Here’s something troubling: Student Arrested For Terroristic Threatening Says Incident A Misunderstanding.
“My story is based on fiction,” said Poole, who faces a second-degree felony terrorist threatening charge. “It’s a fake story. I made it up. I’ve been working on one of my short stories, (and) the short story they found was about zombies. Yes, it did say a high school. It was about a high school over ran by zombies.”
Even so, police say the nature of the story makes it a felony. “Anytime you make any threat or possess matter involving a school or function it’s a felony in the state of Kentucky,” said Winchester Police detective Steven Caudill.
Poole disputes that he was threatening anyone.
“It didn’t mention nobody who lives in Clark County, didn’t mention (George Rogers Clark High School), didn’t mention no principal or cops, nothing,” said Poole. “Half the people at high school know me. They know I’m not that stupid, that crazy.”
When I was in seventh grade, I wrote a short story called C.H.E.T. (Cannibalistic Humanoid Education Teacher). It was a parody of the movie C.H.U.D. In my story, the teachers in our school (and I referred to them by their real names) get turned into zombies and run amok attacking the students (again, all referred to by real names). The kids get eaten, the teachers get blown apart with shotguns, and so forth. I was young and stupid. Most of the kids in the story were friends of mine–not enemies I wanted to kill by proxy. I was probably one of the nicer kids in my class. I just thought the idea of the story was funny. And it’s common to write for a very specific audience–e.g., your friends at school–when you start your career at that age, so I made my friends the stars and the teachers the bad guys, since the teachers were, after all, the ones made us do homework.
I shudder to think what might have happened to me in the same situation as Poole. Drawing pictures of your teacher with bombs dropping on them or whatever is a rite of passage for teenage boys. From the way it sounds, Poole’s story was even less specific and violent than mine was.
I know I showed the story to a couple of other kids, though I don’t think I showed it to any teachers. However, I also don’t recall being that careful to keep it out of teachers’ hands. I did show my English teacher a later story in which terrorists take over the school and my friends and I have to kill the terrorists to save everyone. A teacher or two may have bought it at the hands of terrorists in that story, but my teacher didn’t scold me. I don’t know what she thought of it, actually, but she continued to encourage my writing, so she must have seen something in that Z-grade Die Hard rip-off (thanks again, Mrs. Gill).
Of course, there may be more to the story. In this article, the school’s principal claims the word “zombies” doesn’t appear in the story, though that really doesn’t mean anything. Poole could have referred to the monsters by some other name. I just checked C.H.E.T. (yes, I still have a copy of it), and the word “zombie” doesn’t appear in it, either.
Neither article gives much information about the actual story itself–all we get are second-hand descriptions by Poole and the principal. But as of right now, I’m inclined to give Poole the benefit of the doubt, because there but for the grace of Mrs. Gill and a pre-Columbine world go I.
In other news, I’m taking the week off from work(s). It’s spring break at Emerson, and I could use some time to sleep and write.
Here’s a bizarre news story. Inexplicable dog suicides off an eerie bridge? How many short horror stories are being written about it at this very minute?
I came across this amusing Lovecraft pastiche by Neil Gaiman.
Until next time, Cthulhu fhtagn!