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It sounds like a Denton, Texas high schooler did just what his English teacher asked of him. That’ll learn ‘im. According to, “Marshall Williams said he and his classmates were told by Mr. Dewey Christian at Denton High School to write a report on anything that they were interested in using different types of sentence structures.  He chose to write about the Fort Worth gun show.” Ruh roh. Did you say, “gun show” Marshall? Mr. Christian mutinied when young Master Williams handed in his theme, telling the lad he’d receive a zero grade because of the subject matter he chose. When Marshall’s mom heard the story, she confronted the hoplophobic instructor . . .

That’s him, above, bobbing and weaving like Ali in Manilla as Mr. Williams gives him the third degree on his grading policy.

The Denton Independent School District said in a statement, “The teacher has accepted the paper and apologized to the student for misperceptions. The teacher’s intent was for guns not to be trivialized in any school situation because of recent events.”

No word on the grade Marshall received. Still, mom’s not happy

“If it went against any district policy I would support it completely, but it doesn’t. It’s just his own moral beliefs trying to be put in his classroom and I disagree with that,” Kimberly Williams said.

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  1. That reporter was not giving in to his weasly answers. God I love Texas. If this was California the news would have probably aired a piece about how heroic the teacher was for standing up against glorifying guns.

  2. Generally, I try to be supportive of the teacher’s authority in the classroom, but that teacher is a tool. It is absurd that students have to guess at and are limited to only that which the teacher approves or agrees rather than the object lesson of writing a cogent paper.

  3. Man, it’s a good thing that kid didn’t get his essay too close to anyone – it could’ve gone off and shot someone!

        • Or . . . what if the essay had gone ‘postal’ – there’s no telling how many rounds it could’ve got off! Better limit the number of words it can have.

          Which reminds me – when Obamacare is fully implemented next year, and doctors, nurses & other health care providers are overwhelmed, then perhaps crack up & start shooting people, will they be called ‘going Obamacare-al’?

      • Reports are that he had stockpiled 1500 words, along with an arsenal of similes, metaphors, and one semi-automatic personification.

        • Yeah, and I understand he modified the essay from its original version, too, which probably made it super scary looking. Heck, he might have even added a fold-up feature, where he could (gasp!) put it in his pocket.

  4. Ugh had something similar… Had to write something about a 1920s event or figure and Calvin Coolidge was an option, and I wrote a glowing review of his presidency and also included info about why he was called Silent Cal, and got an F.

    Teacher knew I was a Russian immigrant and put, “Why would you support someone from a political party that wanted to nuke you?”

  5. The root of the problem here is the violence of the state being used to force parents to put their kids in public shools government indoctrination camps.

    Sure, there is the option to home school, but not everyone has the luxury of being a stay at home parent, and they still are forced at the point of a gun to finance the indoctrination camps.

  6. It was only a matter of time before something like this hit the fan. My middle-schooler has turned in a couple of “all about me” and personal essay projects that prominently feature our weekly range time, even featuring him holding a gun. I kind of held my breath, preparing for the worst, but nobody threw any fits and he got a fair grade.

    Maybe it helped that he was clearly writing about a family activity (not an eeee-vil gun show) and that he was holding a Henry Golden Boy instead of an Evil Assault Rifle Thing That Goes Up. Maybe it also helped that his teachers (so far) haven’t been brainwashed fools.

  7. 30 years ago I specialized in picking subjects that I knew the teacher would hate and then write the essay of a lifetime. I actually had one honest teacher who would (very grudgingly) grade them with A’s while others would waffle and be all over the page on the grade. I figured it took a hell of a lot more skill to pull it off and I was greatly bored by high school.

    That said, if the teacher said “pick any subject”, then it’s time to pick any subject.

    • I’ve done the same thing for the same reasons (boredom mainly). Even picking things I didn’t really support to make it harder, I had fun defending the patriot act in one class.

    • It seems to me that you have strange ideas about how homogeneous the culture is in one of the largest states in the union. Even within the Bay Area (a sprawling metroplex if there ever was one) you get a little of everything.

  8. How did this politically correct teacher infiltrate the education system in Texas? The kid went to the gun show and had fun. What’s wrong with that?

    • Denton is a pretty conservative city. If mom rats this teacher out to school board, that teacher will be looking for a job else where next year.
      If it had happened in any part of Austin, except South Austin, teacher would have gotten “good job”
      Teachers need to try to understand the culture of the area they teach, he failed miserably on that. Some teachers may be intelligent but just plain stupid.

