Something sounds wrong here

I’ve been aware of but haven’t blogged about the fact that, in Lewiston, Maine, the powers that be were contemplating prosecuting a middle school student for having thrown a piece of ham at a Muslim kid in the cafeteria.  As LGF reports, they ultimately decided that it was not a hate crime, and are leaving the kid to be disciplined within the school system itself (there’s a scary thought, too).

Having read the news report out of Maine, however, I can tell you here and now that there’s something very peculiar about the whole story.  Let’s start with the relevant facts, as reported in the local newspaper:

A 14-year-old Somali boy told the Sun Journal last month that he was eating at a table with four other Somali students on April 11 when the ham was thrown on the table. The teen said the ham was in a bag and that the student who tossed it laughed along with other students who witnessed the incident.

Let me start by pointing out that Americans, especially students, find it hysterically funny to throw food.  Heck, this propensity has been enshrined in several movies, starting with Laurel and Hardy, and moving up to the present time, with Animal House being a great recent example.  While there’s usually an element of aggression in throwing food at people, for the most part Americans consider it a great sport.  (Indeed, back in the 1960s, my concentration camp experienced mother was absolutely horrified to learn that, at my sister’s junior high school, an egg toss was considered a perfect fund raiser.  She quickly got the PTA to put a stop to that kind of food waste.)   For this reason, to learn that junior high school kids were tossing food around really doesn’t strike fear into me.

But there’s more.  Note that it says “the ham was in a bag.”  Let me ask you:  Imagine yourself back in high school.  The jerky guys at the next table are getting loud and silly, and suddenly a bag from their table lands on next to you.  You’re a person of at least moderate intelligence.  Do you (a) toss the bag back immediately, without bothering to open it; (b) toss the bag in the garbage without bothering to open it; or (c) carefully open the bag and excavate its contents so that you can discover precisely what the jerks were sending your way.  In all my years, and all the many schools I’ve attended, I can tell you that I’ve never seen anybody follow path C.  And it’s no use to tell me that the boy at the receiving end of this food missile was from Somalia and was unfamiliar with American schoolroom customs.  Unless he transferred to the school the day before the throwing took place, he’s been in school long enough to know that whatever lurks is the bag is something no sensible person wants to see (such as garbage, used food, ham, whatever).  In other words, there’s something very peculiar about the fact that the boy on the receiving end of the projectile looked into the bag.

Note, please, that I draw no conclusions.  I just point out that, on their face, the facts are inconsistent with ordinary human behavior, especially amongst the middle school set.

10 Responses

  1. How about this theory. Some guy brought their lunch in a bag, and this guy looked into it and found ham?

  2. When ham is outlawed, only outlaws will have ham.

  3. Here’s the question we should be asking: who is organizing the Somali refugees in Lewiston into a grievance-mongering group? Who has encouraged them to be “vigilant” (i.e. totally paranoid) about “hate crimes?”

    Who is encouraging this?

  4. Do we know what kind of bag it was? Could have been a clear plastic bag such that the receiving table couldn’t avoid seeing what was inside.

  5. Entirely true, DQ, something I realized after I wrote the post and traveled far from my computer. Of course, if it was indeed in a plastic bag, the child on the receiving end had no contact with it at all. This catapults it into the realm of checkers at grocery stores who won’t ring up vacuum packed bacon. That transcends religious cleanliness rules and starts getting into the realm of controlling others’ behavior to satisfy your religious constraints.

  6. Good one, Z(#2) — got a real chuckle from it.

  7. I ham what I ham!Given what these Somali refugees have supposedly gone through in Somalia, I can surely understand why some jerky kids’ prank would be devastating to them. Like you say, Book, something about the story really doesn’t smell right! It’s entirely appropriate to say, “get over it…or get outta here!”

  8. I never was in a food fight at school but then I wasn’t a jerk !

  9. I read the story in the Lewiston, Me paper. The claim by the school system authorities is that the perp had a history of harrassing the Somalis and is something of small-time bully.

    But that still leaves the question as to why the school district and the local police feel that it is their duty to protect the Religous customs of anyone in the school.

    I thought we were thoroughly indoctrinated to the truth that you must leave your religious sensitivities and practices at the boundary of the school grounds. Religion has no place in the school, or in any other government operated venue. Right? Obviously, any restrictions only apply to certain religions. (BTW I am well aware that Congress and selected others are exempt from this whole discussion)

  10. […] [Discuss This Topic With Bookworm (and spare the mustard!)] Share Article Sphere: Related Content Trackback URL […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: