So Summerville High went on lockdown Tuesday after a student wrote that he was going to get a gun and take care of his neighbor's pet dinosaur.
Just out of curiosity, did they also call Animal Control - or Jurassic Park?
After all, if you believe the part of a creative writing assignment about a gun, should you not give equal weight to the claim that a 40-foot, carnivorous lizard is lurking in the wilds of Flower Town?
See, the student in question - a 16-year-old - was given a creative writing assignment and he chose to write about a dispute with a neighbor's dinosaur. Funny.
You would think such a piece of writing would be immediately recognized as fiction, seeing as how dinosaurs have only been extinct hundreds of millions of years.
But this story is perhaps even more unbelievable.
Not only did Summerville High staff put the school on lockdown, and search the kid's locker, they called in the police. Who arrested him.
And then he got suspended for three days.
Maybe they busted him for threatening to kill what, by any measure, would be considered an endangered species.
This has to be the most outlandish case of political correctness run amok in years.
Or it could be simply the dumbest thing ever.
Granted, we are no longer living in a "Happy Days" kind of world.
Schools are being shot up at an alarming rate, and pandering politicians refuse to do anything about it for fear of running afoul of the NRA and the 2nd Amendment (the only one that matters to some).
An incident like the one at Newtown, Conn. is one of a parent's worst nightmares, and school officials certainly need to be vigilant, keep a careful eye out for warning signs of trouble.
But, come on. Dinosaurs? What happened to common sense?
Of course, there are some people who believe the dinosaurs did not live hundreds of millions years ago because they think the Earth is only 6,000 years old.
Maybe they don't think the idea of a Triceratops roaming Old Town is that crazy, since apparently man and dinosaur once co-existed.
You know, like on "The Flintstones."
Summerville police say the student was not arrested because of any writing assignment, or claims of getting a gun. He was taken into custody for disturbing the peace. They said he became disruptive when questioned.
He told them it was just a joke, but they didn't listen. You know, most people would probably get belligerent. Even a teenager knows this is a bit of an over-reaction.
Sounds like it was the adults who got everybody riled up.
Yabba dabba doo
There is something seriously wrong in South Carolina.
On the one hand, we have a tax-free weekend to buy school supplies. We also had one to buy guns.
This is a state where some people think it's perfectly OK - and necessary - to carry a gun into Applebee's, while others believe merely writing the word "gun" in a creative writing assignment is an offense worthy of suspension.
This truly is the "Land of the Lost."
If writing the word "gun" is dangerous, let's hope no teacher ever assigns her students to write a paper on For Whom the Bell Tolls.
This whole thing makes about as much sense as men and dinosaurs going to the drive-in movies together. Or stopping at Sonic to get a Brontosaurus burger with your, uh, Brontosaurus.
There's a balance to be had in this gun debate, and you would think that Summerville would be sensitive to that.
After all, it wasn't very long ago that Dorchester County Council defeated an ordinance to stop people from firing guns in subdivisions.
You know, places where houses are just 50 feet apart.
So, by community standards, it's ok to fire a .44 Magnum in the middle of King's Grant, but you can't write the words "bought a gun to take care of business" for a creative writing assignment?
That is nuts.
The school district is not saying much about this, and the family is planning to appeal their child's suspension. Also, they have retained local attorney David Aylor to look into the appropriateness of this arrest.
Unless there is a big piece of this story yet to be told, school and police officials are going to end up looking foolish here.
They'd better hope that sometime in the next week or two, Middleton Place frantically calls with reports of a foul-tempered Tyrannosaurus Rex chowing down on their horses.
Reach Brian Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org