Teaching Tomorrow's Leaders


Cops and school administrators show the dangers of drugs to students in Goose Creek, South Carolina.

Update: See video here. (Thanks Frenk)


NEXT: Speechifying

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  1. Aarons said “12 to 14 students” were placed in handcuffs or plastic flexcuffs “due to their failure to respond to repeated police instructions to get on their knees with their hands on their heads,” after one of the lieutenants explained to the students what was going on.

    For some reason, this part sickens me even more than the part about having their guns drawn.

    I wonder how many public schools would jump at the chance to post the following sign in their hallways: “We reserve the right to have all of you physically restrained by a gun-toting gang because of our vague suspicions regarding 3 or 4 percent of you.”

  2. I thought the schools were supposed to be gun free zones.

    And I would really like to see NORML or some other organization fund a scientific study of drug sniffing dogs. These dogs turn up a lot of false positives, and I really wonder about their reliability.

    And the parent who condone this behavior ought to be exposed to it in their work place, at the supermarket, anywhere else where adults congregate and drugs might be present.

  3. I am speechless.

  4. Kids go to school to prepare them for their futures.

    In the 18/1900’s they sat in straight rows and did repetitive stuff to prepare them for factory work.

    These days we’re preparing them for life under Ashkroft’s Patriot Act.

    What’s not to understand?

  5. These days we’re preparing them for life under Ashkroft’s Patriot Act.

    Yeah — as we all know, excessive use of force by gun-toting cops hunting for drugs was completely unheard-of prior to the Bush administration.

    Wake up, dipshit. This has absolutely nothing to do with Ashcroft (the cops were local) or the Patriot Act (the provisions of which have no relevance to this raid). Ed Meese, Dick Thornburgh, and Janet Reno had already done a more-than-adequate job of butchering our rights (in the name of “the War on Drugs”) before Ashcroft ever set foot in the Attorney General’s office.

    This has nothing to do with readying kids for living in a police state, and everything to do with a hysterically overwrought fear of drug use.

  6. It would be a more entertaining story if they’d shot somebody.

  7. SWAT-style raids on a government-owned school to enforce that government’s own drug prohibitions are just a logical progression from compulsory schooling, and the impoverishment of most people by excessive taxation which makes the govt. school the only practical way to obey that “law.”

    Funny, at the private, religious-run schools I attended, where the owners would have been within their rights to search us at will, this was never done, not even by unarmed teachers.


  8. Ron,

    There’s plenty of that kind of entertainment. One of my favorites, now in reruns–

    Bill, did you mean AshKKKroft?

  9. Saw this one in other news pages before dropping by “Hit and Run.” The scariest thing is that the stormtroopers aren’t in the least apologetic for their actions. Step by step, liberty vanishes.

  10. If you’re not already a member, it’s time to join Drug Reform Coordination Network:


    Let’s not let America descend into Fascism.

  11. kevrob,

    I think a shooting would bring in a wider audience, via additional news story templates. You’d get the Columbine crowd, the gun control crowd, the drug crowd, the anti-storm trooper crowd, all at once. It would be great. Imagine the Good Morning America interviews with Katie Couric. They’d hardly know where to begin. Dead children would bring in the women, and you’d have the Nazi police for the men. Better than JFK Jr going down! Audience is everything.

    Then blogs could ridicule it all. Something for everybody.

    I think the adult supervision has always been against the drug war, but people are not tired of it yet.

  12. This has nothing to do with readying kids for living in a police state, and everything to do with a hysterically overwrought fear of drug use.

    Whatever. Please notice I didn’t say this was a result of the Patriot Act, just that it is training our children to be docile sheep in the face of unreasonable “authorities”. Drug hysteria is just another facet of a bunch of uptight asshats who feel a need to try controling others. I’m in complete agreement with you that this is just another in a long line of assaults on our rights as citizens.

  13. Sounds like the work of Officers Harris and Klebold.

  14. Sounds like the work of Officers Harris and Klebold.

  15. As a public high-school teacher, I sometimes think there is a conspiracy, composed of left AND right-wing extremists, to make schools as screwed up as possible. Extreme leftism is applied where it can cause the most damage, which is why we have schools where functionally illiterate children are given good grades to promote “high self-esteem,” and where Dead White Males like Shakespeare are given the shaft in favor any woman who can write out a grocery list; and then extreme rightism is applied where it can cause the most damage. I had a student expelled for possession of half a joint (on the theory that the way to keep kids off drugs is to keep them out of school), and a kid caught smoking a regular cigarette is suspended for a week.

