Government 101: Police State Obedience

schoolraid.jpg
Seems some schools have added to the Government curriculum. "Police state obedience" is not what I want children to learn. This is crass dereliction of duty by the police and the school administration. It is a clear violation of human and constitutional rights (which officers are sworn to uphold), and endangerment of the students. Police safety must take a second place to human rights and student safety. There is no excuse.

My recommendation to the populace of the area in which this occurred is to demand the resignation of the school administrators. If the school board is hesitant to act, demand the school board's recall and/or resignation. Likewise demand the resignation of the police chief and lieutenants. The officers need remediation in a constitutional rights and human rights "sensitivity" class (actually they should be fired and run out of town) and the area businesses should politely refuse service to officers until they get a clue about student safety and human rights.

Story with video here

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Police safety must take a

Police safety must take a second place to human rights and student safety. There is no excuse.

I'd have to disagree with this on the grounds of self-defense. A cop acting in order to preserve his or her life, provided those actions aren't unreasonable in light of the threat, is acting properly. You are certainly correct that in general, what happened at that school is outrageous and wrong, but I see a contradiction in saying this group of people should have their human rights valued higher than that group of people.

Police officers have

Police officers have willingly agreed to engage in potentially dangerous behavior (i.e. enforcing certain losses of property rights), the students have not.

More importantly: Pointing a

More importantly: Pointing a weapon at an unarmed person is not self-defense.

Here's a link to the news

Here's a link to the news story with video.

And from the Charleston Post

And from the Charleston Post and Courier:

Officers did not arrest anyone during the lockdown at 6:40 a.m. Wednesday.

A police dog sniffed residue on 12 book bags but found no drugs, said Lt. Dave Aarons of the Goose Creek Police Department.

"Several officers did unholster their weapons in a tactical law enforcement approach," he said. "There was no force whatsoever. Everyone was very compliant."

Officers charged a ninth-grader Wednesday afternoon with filing a false police report.

The juvenile said an officer shoved her to the ground during the search, Aarons said. Principal George McCrackin said he, other school officials and the girl's parent reviewed video surveillance tapes and determined she wasn't even in that hall at the time.

Thanks Mark. The CBS story

Thanks Mark. The CBS story was linked via the photo, but I guess that wasn't obvious. I added a more obvious link.

I haven't even seen anyone

I haven't even seen anyone raise the question yet of whether students have a "reasonable expectation" not to be sniffed by dogs at gunpoint. I guess the Fourth Amendment (or more accurately, its counterpart in the constitution of S.C.) is just something we keep around for toilet paper.

The publik skools were set up from the very beginning for processing docile and compliant "human resources" for big business and the state, and killing off their capacity for critical thought. The government schools' curriculum in American history and civics, "zero tolerance" policies, DARE, and a culture that encourages dealing with all problems by snitching to an authority figure--the whole system is aimed at turning kids into sheeple.

Anyone surprised by this kind of police behavior should read the regular feature "Who the Police Beat," in Fred Woodworth's fine publication "The Match!" In most cities over a few ten thousand population, the police view the local population as an occupied enemy, to be intimidated with displays of overwhelming force. Thanks to the proliferation of SWAT teams, adoption of military-style equipment (purchased with stolen "civil forfeiture" loot), and cross-training with the regular military, they are more military than civilian.

And I say that as somebody whose father was a cop years ago, before our society was corrupted by this creeping jackbootism.

Wow. We had dog sweeps at my

Wow. We had dog sweeps at my school, where we had to surrender our stuff and stay in the room while the dogs and cops did their thing out in the hallways with our lockers and backpacks, but never at gunpoint!

On that note, though, my brother was suspended from school for allegedly having "seeds" in his car. It was the most amazing thing I'd ever heard of. The cops BROKE INTO cars, including my brother's which he had JUST BOUGHT (a used Infiniti G20), broke the seat-moving mechanism, and "collected evidence" of "drugs" which they NEVER demonstrated for our benefit. A couple hours later, he was suspended for six weeks and forced to attend the "reform" high school, no questions asked.

Yay, Drug War.

"If you tolerate this, then

"If you tolerate this, then your children will be next..."

I guess the Fourth Amendment

I guess the Fourth Amendment (or more accurately, its counterpart in the constitution of S.C.) is just something we keep around for toilet paper.

Obviously worth even less. Void where prohibited by law.

"Police safety must take a

"Police safety must take a second place to human rights and student safety."

YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT! The police had their guns with them, and could have drawn them on any student if and only IF they felt there was danger. But these kids were going to classes and you can't tell me that they were ALL a danger to the police. They were screaming at the kids like they were prisoniers or something. What? Did they think the kids were going to pull a pencil on them or something? The parents should live at the central office for that district and demand immediate disciplinary action to the administration for allowing their children to be treated like this. They should also demand the same for the officers involved.

We all send out childrent to school and assume that they are safe. But on this day, one officer with an itchy finger could have taken the sense of security from those children for a lifetime.

I am a teacher and a parent. School systems have every right to search anything that is on their property, whether that is a backpack, purse or even a car. But they have no right to allow the students to be terrorized by the very people that they were raised to believe would protect them.

I would yank my kids out of that school in an instant. The very fact that the principal and the police chief feel that nothing was done wrong indicates that this can happen again. What happens if a child is accidently killed the next time?

"School systems have every

"School systems have every right to search anything that is on their property, whether that is a backpack, purse or even a car."

