Sunday, October 15, 2006

Teen Questioned for Online Bush "Threats"

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP)- Upset by the war in Iraq , Julia Wilson vented her frustrations with President Bush last spring on her Web page on She posted a picture of the president, scrawled "Kill Bush" across the top and drew a dagger stabbing his outstretched hand. She later replaced her page on the social-networking site after learning in her eighth-grade history class that such threats are a federal offense. It was too late.

The 14-year-old freshman was taken out of class Wednesday and questioned for about 15 minutes by two Secret Service agents. The incident has upset her parents, who said the agents should have included them when they questioned their daughter.

"I wasn‘t dangerous. I mean, look at what‘s (stenciled) on my backpack — it‘s a heart. I‘m a very peace-loving person," said Wilson, an honor student who describes herself as politically passionate. "I‘m against the war in Iraq. I‘m not going to kill the president."

After they left, Kirstie Wilson sent a text message to her daughter‘s cell phone, telling her to come straight home: "There are two men from the secret service that want to talk with you. Apparently you made some death threats against president bush." Moments later, Kirstie Wilson received another text message from her daughter saying agents had pulled her out of class. "They yelled at me a lot," she said. "They were unnecessarily mean."

Wilson and her parents said the agents were justified in questioning her over her posting. But they said they believe agents went too far by not waiting until she was out of school.

Assistant Principal Paul Belluomini said the agents gave him the impression the girl‘s mother knew they were planning to question her daughter at school. There is no legal requirement that parents be notified.

"This has been an ongoing problem," said Ann Brick, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union in San Francisco.

Former Govs. Pete Wilson and Gray Davis vetoed bills that would have required that parents give consent or be present when their children are questioned at school by law enforcement officers. A similar bill this year cleared the state Senate but died in the Assembly.

Do Secret Service agents really have this much free time on their hands? Where will they strike next, roughing up some disgruntled elementary school kids who refuse to recite the Pledge of Allegiance? Gimme a break. Talk about a waste of resources. Ridiculous what passes for "news" these days.


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