    I think the plan is to simultaneously get kids used to fascism, and make sure they’re not educated enough to question it.

  16. Respect my authoritay!

  17. When is too far, really just too far? So far, hundreds of thousands of lives disrupted and families torn apart hasn’t yet stopped this war. Thousands of innocent deaths at the hands of law enforcement based on wrong tips, “trusty” informants, and out right vendettas. (Kinda of like the Iraqi and Afghani war lords using the US military to take care of their “dirty” business) I am getting cynical in believing this insanity is what will always be a normal part of life.

  18. High school students hiding from surveillance and resisting authority. Yup, they must all be on dope.

    Curiously the school wasn’t expecting the cops to use guns, while the cops were expecting the kids to be packing heat. Adults trust authority and authority trusts nobody.

  19. Catallarchy has been writing about this as well. The posts directly before and after this one discuss it.

  20. This message is directed to any French, British or Dutch citizens reading this: in the 1940s you guys were in danger of being overrun by Fascist overlords, and so we Americans crossed the Atlantic ocean and saved you. Don’t you think it’s high time you returned the favor? Come save us, Lafayette!

    (“High” time; no pun intended.)

  21. Regarding drug sniffing dogs, at Florida Cannabis Action Network http://www.flcan.org we routinely teach those who might be arrested via a drug dog search how to challenge the canine ‘testimony’ in court.

    Drug dog ‘jobs’ are tracked, recorded and as much public record as the performance of a human police officer. Cases have been dismissed in the past couple years already where the investigating dog was found to have more ‘misses’ than ‘hits’, thereby making him unreliable for creating probable cause to search a vehicle.

  22. Reynolds notes: They didn’t even find any drugs! In a high school! (Pun not intended)

  23. Good points Jennifer A.!

    Please tell me, how do I, as a simple tax-payer, get to the local control freaks, be they anti-tobacco activists, drug-warriors or any other kind? They do such a good job of hiding behind their authority in their own like-minded circles. They successfully evade any attempt to even involve them in a discussion. I’d love to do something, however little it may be.
    Anybody have any ideas?

  24. Martin:

    There is one way to force legalization, but it doesn’t have a snowball’s chance. If we could get EVERY SINGLE recreational drug user in the US to congregate in one place and light up a joint or smoke a crack pipe or whatever they do, then the police would be forced to arrest–what?–forty million people?

    Or, get a President who says “Either legalize drugs or I will issue a presidential pardon to every single non-violent drug offender you prosecute.”

    I’m actually surprised Bush has not done this. If I were a power-hungry wannabe dictator, I would encourage my subjects to get stoned, so they wouldn’t bother rebelling.

  25. I always thought if you could get every pot smoker in the country to plant all the seeds they clean put of their stash and planyt them in parks, along highways, whereever, there wouldn’t be enough law enforcement manpower to find and burn all the crops. There are 30,000,000 heads running around, right?

    If you can get pot as simply as plaucking it beside the road, they would have to legalize it.

  26. Hopefully, another small step towards legalizing drugs and ending the failed and morally bankrupt drug war.

    (This from someone who uses no illegal drugs, but recognizes a problem when he sees it.)

    By the way, the video is even more impressive than the reports, have a look: http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?SID=5409406

  27. Frenk, thaks for linking the video… for some reason it didn’t for me when I clicked the button in the article. Seeing gun-weilding thugs cavorting around a school with frightened kids lying about is not a pretty sight.

  28. Wow, thanks for the link to the video. Everyone should watch it.

    Are you sure this isn’t footage from police uncovering a terrorist cell in the school???

    Because the police looked ready to waste some people.

  29. Now let me get this straight. We’re supposed to trust this government to control firearms? Have I missed something here?

    Jennifer A.

    “If I were a power-hungry wannabe dictator, I would encourage my subjects to get stoned, so they wouldn’t bother rebelling.

    Charles Reich made exactly that point in 1970 in his book “The Greening of America” (this was pretty much his only point in a book that was otherwise nonsense).

  30. “If I were a power-hungry wannabe dictator, I would encourage my subjects to get stoned, so they wouldn’t bother rebelling.”

    So does this imply that the war on drugs is actually pro-freedom?

