CARY, Ill. — Allen Lee was on the verge of realizing a dream to become a Marine after signing enlistment papers this month. But one violent, profanity-laced English essay later, the 18-year-old’s future with the Marine Corps appears to be over.
Because of pending criminal charges stemming from his essay, Lee’s recruiter told him Friday that the Marine Corps has discharged him from his contract, said Sgt. Luis R. Agostini, spokesman for the Marine Corps Recruiting Station Chicago.
“Basically, he is no longer an applicant to become a Marine,” Agostini said.
The senior at suburban Cary-Grove High School was charged this week with two misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct after the principal turned his creative writing essay over to police.
Prosecutors cite Va. Tech
Lee initially faced just one charge, but an amended complaint filed Thursday cited a second passage.
“In light of recent events (at Virginia Tech), that is part of the context of what happened that makes the reaction all the more reasonable,” said Tom Carroll, first assistant state’s attorney in McHenry County.
Lee, who has a 4.2 grade-point average and never has been in trouble before, is being tutored at administrative offices while school officials decide his future, said his lawyer, Thomas Loizzo.
The charges are a product of paranoia, born of the massacre of 32 students at Virginia Tech by a social outcast who then killed himself, Loizzo said.
“Once the dust settles, once they look at this through clearer glasses, we think that the state will do the right thing and dismiss the charges,” Loizzo said.
The essay, written Monday, reads in part, “Blood, sex and booze. Drugs, drugs, drugs are fun. Stab, stab, stab, stab, stab, s...t...a...b...puke. So I had this dream last night where I went into a building, pulled out two P90s and started shooting everyone, then had sex with the dead bodies. Well, not really, but it would be funny if I did.”
Assignment: ‘Be creative’
The teacher told students: “‘Be creative; there will be no judgment and no censorship,”’ Thomas Loizzo said. “There was never any warning from the teacher that if she determined the paper to be offensive, she would then pass it along to the authorities.”
School district spokesman Jeff Puma declined to discuss the specifics of the essay or Lee’s future, citing privacy concerns.
“The essay was inappropriate in that it caused a question about safety,” Puma said.
The charges could result in a $1,500 fine and as many as 30 days in jail if Lee is convicted.
Lee hopes to re-enlist if the charges are cleared and he’s allowed to return to school, said his other attorney, Dane Loizzo.
Lee wrote in a statement provided by his attorney that he has completed military entrance exams, including a psychiatric evaluation.
“If I’m qualified to defend the country, I believe I’m qualified to attend school,” he wrote.
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