Increasingly, schools and other institutions have imposed rules that strictly prohibit this, that or the other thing. The advantage of such policies is that they eliminate the exercise of judgment on the part of officials. Thus, any unfortunate outcome can't be the fault of, for example, the school principal, because she was just following orders.
Which brings us to this morning's story:
MCHENRY, Ill., Jan. 18 (UPI) -- A 16-year-old boy who doodled an alleged gang symbol in his notebook has been expelled from high school in McHenry, Ill.
[The boy] was expelled for the remainder of the school year Tuesday night during a closed session of the McHenry Community High School District 156 board. The Hispanic teen attended the meeting with his parents, who said he was not a gang member.
The Chicago Tribune reported board officials said a doodle of a crown, a cross and a spider web with the initials "D.L.K." in the middle was a symbol of a street gang.
The Latin Kings and the Latin Disciples are rival street gangs. The teen, who has a troubled academic career, had been serving a 10-day suspension for the drawing.
"He needs to be in school. He didn't draw the picture on a wall," Jose Mercado, his stepfather said. "It was in his notebook."
Oh yes: You need to know one other thing. The boy's name is Derek Leon Kelly.
Have we made this up? We have not: HERE.