  31. Andy,
    NO! I am not saying the War on Drugs is pro-freedom; quite the opposite in fact. My point was that Bush and Company are so utterly anti-freedom that they’ll take it away even when it hurts them. The dictatorship of Brave New World was probably easier to enforce than the one in 1984.

  32. This sort of thing would never have happened if Janet Reno was still Attorney General… unless maybe the kids were Cuban refugees.

  33. If every person arrested for drug possession requested a jury trial, how would the courts be able to handle that and still honor the right to a speedy and fair trial?

  34. Reno would have burned down the school.

  35. Cartman:
    That’s authori-TAH, not authori-TAY.

    I teach English.

  36. R.C. Dean:

    You say not to use Fascism as an all-purpose epithet. Good point, but the title is quite fitting here. A Fascist dictatorship is one wherein people are still allowed to own property, but not to decide what to do with it, and also, the dictatorship promises a return to the glories of the past. Italian Fascism promised to re-ignite the old Roman Empire, Nazi fascism talked about the glory of Charlemagne and Frederick the Great, and American fascists talk about the good old days when America was perfect, probably because we didn’t waste time with desegregation and giving human rights to gays, and apparently NOBODY did drugs, NOBODY had premarital sex, and no children were ever abused.

  37. Jennifer A. – everyone knows all of human history was exactly like the 1950s until those dirty hippies came along in the 60s!

    (short course on the conservative view of history)

  38. However, the 50’s did have those unusual beatniks and don’t forget the pre-50’s black bluesmen with their appitite for mariHuana and white women!

    No, the good ole days were when we “normal” folk had every right to beat the hell out of those hippy folk a la Easy Rider.

  39. Stop kidding yourself. Both those things would simply vaporize in the blink of an eye — or with the slam of a judge’s hammer (waddaya call that tool anyway?)

  40. It’s a gavel.

  41. Yup, a judge’s gavel is the most powerful tool in this world — especially if it’s a Federal judge’s.

  42. fredH: in my corner of the subjective universe, anything farther south than newark is the middle of nowhere. 🙂

    but if you were to guess, what are the chances of a nice juicy civil suit being launched over this? assuming that regular lines of recourse are going to be pointless, since one of the kids in the story mentioned his own father was ok with the action. which makes me wonder if the father hates his own children, but some people are under the impression that a general mood of obedience is a desireable trait in children and adults alike.

  43. Okay, so the cops go in for a drug raid/bust. Why is anyone surprised ar unholstered weapons? They should wait until mommy’s littl angel opens up with his/her Glock? And as far as I could tell the only time a weapon was pointed directly at someone was when they were failing to comply. This is how cops are trained! Failure to comply is seen as a potential threat. Argue all you want about the propriety of calling them in if you want, but they don’t have anything to apologize for once on scene.

  44. anon @ 3:39:

    I think you’ve got it about right with the obedience thing. Berkeley county, where Goose Creek is, is pretty much inhabitied by fundie zombie comformists. If this happened in Charleston county, which has a more educated and cosmopolitan population, there would probably be a flurry of civil suits, but in Berkely I kind of doubt it.

  45. This seems like something out of a movie, fiction.

    They had their guns drawn. What’s someone going to do, throw their drugs at the cop?

    The principal interviewed is quite the moron. A “clean” school? Get some f***in windex.

  46. To anon. for once: The problem is that these were just ordinary kids in a school. They were targeted for search without probable cause — without ANY cause. The cops couldn’t even find any drugs.

    Guns were aimed at those who did not comply fast enough with police orders even though it is within the right of a citizen to ignore police questioning unless arrested. Thus, potentially deadly force was brought to bear on law-abiding students without cause. If someone would have pulled a black wallet out, who knows what could have happened.

    This is a clear example of the willingness of the US government to trample on good sense and the rights of citizens in pursuit of drugs.

    “Legalize it.”

  47. oops, that sentence “The educated citizen realizes that things change over time” should have also been italicized to attribute it to Morpheus.

    See, I just proved that there’s at least one stupid libertarian out there: Me! 😉

    P.S. Morpheus, you have some explaining to do. I just saw “Matrix Revolutions” over the weekend, and it sucked. So put your black trenchcoat back on and make me a GOOD movie! 😉

  48. Strange parallels – Armed U.S. cowboys storm into Iraq guns ablazing looking for WMDs and fail to find them. Armed U.S. cowboys storm into a public school looking for drugs and fail to find them.

