“ Every day in communities across the United States, children and children spend the majority of their waking up hours in schools that have increasingly come to resemble places of detention more than areas of learning. ” — Investigative journalist Annette Fuentes
This is what it means to visit back-to-school in America today.
Instead of producing the schools safer, govt officials are making them more authoritarian.
Instead of raising up a generation of civic-minded citizens along with critical thinking skills, government officials are churning out there compliant drones who know little to nothing about their history or their freedoms.
Plus instead of being taught the three R’s of education (reading, writing and arithmetic), young people are being drilled in the three I’s of life in the United states police state: indoctrination, violence and intolerance.
From the moment a child enters one of the nation’s 98, 1000 public schools to the moment he or she graduates, they will be exposed to a steady diet plan of:
- draconian zero tolerance guidelines that criminalize childish actions,
- overreaching anti-bullying statutes that criminalize conversation,
- school source officers (police) tasked along with disciplining and/or arresting so-called “ disorderly” students,
- standardized testing that emphasizes rote answers more than critical thinking,
- politically correct mindsets that teach young people to censor themselves and those around all of them,
- and substantial biometric and surveillance systems that, coupled with the rest, acclimate young people to a world in which they have no freedom associated with thought, speech or movement.
Pulled into the government’s profit-driven advertising campaign to keep the nation “ safe” from drugs, disease, plus weapons, the schools have transformed themselves into quasi-prisons, complete with surveillance cameras, metal detectors, police patrols, absolutely no tolerance policies, lock downs, drug sniffing dogs, remove searches and active shooter drills.
Young adults in America are now first in-line to be searched, surveilled, spied on, threatened, tied up, secured down, treated like crooks for non-criminal behavior, tasered and in some cases shot.
Students are not only punished regarding minor transgressions such as actively playing cops and robbers within the playground, bringing LEGOs to school, or having a food fight, but the punishments are becoming far more severe, shifting through detention and visits to the principal’s office into misdemeanor tickets, juvenile court, handcuffs, tasers and even prison conditions.
Look-alike weapons (toy guns— even Lego-sized ones, hand-drawn pictures of guns, pencils twirled in a “ threatening” manner, imaginary ribbon and arrows, fingers positioned like guns) can also property a student in hot water, in some cases getting them expelled from practice or charged with a crime.
Not even good deeds go unpunished.
One 13-year-old was given detention for exposing the school to “ liability” by sharing his lunchtime with a starving friend. A third grader was suspended for waxing her head in sympathy for a friend who had lost the girl hair to chemotherapy. And there was the high school mature who was suspended for saying “ bless you” following a fellow classmate sneezed.
Having police in the schools only adds to the risk.
Thanks to a mixture of media hype, political pandering and financial incentives, the use of armed police officers (a. k. a. school resource officers) to patrol school hallways has risen dramatically within the years since the Columbine school shooting.
Certainly, the growing presence of police in the country’s schools is definitely resulting in better police “ involvement in routine discipline matters that principals and parents used to address with out involvement from law enforcement officials. ”
Funded by the U. S. Department of Justice, these college resource officers have become sobre facto wardens in elementary, middle and high educational institutions, doling out their own model of justice to the so-called “ criminals” in their midst with the help of tasers, pepper spray, batons plus brute force .
In the absence of school-appropriate guidelines, law enforcement are more and more “ stepping in to deal with minor rulebreaking : sagging pants, disrespectful comments, brief physical skirmishes. What previously might have led to a detention or a visit to the principal’s office has been replaced with excruciating discomfort and temporary blindness, frequently followed by a trip to the courthouse. ”
Not even the younger, elementary school-aged children are being spared these “ hardening” tactics.
On any given day whenever school is in session, kids who “ act up” in class are pinned facedown on the floor, locked in dark closets, tied up with straps, bungee cords and duct recording, handcuffed, leg shackled, tasered or otherwise restrained, immobilized or even placed in solitary confinement in order to bring them below “ control. ”
In almost every case, these undeniably harsh strategies are used to punish kids— several as young as 4 and five years old— for just failing to follow directions or throwing tantrums.
Very rarely do the kids pose any credible risk to themselves or others.
Unbelievably, these tactics are legal , at least when employed by school officials or even school resource officers within the nation’s public schools.
This is what happens when you introduce police and police tactics into the schools.
Paradoxically, by the time a person add in the lockdowns and active shooter drills, rather than making the schools safer, school officials have succeeded in creating an environment within which children are so traumatized that they suffer from post-traumatic stress condition, nightmares, anxiety, mistrust of adults in authority, and also feelings of anger, depressive disorder, humiliation, despair and misconception.
For example , a middle school in Washington State went on lockdown after a student delivered a toy gun to class . A Birkenstock boston high school went into lockdown for four hours after a bullet was present in a classroom . The North Carolina elementary school locked down and called in police after a fifth grader reported seeing an unfamiliar man in the college (it ended up being a parent).
Police officers at a Florida middle school carried out an active player with the dice drill in an effort to educate college students about how to respond in the event of an actual shooting crisis. Two armed officers, guns loaded and drawn, burst directly into classrooms, terrorizing the college students and placing the school into lockdown mode.
These law enforcement state tactics have not produced the schools any more secure.
The results has been what you’d anticipate, with the nation’s young people taken care of like hardened criminals: handcuffed, arrested, tasered, tackled plus taught the painful training that the Constitution (especially the Fourth Amendment) doesn’t mean a lot in the American police state.
So what’s the answer, not only for the here-and-now— the children growing up in these quasi-prisons— but for the future of this country?
How do you convince a child who has been consistently handcuffed, shackled, tied down, secured up, and immobilized simply by government officials— all before he reaches the age of adulthood— that he has any legal rights at all, let alone the right to challenge wrongdoing, resist oppression and defend himself towards injustice?
Most of all, how do you persuade a fellow American that the government functions for him when, for most of his young living, he has been incarcerated in an institution that teaches teenagers to be obedient and up to date citizens who don’t talk back, don’t question , nor challenge authority?
As we’ve seen with other issues, any significant reconstructs will have to start locally plus trickle upwards.
For starters, parents need to be vocal, visible and organized and demand that school officials 1) adopt a policy of positive reinforcement in dealing with conduct issues; 2) minimize the particular presence in the schools of police officers and cease concerning them in student discipline; and 3) insist that behavioral issues be resolved first and foremost with a child’s mom and dad, before any other disciplinary strategies are attempted.
As I make clear in my book Battlefield The united states: The War on the United states People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries , if we want to raise up a generation of freedom fighters who will actually operate with justice, fairness, accountability plus equality towards each other and their government, we must begin by running the schools such as freedom forums.