first link in the OP has been updated. They got some information from a prosecutor.

quote:
"From our perspective, this was more about a health concern about Mr. McLaw than about a security issue," Maciarello said. Authorities grew concerned about McLaw after he sent a "four-page letter" to a school administrator over the summer. According to Maciarello, the letter contained no threats against schools or school personnel, but that it indicated that McLaw was not mentally sound. "Health care professionals were concerned, he was in a relationship that had just come to an end, he was talking about his mother as being overbearing, there was some thought that he could be a threat to himself." Based on the "totality of the circumstances," Maciarello said, McLaw was involuntarily committed for evaluation.
So it wasn't merely a paranoid reaction to the books he wrote, and in the opinion of the local authorities he was mentally ill and a danger to himself or others.

Still, the publicity about this, particularly with the public "banning" of McLaw from his workplace and other county properties, and the extra security at the school after the guy was already committed, seems wrong and defamatory to me.

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philnotfil
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"We're doing this for your own good."

Once he has been admitted for mental health issues, he is much less likely to win any future court case for wrongful imprisonment.

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