I'll acknowledge it's true that everything is on school property and the school as a property owner is allowed to search what they want

But the school is not a private company, the students are not there voluntarily, and the students cannot simply leave rather then allow their vehicle/locker/bookbag to be searched.

If my employer wished to search my car on their property, I could leave and avoid the search, albeit at the possible expense of my job, but no force could be used against me to keep me there.
Anyone care to bet what would happen to a 17 year old who decides he will not be searched? Anyone think the police will just let him leave?

If the schools wish to defend random and baseless searches by asserting their "property rights", then they should act like any other entity with similar property rights- That means no force shall ever be used to prevent egress unless a crime is suspected(This would be along the exact same lines that merchants have to detain suspected shoplifters).

If a student wants to leave, no one should be allowed to stop them, unless an actual crime has been committed. This doesn't mean the school has to let them back in or that their grades won't suffer, just that they treat students like prisoners.

While we're on the subject of school searches, why don't poset secondary institutions, public or private, do random searches like those in secondary facilities? Are college students allowed less trampling of their rights than people in middle/high school?

Here's my guess at what

Here's my guess at what happened:

Principal runs his large school as a "tight ship" and prides himself on his students' high test scores.

He gets some evidence of drug use at his school, and although it is probably minor compared to other schools, he worries about his reputation being damaged and promises to "do something about it."

The principal starts motivating for a super-deluxe surveillance system to install at the school. It is considered expensive by the school board, but the principal keeps emphasizing the danger of drugs, and the need to "nip this in the bud." He gets the police on board to help justify how they can only make arrests once the cameras are installed.

A few weeks go by and no one is caught on tape. The principal starts complaining about how students are learning to hide from the cameras. People start questioning the cost/benefit of the system.

At the first whiff of an opportunity, the principal calls in the cops for a full-blown raid. Unfortunately, nothing is found.

Students go home complaining about the raid to their parents. Some exaggerate for effect because it has made a big impression on them, and they are worried that it is being treated as a nothing-out-of-the-ordinary by the school administration.

The parents bring these stories back to the school. The principal denies that it is as bad as the students claim. Then he has a bright idea--here is the use for his expensive new surveillance system! He can prove that the actions weren't as bad as children claimed. He can even have one child arrested because her claims are so exaggerated!

The media have picked up the story by this point, so he gives a mini press conference from the driver's seat of his expensive surveillance system, showing that the all-seeing video never caught a picture of this girl being pushed as she claimed.

I have no knowledge of this event except for what I have seen in the MSNBC, CBS, and Charleston Post and Courier news reports. This is a fictional account that attempts to be consistent with the facts as presented in these stories and what I know about human nature.

What actually happened in South Carolina, and the resolve of the people involved, will determine whether the principal or police get punished.

The reason I am interested in putting together my best guess chain of events is to figure out where we will draw the line. Is it time for each of us to go to our children?s schools and ask for a formal statement from them denouncing the events in South Carolina? Do we ask for written guarantees that our children will not be searched? Can we use this to shoot down any plans for surveillance cameras in the schools? What concrete actions will we take to stop this from happening to our children?

What concrete actions will

What concrete actions will we take to stop this from happening to our children?

I cannot and will not speak for any one else. I will not be sending my children (should I ever have any) to public indoctrination centers. Jonathan nailed that problem in his post. Others have mentioned the taking away of property rights in the form of drug laws, which are very difficult to reform. The last problem is one of police having twisted incentives (which I will be posting more about in the very near future).

Hi David, I will not be

Hi David,

I will not be sending my children (should I ever have any) to public indoctrination centers.

This is very good personal protection, and the plan my wife and I followed for most of our two sons' lives. When they went to school, it was their decision, and they had to lobby hard to us to be allowed. The youngest went to school for first grade and now sixth grade, and the oldest for third, fourth, and now eighth grade. I could go into a lot more detail, but basically the boys feel that public school is only something they do if they really, really want to.

I have told them about this story. Ultimately, when they are deciding whether or not they want to go to school, they will have to consider how likely it is that they get lined up in the halls for a collective muzzle-sweep.

I guess what I am wondering is whether we can elimnate the chances of blanket search without warrant at their local school. I would like to be able to review the standard operating procedures of the school adminstration and local law enforcement and make sure that we install some trip wire so we can convert what is probably a chain of incremental steps to a clear 'this is inside protocol, and that is outside' that would keep it from happening.

I've got some ideas, but I'll wait and see if there is any follow-up interest before using up any more bandwidth...

I guess what I am wondering

I guess what I am wondering is whether we can elimnate the chances of blanket search without warrant at their local school. I would like to be able to review the standard operating procedures of the school adminstration and local law enforcement and make sure that we install some trip wire so we can convert what is probably a chain of incremental steps to a clear 'this is inside protocol, and that is outside' that would keep it from happening.

Given the reality, letting school admins and local constabulary know that such broad sweeps are off limits is probably the best bet. I'm not sure how to get the "community" behind it though.

Dave

I'm thinking of a letter to

I'm thinking of a letter to the editor in the local press referencing the news item and asking questions like:

o Could this happen here?
o Do we have procedures in place to prevent it from happening?
o Can the school board/local sheriff distance themselves from the action in South Carolina?

Happily, I live in a small, friendly, tolerant area, so I'll have to think of how to ask politely without sounding like I'm over-reacting to the news in South Carolina. But I know how upset I would feel if my sons were treated like the students at Stratford High School.

The Free State Project ad

The Free State Project ad based on this little "incident"
http://www.freestateproject.org/about/advertising.jsp
got a lot of attention. Not everyone is comfortable living in a police state.