Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Are these examples of critical thinking?

What explains the cases of teenagers plotting to murder classmates, teachers and school administrators?

In Alaska:

6 arrested in Alaska school shooting plot
Parent alerted police of rumors of students’ plan to attack middle school
The Associated Press
Updated: 1:05 a.m. ET April 23, 2006

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Six middle school students in a small Alaska town were arrested Saturday on suspicion of plotting to bring guns and knives to school to kill their classmates and faculty.

The students had planned to disable North Pole Middle School’s power and telephone systems, allotting time to kill their victims and escape from North Pole, a town of 1,600 people about 14 miles southeast of Fairbanks, Police Chief Paul Lindhag said.

In Kansas:

Students: Rumors of Attack Rampant Before Arrests
By ROXANA HEGEMAN, Associated Press
April 23, 2006

"Whatever you do, don’t shoot me."

Freshman Nathan Spriggs, 15, also said his friends, who are suspected of planning to shoot fellow students and school employees, told him they had posted a threat on the Internet as a joke and feared they would be suspended or expelled for doing it.

Riverton High School officials were taking no chances.

Five boys, ages 16 to 18, were arrested Thursday, the anniversary of the Columbine massacre, authorities said.

"The sheriff’s office believes it is the real thing," said Superintendent David Walters. "I have no reason to mistrust their judgment."

And, in Kitsap County:

Alleged Plot Was Retaliation for Discipline
· Kitsap County sheriff's detectives were told a teen had plotted to blow up part of Central Kitsap Junior High.

By Josh Farley
March 29, 2006

Central Kitsap -- Sheriff’s investigators have been told that a 14-year-old Central Kitsap Junior High School student planned to blow up part of the school with homemade explosives and use a gun to kill the principal and possibly other staff and students.

Those allegations are included in an affidavit filed March 22 by Kitsap County sheriff’s detectives as they sought a search warrant to investigate suspicions of a possible plot by Alexander Cory Vichi and other teens.

Granting that they are impulsive, immature, impressionable teenagers, where did they get the idea that such actions would be appropriate or justified?

"Critical thinking" has been a buzz word in public education for years: Children are supposedly taught "critical thinking skills."

Unfortunately, some people seem to equate critical thinking with criticizing everything and everybody -- religion, country, parents, ancestors, morals, etc.

How many of these would-be murderers were influenced by the wrong kind of "critical thinking"?

Something led them to have no regard for the lives of many people they knew.

Perhaps someone will try to find out what it was.


Post a Comment

<< Home