When creative writing crosses the line

May 2, 2007
Writing teachers often get a glimpse of their students' troubling thoughts.

In the wake of the Virginia Tech killings, creative writing teachers across the country have been wondering what they would have done if the gunman, Seung-Hui Cho, had been writing troubling stories in their classrooms. Perhaps no other teaching position offers as intimate a perch into the hearts and minds of students--and poses as many difficulties. These teachers ask students to write stories that reflect the wider culture or their own interior life, and the picture is not always pretty.
Click here to read The New York Times article.

RELATED: Allen Lee, who was arrested and removed last week from Cary-Grove (Ill.) High School over a essay he wrote that was filled with violent images, remains sequestered from his classmates, and his attorney says legal action may become necessary if the senior isn't back in class this week. Lee has not been suspended or disciplined but is being taught off-campus because of what school officials call safety concerns.
Click here to read The Chicago Tribune article.

EARLIER: More than anyone else on the Virginia Tech campus, it was the professors and students in the English department who knew of the mental turmoil of Cho Seung-Hui. In the English department — where he was a major — they read his writings and saw the images of persecution, revenge and anger that they revealed, many months before he erupted into violence. (New York Times)

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