A man wrote a novel set 900 years in the future. In it, there is an attack in a public school.
The poor guy teaches in a public school.
Bam! The cops came, and carried him away for observation.
This got written up in The Atlantic.
A 23-year-old teacher at a Cambridge, Maryland, middle school has been placed on leave and—in the words of a local news report—”taken in for an emergency medical evaluation” for publishing, under a pseudonym, a novel about a school shooting. The novelist, Patrick McLaw, an eighth-grade language-arts teacher at the Mace’s Lane Middle School, was placed on leave by the Dorchester County Board of Education, and is being investigated by the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, according to news reports from Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
This is one more example of North’s law of bureaucracy: “A bureaucratic rule will at some point be officially enforced to the point of imbecility.”
The public schools of this Maryland school district have gained publicity for themselves far beyond what some low-level official ever expected. The author reports:
I’ve tried to reach the sheriff, so far unsuccessfully, to learn whether McLaw’s “inability to travel anywhere” means that he is under arrest. It is somewhat amazing that local news reports on this case don’t make clear whether McLaw is under arrest, and if so, on what charge. It is equally astonishing that the reporters on this story don’t seem to have used the words “First Amendment” in their questioning of law-enforcement officials, and also astonishing they don’t question the Soviet-sounding practice of ordering an apparently sane person who has been deemed unacceptable by state authorities to undergo a psychological evaluation.
It would be useful to know if McLaw is under investigation for behavior other than writing two novels—and perhaps he will be shown to be a miscreant of some sort—but so far, there is no indication that he is guilty of anything other than having an imagination, although on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, as news reports make clear, his imagination is considered an active threat.
(For more on this journey into the Twilight Zone, click the link.)