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Dark Paladin
05-02-2007, 07:10 PM
As posted on the Houston Chronicle: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/4766843.html

May 2, 2007, 7:08AM
Fort Bend school trustees put off video game appeal
Board lacks a quorum to consider high school senior's case

By ERIC HANSON
Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

SUGAR LAND A special school board meeting called to hear the appeal of a student disciplined for playing a violent computer game involving his high school was canceled when four board members stayed away.
The Fort Bend Independent School District trustees who did not attend said the meeting circumvented the district's disciplinary process.

Two trustees said they called the meeting because school district officials overreacted when the Clements High School student was punished. Board members Stan Magee and Ken Bryant said the special meeting could have expedited the resolution of the case.

Magee said district officials went overboard when the 17-year-old boy was suspended from school and placed in the M.R. Wood Alternative Education Center.

"I think we overreacted as a result of the Virginia Tech ordeal," Magee said Tuesday.

But a district spokeswoman said school officials cannot afford to ignore anything involving school-based violence.

"This goes back to Columbine. Ever since that horrid incident took place schools today have to take every incident that is reported very seriously," Fort Bend ISD spokeswoman Mary Ann Simpson said. "And they have to impress upon students how serious this type of thing is. We can't joke about things or take things lightly anymore."


Clements High depicted

Simpson said that on April 17, the day after the Virginia Tech massacre that left 33 dead, Clements High School officials learned a student had been playing Counterstrike, an Internet-based shooting game. The locale of the shootings depicted on this student's game were the hallways of Clements High School.

School district police investigated the report and questioned the student at school and then visited his home. The student's parents gave police permission to search the 12th-grader's room and computer. Simpson said police determined no criminal charges were warranted but that disciplinary action was.

Simpson said because of the violent nature of the game and because the actions had taken place in a computer-generated rendition of the high school, official consider the matter to be very serious.
"This was nothing to kid around about," she said.

Simpson said the student was transferred to an alternative school for the remainder of the school term.

The teen's parents appealed the decision. The school district has a four-step appeal process at the end of which a student can make a final appeal directly to the board of trustees.


Quick resolution sought

Magee said the process can often take more than a month and the parents wanted the matter resolved more quickly so that if the action were overturned, he could graduate with his senior class. Magee said that in at least two other cases, the board has heard appeals before the entire process has been played out.

Magee said he thinks the district probably reacted too strongly to the situation.

"He did it at his house. Never took anything to school. Never wrote an ugly letter, never said anything strange to a student or a teacher, nothing," Magee said.

Bryant said police need to take situations like this seriously.

"I don't want to fault our police for trying to protect us. But once the evidence was found and looked at, I see no compelling reason why this child should not have been sent back to his original campus," Bryant said.
Bryant, Magee and board member Lisa Rickert appeared at district headquarters for the 5:30 p.m. Monday meeting. The other four, Steve Smelley, Sonal Bhuchar, Cynthia Knox and Laurie Caldwell, did not appear.
Since a quorum was not declared, the meeting was canceled.

Bhuchar was out of the country. Smelley, the board president, said the special meeting circumvents the normal disciplinary process and that is why he did not attend.

"Sometimes schools are criticized for overreacting to a situation," Simpson said. "Unfortunately, the days are past when we can just take things lightly and just say, 'Oh well, they were just joking.' "

eric.hanson@chron.com

Ronin
05-02-2007, 07:45 PM
Utter bullsh*t.

Dark Paladin
05-02-2007, 08:43 PM
*We* may think its utter BS. . . but realize that this is the mindset we have to deal with now in this day and age. Not just the reaction that the school administrators have shown, but also the responses that their fellow students have displayed. Ponder on that, and then think of ways to converse with people about the way they think. Otherwise, its only going to get worse from here.

PITT
05-02-2007, 11:18 PM
99% of the kids at Clements high school are rich kids who are spoiled to begin with. I went to school in Ft Bend ISD and know quite a few people who went to Clements. Just because he was playing on a map that looked like his or any other high school people freaked out. I'm actually not surprised by the knee jerk reaction to this especially right after the VT incident.

necroticism
05-03-2007, 12:18 AM
Totally disgusting, what garbage.

People in this country are so paranoid, and so fearful these days, it makes me absolutely ill.

Ronin
05-03-2007, 09:53 AM
"Clements High School officials learned a student had been playing Counterstrike, an Internet-based shooting game. The locale of the shootings depicted on this student's game were the hallways of Clements High School.

School district police investigated the report and questioned the student at school and then visited his home. The student's parents gave police permission to search the 12th-grader's room and computer."


That's the part I have a problem with. He didn't bring it to school. They had to go to his house to get it. It's compleatly out of line. What if he has a gun at home? Does he get suspended for that, too? He's a 12th grader, so possibly he is 18. What if he had cigaretts in his room? Suspension? This kid may not get to graduate with his class now because the school board decided to stick there nose where it didn't belong.

It reminds me of when I was in high school. We were planning on taking a band trip to an amusment park, a trip that we had paid for through fund raising all year. The trip was to take place on a Sunday. Two weeks before we were set to go, our school principal cancled our trip, because he was getting complaints from local churches. We had to go to the school board to get that overturned, and that took two hours of debating.

People need to learn to stay in their own lane. It's starting to get out of hand.

crow
05-03-2007, 01:52 PM
Very disturbing news. I hope the ACLU jumps on this case with both feet.

