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20 September 2005

guess the Innocent Victim, guess the Evil Fiend

Alice meets the advice-giving caterpillar
on a mushroom with magical properties.
(illustration by Sir John Tenniel)

Curiouser and curiouser ... hmmm ...

This reporter must have his/her facts wrong. Surely this guy must have been the Vice-Principal.

In elementary school spelling lessons, we were taught:

The principal is your PAL.

I never thought so until this story.

And now Agence Vleeptron-Presse brings you The News Behind The News.

It seems clear and obvious from reading this story who the Innocent Party is and who the Villain and Fiend is.

So it seems equally clear and obvious which of these two is about to get his life and career destroyed.

Wrong. BOTH of these people are fucked Grosse-Zeit.

In the USA, unless your parents are very prosperous, a kid's ability to be able to afford college/university depends on the kid being able to get a government-guaranteed bank loan.

(I haven't checked this out recently -- it's easily Googleable -- but a good college (or a not-so-good college) can easily cost $30,000 a year. And the college wants that money up-front, in cash. So if a college-bound kid isn't rich, she/he absolutely needs federal financial aid.

For the last six years, any kid who's ever been busted for smoking a joint is, by federal law, ineligible for federal college financial aid. In the Drug Reeform Community, this is called Souder's Law, after US Congressman, racist, gay-basher, kid-basher, and Evangelical Fundie Freakazoid Mark Souder, a Republican from the Cow-&-Corn Country of Indiana. He snuck this nasty little law into a huge Education Bill at the last minute, without public comment or public testimony.

If there had been Congressional testimony, who would have argued against Souder's Law? Druggies? Hippies? Colombian Drug Kingpins?

No. The presidents and the admissions officers of America's best colleges and universities. They're almost universally disgusted with this vicious, cruel law.

And the NAACP. Souder's Law has been a catastrophe overwhelmingly victimizing black and Hispanic kids. And, by definition, ALL its victims have been POOR. (Rich families can just ignore Souder's Law, they don't need the loans.)

Shame on this kid for snorting up Magic Mushrooms. But after the cops charge him with this minor drug charge, and after he settles up with the prosecutor and the judge -- he won't be going to college. Not if he's not rich. He can't afford it.

So this is a Great Victory for The War on Drugs! The school principal's life and career are destroyed forever. AND the 17-year-old kid's life and career are destroyed forever! Even if neither of them actually gets sentenced to a day in jail! If the kid is just arrested and charged with a misdemeanor drug offense, the arrest alone bars him from college loan eligibility.

About 60 US Congress members have publicly signed up to repeal Souder's Law, and that number grows every year.

But it's still far too few to have any chance to repeal this vile kid-bashing poor-bashing law. It's going to stay on the books for years to come.

Because All Drug Laws, All Punishments, are wildly popular with voters. They've been educated to believe these laws and punishments are accomplishing something.

And they can also read Political Code. These drug laws are the government's Fast-Track way to send blacks and Hispanics to prison much faster and for much longer than whites get sent to prison. (Whites can afford good defense lawyers for themselves and for their naughty pot-smoking kids. And nearly every US prosecutor is white, and white prosecutors sympathize with white kids and their white families. White kids get a break, they get a Second Chance. Black and Hispanic kids get the book thrown at them.)

And now the News:

* * * * * * *

Lexington Herald-Leader (Kentucky USA)
Tuesday 20 September 2005


Boy Allegedly Ingested Mushrooms At School Official's Home

by Lee Mueller, Eastern Kentucky Bureau

PIKEVILLE -- A Pike County elementary school principal was arrested Saturday after a 17-year-old boy apparently overdosed on hallucinogenic mushrooms at his home, state police said.

Kyle Tackett, 32, a well-regarded principal at G.F. Johnson Elementary School at Virgie, "admitted to doing mushrooms" after police responded to his 911 call and the teenager was admitted to Pikeville Medical Center at 2:57 a.m. Saturday, according to an arrest citation. The teen's condition was not available yesterday.

Tackett was charged with endangering the welfare of a minor; second-degree possession of a controlled substance, first offense; possession of marijuana; and first-degree unlawful transaction with a minor.

Pike County school officials suspended Tackett with pay yesterday, and his supporters expressed shock and dismay.

Test scores at G.F. Johnson are the highest in the system, and Tackett -- a minister esteemed by parents and his staff -- has been considered one of the district's "rising stars," supporters said.

Tackett was principal at Grapevine Elementary until it closed two years ago.

"I think it took everyone by surprise," said Tonia Hopson, the district's instructional supervisor, who substituted yesterday for Tackett at the K-5 school.

He had been absent from school before last weekend, recovering from an injury, she said.

"The faculty loved him and so did the kids," Hopson said. "It's been a little bit teary-eyed here today."

Trooper Ivan Sewell said Tackett initially told a 911 dispatcher at 2:57 a.m. Saturday that a boy had been assaulted at his home. After meeting the boy in the road at Tackett's home, Sewell went into the principal's living room.

"We searched the premises and found several drugs," Sewell wrote.

Tackett was placed in the Pike County Detention Center at 6:30 a.m. and released at 2:20 p.m. after posting a $10,000 cash bond, jail officials said. Arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 28 in Pike District Court.

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