For generations, the art of doodling has suffered a bad reputation: It’s a sign of boredom. It’s unproductive. It’s rude, and so on. However, for two schoolchildren, it’s become a crime.
For Alexa Gonzalez, a 12-year-old in Queens, New York, her
“Alexa was here 2/1/10”
“I love my friends Abby and Faith”
…scribbles brought handcuffs and a trip to the police station where she was actually charged and booked. Her mother states that the child was finally released several hours later.
David Canton, the Education Department spokesman, stated:
“(It) shouldn’t have happened. (C)ommon sense should prevail.”
Arresting a child for doodling makes more sense?
Alexa was sentenced to community service, a book report and and essay about what she learned during the experience. (Titled What I learned in my time in the slammer” perhaps?)
The New York Civil Liberties Union filed suit against the school last month, accusing the school safety officers with wrongful arrest and assaults.
But wait: The crime docket … doodled in print … doesn’t stop there. A 13-year-old was suspended for five days for doodling what teachers and administration interpreted as a gun in the Chandler Unified School District in Arizona. Officials stated the doodle art posed a threat to his classmates.
The boy’s mother told reporters,
“My son is a very good boy [who] doesn’t get into trouble. There was nothing on the paper that would signify that it was a threat of any form. He was just basically doodling and not thinking a lot about it.”
The school district declined further comment, calling on privacy issues.
The media outlet that first reported the instance noted the child’s parents asserting,
“There’s nothing in a portion of the student handbook that addresses conduct to indicate the drawing of a weapon poses threat. There is, however, a rule that says students should not engage in ‘threatening an educational institution by interference with or disruption of the school.'”
The story further stated that there was nothing about the drawing that denoted blood or violence, bullets or that targets humans.
The boy’s five-day suspension was eventually reduced to three after the principal and the father discussed the situation.
Is doodling good, bad or just ugly?