    Clearly, we need more and better spies and secret police.

  49. Jeff Clothier,
    I hope you are kidding.

  50. One point I didn’t see anybody mention yet was the Orwellian language. The cops didn’t have “guns drawn”, or “brandished”, they were simply “unholstered in a down-ready position.” I ought to try that one – walk around the street with a drawn gun, and when I get busted for brandishing, I’ll tell the judge I wasn’t brandishing, just “unholstered in a down-ready position”, which the police think is a perfectly reasonable way to deal with people who haven’t (and probably won’t) shown you any aggression.

  51. perhaps cops in the middle of nowhere watch too many cop shows on tv? miami vice reruns?

    what i don’t understand is why they didn’t just arrest the people they’d seen on the cameras. unless this was supposed to be some sort of object lesson for the rest of the kids at that school?

  52. Let’s not let America descend into Fascism.

    Sigh. The drug war has nothing in particular to do with fascism. “Fascism” does not mean “anything I don’t like.” Using “fascist” as an all-purpose epithet is an excellent way to advertise your ignorance.

    The cops didn’t have “guns drawn”, or “brandished”, they were simply “unholstered in a down-ready position.”

    This is not just spin, it is a lie, based on the video. Those guns were, at times, pointed directly at students, not just pointed safely at the ground.

  53. dhex:

    Unfortunately, Goose Creek is not “in the middle of nowhere.” It’s only 20 miles from Charleston. Well, 20 miles geographically. A thousand miles culturally. In Charleston, we have a joke about Goose Creek. It seems that somebody was arrested for bringing a book into Goose Creek, but they had to let him go because nobody in Goose Creek could prove that it was a book. BTW, Goose Creek is a notorious speed trap. Not just one road, the whole town. That tells you something about their cops right there. SC good ol’ boy politics being what it is, this will all get buried. Ralph Hoisington, the local prosecutor, says that he will look into it. As if. He is a total scumbag weasel.

  54. Police officers in their oath of office promise to “support and defend the Constitution of the Unite States”. When a officer fails to live up to this promise, as in this case, they should be prosecuted for violating the constitutional rights they swore to “protect and defend”.

  55. Sorry arjay, but police officers DO have more right to the use of deadly force than a civilian. That is why they are trained in it’s use. As for waiting until a weapon appears, well that’s just asking for dead cops. The weapons come out to insure the good guys get the drop on the bad guys if the bad guys are dumb enough to throw down. Yes they went in looking for drugs, and drug dealers are usually pretty heavily armed. The fact that none were found says more about the idiots in charge of the school than it does about the cops. I just have to wonder if the same attitudes would prevail if this had been a gun call rather than what seems to be the H&R majority’s cause celebre.

  56. Fair enough arjay, but with multiple possible threats in a confined area, posing that possible threat not only to the officers but also to innocent students, weapons unslung seems appropriate to me. Again, I fault the school in this fiasco, not the cops. But bad business nonetheless.

  57. anon, for once

    “Why is anyone surprised ar unholstered weapons? They should wait until mommy’s littl angel opens up with his/her Glock?”

    Yes, in fact they should. That’s part of the risk they have to face as paid servants. If they don’t like it they should quit. One of the consequences of the WOD has been the miltarization of policing. We now commonly hear the word “civilian” used to mean “not a Policeman” where once we only heard the use in TV cop shows. Get it straight cops are civilians, they have no more right to use deadly force than you or I. If you live somewhere where state law has made this different you need to work to change the law. If you don’t we are all in danger from the steroid-pumped psycopaths that seem to be the members of todays police departments.

  58. nm156

    The fact that you use the word civilian as “not-a-cop” reveals much about your mindset (just as my objection to it shows mine).

    Sorry, it is a cop’s job (duties are not rights) to use deadly force when required and *that* is why they are trained in it’s use (they are also supposed to be trained in assessing what situations require it and how to avoid using it). I get to run away (and I most assuredly would, if the situation arose), he doesn’t. If he doesn’t like the risk he should quit.

    I would have a lot more sympathy for the police if Officer Friendly had not been replaced by Officer Psycho.

  59. EMAIL: pamela_woodlake@yahoo.com
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    DATE: 01/20/2004 01:04:24
    In his errors a man is true to type. Observe the errors and you will know the man.

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