  9. I had a teacher who gave me a D- on a book report solely because “science fiction is not serious literature.” The book? Fahrenheit 451. Oh the irony.

  10. I had an English teacher from NYC, all he would do is correct my grammer and call it good. His attitude was that Wyoming laws were OK for Wyoming and NYC laws worked for NYC and never should the two switch.

  11. The teacher gave an open-ended assignment and had no grounds to object so long as the essay did what was asked and made no threatening or libelous remarks or statements that would clearly have been against school policy, such as racist comments or the like.

    In thirteen years of teaching writing, I have worked hard never to judge an essay on whether I agreed with it or not. I don’t allow essays claiming to prove (or disprove) the existence of God, since that’s a matter of faith alone, and I discourage abortion arguments–I’ve never read a good one–but any paper that effectively uses facts, logic, and common values will get a good grade in my class.

      • At ease, Joker.

        You can’t please everyone all of the time. We all know that. The bottom line is that Mr. Christian should have kept his peace and graded the paper as he would have any other. That’s not asking too much, really. See g’s comment below.


        • Hello Greg, the first sentance in the second paragraph states that “I have worked hard never to judge an essay on whether I agreed with it or not.”

          This is immediately contradicted by the next passage that begins with “I don’t allow essays claiming to prove (or disprove) the existence of God…..and I discourage abortion arguments.”

          By disallowing topics of God or abortion, you already prejudged the content of the essay by automatically disagreeing with the subject.

  12. Before we go and start demonizing all teachers & public education for one stupid jack-arse “teacher’s” lack of effort, there’s plenty of open minded, pro-2A teachers out there like myself.

    A couple of years ago, as a part of a Junior Achievement project, 5th graders from my class each created business plan projects about a private enterprise they would run given certain requirements. They could choose from several categories, from goods, services, manufacturing, etc. This project was in lieu of a test.

    One student wrote about he wanted to run a premium sporting goods store, where people could buy everything from soccer balls to hiking equipment to fishing gear to yes… rifles and handguns. He researched current market prices by browsing newspaper ads and wrote how much he would charge so he could make a profit yet be competitive, drew a detailed layout of how he would set up a store, and even wrote that the competitive advantage of his store would be that he would only hire really smart and friendly employees who would understand everything the store sold. His store would also offer free classes to customers who purchased their equipment to teach them how kick a ball or shoot the gun they bought. Heck, the kid even designed his own logo and slogan for advertisement.

    Another student wrote for his business plan that he wanted to have a store where people could play Call of Duty all day for free and then receive rocket launchers, hand grenades, nova gas, and helicopter gunships…. FOR FREE. He had no explanation of how his business would get these things, how it would attract customers, or even how it would even generate a profit for himself the owner or be sustainable. His writing was atrocious, lacking detail or logic. His drawing of the business itself appeared to be of an Apache firing rockets out into the area he had labeled “parking lot” destroying the vehicles of his customers. As for employee compensation? No pay… “I’ll just let them play Call of Duty with the customers instead of paying them.”

    Both students were given the same assignment and decided to mention OMG guns OMG, which I had no problem with. Needless to say, the first student received a high grade on his project, exceeding all standards set forth for it. The second student got the modern equivalent of a “D-” and a parent-teacher conference to explain his lack of effort on a lackluster project that failed to meet expectations.

    I wish I saved the first student’s work instead of letting him take it home! Good stuff.

    • I’m sure the second student’s parents will be surprised when he ends up on the delinquents-and-losers track in high school, then blame the school system for not giving him the support he needed.

    • Sadly, g, you are (by FAR) the exception to the rule with regards to leftist teachers and administrators swarming the halls of academia.

    • I have a feeling gun shows are gun shows, anywhere you attend: too many guys in too small a space, and the pervasive smell of BO.

  13. When I was a kid, guns were not verboten in talk, writing and costumery.

    The teachers did, though, all try to cram their religious views down my throat. At the time, I didn’t know to stand on the First Anendmet – if it applies to minors.

    I miss the days of pocket knives permitted in class and dangerous playground equipment…

  14. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. Those who can’t teach become classroom Nazis. And there are tens of thousands of them, trying to indoctrinate young minds.