I remember playing Quake II back in the day, and one map that a server was running was a rendition of a high school in College Station, complete with voice samples of the school's Principal. It was fun. Ten years later, still no shootings.

Getting back to what DP said: Next time some anti-videogame liberal idiot points out the fact that the Columbine and VT killers were avid video gamers, remind them that ALL YOUNG MALES love video games. All of them. Especially games with guns and explosions and such. Go to every high school or college in this country, and count the number of young male students who don't love to play violent video games every chance they get. You'll only need one hand. How many video games are played each and every day in this country? A jillion bazillion? If video games were to blame for psychotic behavior, we should have thousands of school shootings per day. But we don't.

C

Cookerman
05-03-2007, 03:01 PM
That is utter nonsense. . . Back in Shanghai we played CS all the time at our school. The principal never complained. . .

Dark Paladin
05-03-2007, 03:03 PM
Did you read the article?

Apparently, there's a difference bewteen playing CS at your school. . . and playing CS in a map that looks identical to your school. . .

MeanGreen7
05-07-2007, 02:21 PM
Help me if I am missing it totally, but what I am trying to figure out is, how did the school find out about it or even know about it if he was playing it at his home. It would be one thing if he went on campus with the game, then I could see them getting into his gooo. There are alot of video games that have places in them that look just like or even an exact replica of something in the real world, hello RainBow Six: Las Vegas. Which brings up the point that they should be asking more about, instead of the concern that this kid might go off and get the video game world mixed up with the real world, was the game liscensed or been given permission to use Clements HS as a setting or have the rights covered in the game for such a thing? I don't know much about how the games are made or how this game works, but it does seem a little much from the school to act like that. My 2cents. :D

Dark Paladin
05-07-2007, 02:56 PM
According to the articles I've read, this is my interpretation of the chain of events. . .

Background: High school honors roll student. Well liked by friends and outgoing.

Student plays counterstrike.

Student decides to start toying with mods and mapmaking with counterstrike.

Student has very little innovation to start with, so decides to make a CS map of his school.

Student completes map on his own time without affecting schoolwork. Distributes map to be played amongst friends at home.

Virginia Tech shooting occurs. Mass hysteria ensues.

Parents of student's friend find out about map. Hysteria hits new heights.

Parents inform school of findings. Administrators reacts with even more hysteria, bringing in the police to investigate.

Police interviews student, finds nothing alarming. Police talks with parents, does a cursory search of home. Whether they had a warrant or not is unknown. They did seize a hammer from the student's room. Hammer was allegedly used to fix student's bed which had a habbit of falling apart.

Administrator then effectively expel student by sending him to alternative education center.

Parents of student are now really concerned. Contacts school board for assistance because they have intervened in other cases.

The school board chairman calls for meeting to discuss and form an action item to be delivered to the school. But the chairman (along with a couple of other members) decides not to show at the meeting which he called for himself, thus denying quorum and indefinitely delays resolution of this case. This guarantees that by the time this case is resolved, graduation will already be over.

---

That said. I have to ask myself, did these idiots just create absolute hatred and feelings of injustice where there were none to begin with? The same feelings that other mass shooting suspects displayed prior to their actions?

Harliqwyne
05-07-2007, 04:22 PM
People need to ask themselves, would you rather have a kid take out all his/her aggression on a video game or in real life, My vote is for the game.

If I come home cranky from work I start up Call of Duty or Battlefield 1942 and in an hour or so later, the problems of the day don't bother me anymore.

Everyone needs a way to relieve stress.

Gunfighter
05-08-2007, 08:30 PM
People need to ask themselves, would you rather have a kid take out all his/her aggression on a video game or in real life, My vote is for the game.

If I come home cranky from work I start up Call of Duty or Battlefield 1942 and in an hour or so later, the problems of the day don't bother me anymore.

Everyone needs a way to relieve stress.
True, everyone needs a way to relieve stress, and yes, playing a good video game is one way of relieving that stress. What we need to understand is that no one wants to take the blame for the next mass shooting. In reference to the Va Tech shooting, there are thousands of questions floating around, mainly dealing with how this could have been prevented. There is going to be lots of finger pointing when all is said and done with the Va Tech murders. Right now everyone is jumpy, scared, apprehensive and downright paranoid. Its expected that people will start to report anything strange, dangerous, or out of the ordinary quicker than they would have prior to the college shooting. I do commend the kid's parents for at least showing some concern about his activities, no matter how harmless we think they are. Too bad more parents aren't like that.

Buck
05-18-2007, 02:17 AM
Good thing I never followed through with doing this.

Dark Paladin
05-18-2007, 02:22 AM
And so this is how freedom and liberty ends.

Buck
05-18-2007, 02:54 AM
I can see the problem though. It "could" be used as simulation.

Dark Paladin
05-18-2007, 11:31 AM
That's a very slippery slope. . . a position you should think very hard about reconsidering. . .

Anything and everything "could" be used with malicious intent. I can hurt or kill somebody with a fork or a steak knife. Should I be banned for picking one up? How about a hammer or a saw? A sharpened No2 pencil can even be used to cause fatal injuries. Should all the students who use No2 pencils be locked up?

A blanket knee jerk response like what the school displayed there is NOT the answer. If they're very lucky, they won't have just created something that they were fearful of in the first place by doing what they did. Namely, we hope that they did not just create a vengeful and highly capable intelligent human being by victimizing him with unfounded fears and fully correctble injustices. After all, isn't that the behavior exhibited by most other school shooters?