Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Patrick McLaw: An update

This is a little late coming, but I notice that when you google "Patrick McLaw", many of the hits tend to fall along the lines of "he was victimized for writing a book". I think that it's important that I write this, even if it's fairly old news.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the reason for McLaw's suspension came from mental health issues and not because he'd published the works. Apparently the school and the police had been aware of his books for years and as they hadn't arrested him back in 2012 it seems like they weren't anything they'd arrest someone over, which is contrary to what some of the newspapers had been printing.

In my previous post I'd written that someone had claimed that McLaw's suspension and police investigation had been due to a letter he had written- which ends up being a truth. McLaw did write a letter that gave the school system and the police reason for concern. The reason we know about that is because the state decided to release parts of the letter to show justification for their actions. They didn't want to do this, but the growing pressure of the various blogs and news articles pushed their hand. I have yet to find any of the letter's contents, but one news outlet has stated that it contains "suicidal tendencies" and another stated that the police were involved mostly because they were concerned for McLaw's own well-being. If I can find the letter, I'll post what I can.

Now I've saved this part for last, as it's kind of a little muddled. In a September 6th article via CBS Baltimore, McLaw says that the police have been taking things out of context. It may not apply to the books, but I'm kind of thinking that this may be implied. I wish he'd clarify his point in all of this, as this sort of thing can really, REALLY backfire if/when more information comes out that proves beyond even a reasonable doubt that he wasn't targeted because of his books. What is also concerning is this statement:

“Within hours we received information of perhaps an inappropriate relationship involving a student so we had some concerns,” 

So... does this mean that McLaw was having an inappropriate relationship with a student? Did that factor into anything at all? Was it even about him? I dislike this sort of thing, as it's entirely possible that the relationship wasn't related to McLaw and/or that it was an innocent relationship. The article also mentions that he did in fact have a model of the school in his shed and that he is still at a mental institution, receiving treatment. (Although in all fairness, this could be something he's doing at the recommendation of his lawyer as showing that he was willing to cooperate with mandated treatment will work in his favor in court- especially if the doctors say that he had no pressing mental issues.) This sort of opens up some more questions, but it does seem that the "was he targeted for his books" question has been answered for the most part.

And the answer is no- he wasn't. I'm still not sure of the exact reason for what happened to him, but it appears that it wasn't because he was an author. Whether he did or didn't do anything that would be reason for concern, we need to stop holding him up as someone who was victimized for publishing controversial books because that seems to be far from the truth of the situation.

Further Reading:

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