The kid might be brilliant *and* burnt out, and now manipulating the system to get his childhood back. He could have real mental problems/limitations which spring from the same unique brain that assists him in other ways. (I'm reminded of the Wired Asperger's Syndrome article from a couple months ago.)
Justin (or his ghostwriter) is completely right about the oppressive, destructive effects of one-size-fits-all public schools, though. I agree with John Taylor Gatto when he says, "School is like starting life with a 12-year jail sentence in which bad habits are the only curriculum truly learned."
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