Saturday, December 31, 2005

I'm sure you've all heard about Farris Hassan,

the 16 year-old who hied off to Iraq without anyone knowing about it- right?

As a parent AND someone with a bit of common sense, I'm wondering exactly how he got away with it?

First question (not the first that popped into my mind-but): it costs $3,416 for a round trip ticked from Fla. to Kuwait. Where did he get the money? It's obvious that his parents are loaded, but still a $3,000+ credit card limit -for a 16year-old???

Second: Why didn't anyone tell the parents?
Skipping a week of school, he left the country on Dec. 11, telling only two high school friends of his plans. His travels took him to Kuwait and Lebanon before he arrived in Iraq on Christmas Day. He left without telling his family and sent an e-mail after his departure, Atiya said.

The teen traveled to Kuwait, where a taxi dropped him in the desert at the Iraq border, but he could not cross there because of tightened security ahead of the Iraqi parliamentary elections on Dec. 15. He went to Beirut, Lebanon, to stay with family friends, and flew from there to Baghdad. What, they don't believe in calling home to tell mom and dad that sonny made it here safe?

Julie Schiedegger, who teaches English at Pine Crest, said Friday that she learned Hassan was headed to Iraq about two weeks ago when she overheard some students talking about it.

After his second night in Baghdad, he contacted the AP and said he had come to do research and humanitarian work.
The AP called the U.S. Embassy, which sent U.S. soldiers to pick him up.

State Department officials then notified his parents.

So, we have three examples of foreknowledge and no-one dropped a dime to mention it to the parents?

What about his passport? Can minors make their own international flight plans, and board without parental notification (don't ask-don't-tell) ? He's in the United States. Why did he have his Passport with him instead of in safe keeping with the rest of the family's? Oh, am I the only one that doesn't carry their Passport with them at all times- just in case I need to drop by some Mid-eastern sand pit at a moments notice?
Does Julie Schiedegger still have a job? Of course she does, she's probably got tenure- besides telling the parents that their son was heading off to some God-forsaken sandy chit-pile would be like "imposing" moral judgment (or some liberal garbage).

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