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Thursday, July 07, 2005

Beginnings.

Imagine you're a high school student in a small, regional high school in New England. One day, one of your friends disappears in the middle of the school day. Rumors begin to fly, several report that he was pulled out of school by the local police. Others say there were state police at the school, talking to administrators. His locker, all his belongings, were left intact, untouched, as if he was only going to be away for a short period of time. E-mails of concern go unreplied. Weeks go by, and his name begins to fade as a subject of rumors, if only because nothing has been heard of him since his mysterious departure on March, 7th 2002.

I was that student. This is my story.

The brief anecdote above is not a work of fiction, rather, it was the reality that many experienced when I was suddenly scooped up by school authorities on March 7th, 2002. It was an event that I nor any of my peers were expecting, and for close to three months I lost my liberty and rights in an overreaction spurned by the paranoia of the Columbine school shootings and the recent terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers. I emerged, ultimately, victorious, but only after $50,000 in legal fees, countless court battles, and a trail of events and experiences I will never be able to forget.

During the events and shortly thereafter, both I and my mother concluded that the events would make an excellent book, and I set to work, on and off over the years, attempting to document in the fullest detail I could remember everything that had occurred to me. To all but two of my closest friends, I refused to tell exactly what happened, fearing that the lack of detail required to explain it in brief would result in a loss of its impact. I would tell of first few hours, till the Police initially left my home, but that was only a miniscule portion of the incident, it was what came after that were the truly shocking parts of the story.

The idea to write the book was motivated by a desire to publicize the other side of overreactions in the name of security - to put a face on the countless victims who have suffered some injustice in the name of safety. The book was not to vindicate myself to the student body or to my peers, as was occasionally suggested.

However, close to four years after the events, I have still have made little progress on putting together the book, mainly due to a lack of time and continual drive to write it, especially with all the uncertainties of publishing for the first time ahead. I then came upon an idea - post the content of the book slowly, at a regular interval on a blog. Not only might it reach more people than an under-publicized account sitting buried away on the shelves of Barnes & Noble, but it would give me the opportunity for live feedback and set a regular interval at which I would need to finish the rest of the piece.

From here, I will simply let the story unfold the way it normally would. Posts will be in chronological order, once per week. Much of what I'm posting is unedited, so there very well may be some grammatical errors which have not yet been corrected. The story in its entirety is completely true, however, to protect those who may have been involved unnecessarily or against their will, all names and locations have been changed (including my last name), though their descriptions or any other details that relate to the story itself have not been.

Feedback is always welcome. Enjoy.