    The psychology of bad teachers is the same as the psychology of bad cops. It’s the exploitation of situational power; little people becoming big by being bullies.

  15. Had a teacher one time tell me we could right on anything related to politics but it couldn’t be…….and she proceeded rattle off every major political topic guns included. Said she was tried of reading the same things.

    That said the same teacher attempted to make fun of one of my papers on the National Debt earlier in the year and of course did not allow for my response will she rambled off her counterpoints including that we need to entertain old people with activity’s so that they dont, I kid you not, commit crimes. Now if your wondering what that has to do with the debt well, nothing and I never mentioned anything related to it in my paper.

  16. Don’t think you should be taking pictures like the one above inside a gun show.
    Also, he’s under 21 so shouldn’t be holding it anyway.

  17. I wish I could post pictures here. My, at the time, 4th grader entered a PTA art contest with a photo. It was beautifully done. My shotgun, his cap pistol, my boots, his boots, my hat, his hat.

    I saw what he was doing and added our bibles and suggested the name Bitter Clingers 🙂

    It did not win.

  18. “It’s just his own moral beliefs trying to be put in his classroom and I disagree with that.”

    Indoctrinating your children with the “moral” beliefs of the state is the exact purpose of government run propaganda centers.

  19. When I was a kid I (almost) had a similar experience. We had to write a biography of some historical personality and I, being a fan of naval history, chose Isoroku Yamamoto. Got an A for it, actually. But, this having happened more than quarter of a century ago under a communist regime, my father got invited into school to explain my choice and where I got all the information. And funny thing is, I got it all from a state-approved historian and his state-approved books so the teacher apologized and that was it. I only learned about my choice possibly creating an incident years later, my father didn’t even bother mentioning it to me at the time it happened.
    I’ve met a lot of teachers since, both good and bad. Many of the bad ones would grade something this subjective based on their own views. But I can’t recall any more incidents where a teacher would flatly throw a report away because of the topic, especially if the students are told they can choose any topic. And I’m a teacher myself so I get a lot more chances of hearing about such cases.
    Makes me wonder how badly broken US public school system has to be…

      • Nope, Czech Republic. But the teacher had an issue with him being (in her opinion) one of the enemies, an imperialist soldier serving an aggressive regime – and an issue with me choosing to write about him instead of one of the good guys.
        His bio was simply… interesting.

  20. Just remember Vice Admiral of the Blue William Bligh was the hero and First Lieutenant Fletcher Christian was the mutinous traitor.

  21. I had a similar situation my freshman year in college, had a liberal professor woman who ran the English/Speech class, she wanted a paper and speech on a subject that would have a hostile audience, so I drafted a paper on the positive benefits of napalm in Vietnam, complete with body counts, US lives saved, etc. I got a D, she was outraged.. heh heh, screw her.

  22. Not from Texas, just consider myself blessed to know a few who are.
    Old sayings in Texas. ‘Say what you mean and mean what you say.’
    ‘A man’s only as good as his word. If his word’s no good then he’s no good’

    Open to correction as always, but from the information provided, ‘Mom’ did the right thing, but may have missed a step or two in the process.
    In my humble opinion.

    After the young man told his mother what happened, possible response as follows:
    ‘So that’s what Mr. Christian said? Write a report on anything you were interested in, using different types of sentence structure and he’d grade the paper on sentence structure?
    You wrote a report, handed it in and he then told you that you’d get a zero on the report? The excuse he made, expecting you to accept it as a valid ‘reason’ for the zero grade, was due to the topic?
    When you get to class tomorrow, politely inform Mr. Christian he should do what he said he would and grade the paper on sentence structure. If he refuses, inform him you’re taking the issue to the Principal and then do just that. State the facts to the Principal and see what he does. If he doesn’t hold your teacher to his word, you tell me and we’ll plan out the next step.

    BTW. There’s a place in Texas named Gun Barrel City, but most folks just call it Gun Barrel. Interesting history, well worth writing a report on — using correct sentence structure of course.
    Hook ‘em Horns and Don’t Mess With Texas.

    “When you’re on the bottom truth is all that counts. If you ain’t got truth, you ain’t got nothing and that’s the truth.” Anonymous.

  23. This being a local story here, there is more to it than what was reported here. There was another in the class that had written a paper about his time spent hunting, got the same treatment. Supposedly, the teacher apologized, but not very well.

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