A Canadian student has been suspended from school and had the police sicced on him due to satirical animations that he posted to YouTube.
Jack Christie, a 12th-grade student at the Donald A. Wilson Secondary School in Whitby, Ontario, Canada, created the videos in his own time, off-campus.
His animations in the Jack Christie Talks to Children series include “The Feheley 6900”, in which his BlackBerry destroys a Secret Evil Military Base and he mocks smartphone marketing; “Corporate Whistleblowing”, which involves a trip to the eighth dimension to defeat the Mango King; and “Run for the White House”, in which he mocks 2001: A Space Odyssey, defames Senator Joe Lieberman, proposes the invasion of Sweden due that country’s possession of “65 per cent of the world’s hot, untapped ass”, and incinerates a caterpillar.
Each animation is replete with exactly what you might expect from an 18-year-old male, suburban Canadian or otherwise: explosions, profanity, guns, and copious references to sex and drugs. What is atypical about the videos is their sense of humor and breakneck absurdity.
While we may find the animations entertaining, Durham District School Board spokeswoman Andrea Pidwerbecki was not amused. “If something is considered detrimental to the positive moral tone of the school, it doesn’t necessarily have to happen inside the school [for us to get involved],” she told The Globe and Mail of Toronto.
“They’ve unfairly judged me and judged my character based on something I made for entertainment,” said Christie. “I have the right to post videos on the Internet on my own time.”
A small taste of Christie’s attitude towards censorship can be found in Jack Christie Addresses the Board, a brief response to the Durham District School Board:
Apparently the Durham Board and Wilson Secondary School officials think differently about Christie’s rights. Not content to merely kick him out of school and lodge a complaint with the Durham Regional Police, they’ve suspended Christie for the duration of the investigation.
His fellow students stand behind him — and the school’s not pleased with that development. The Globe and Mail reports that the student government chief “gathered scores of signatures” on a petition in support of Christie, but was told by school staff to end that effort or face punishment, himself.
“I know that lots of students are talking about it and they’re kind of annoyed,” one of Christie’s classmates told The Globe and Mail. “It seems there’s no real reason why Jack’s missed so much school.”
From where we sit, considering the hypersensitive and officious attitude of school officials, Christie may be missing class, but odds are he’s not missing that school.