Schools

Cops in Schools, Kids in Court

One of the worst byproducts of school security fears.

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The New York Times describes one of the worst byproducts of school security fears:

Dear old golden rule days.

As school districts across the country consider placing more police officers in schools, youth advocates and judges are raising alarm about what they have seen in the schools where officers are already stationed: a surge in criminal charges against children for misbehavior that many believe is better handled in the principal's office.

Since the early 1990s, thousands of districts, often with federal subsidies, have paid local police agencies to provide armed "school resource officers" for high schools, middle schools and sometimes even elementary schools. Hundreds of additional districts, including those in Houston, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, have created police forces of their own, employing thousands of sworn officers.

Preparing kids for a lifetime of air travel.

The article goes on to describe the petty offenses that have pushed many of those kids into the criminal justice system (one teen had to go to court following "a brief fight on a school bus in November after another boy, a security video showed, hit him first") and the ways that system processes the students (one woman in the piece describes "'plea mills,' with students pleading guilty in the hope that, once they paid a fine and spent hours cleaning parks, the charges would be expunged"). There are also signs, in the post-Newtown era, that the practice in on the rise:

Many districts are clamoring for police officers. "There's definitely a massive trend toward increasing school resource officers, so much so that departments are having trouble buying guns and supplies," said Michael Dorn, director of Safe Havens International, in Macon, Ga., a safety consultant to schools.

One district in Florida, Mr. Dorn said, is looking to add 130 officers, mainly to patrol its grade schools. McKinney, Tex., north of Dallas, recently placed officers in its five middle schools.

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

The article notes that both the NRA and the White House have called for more cops in schools, a fact that reinforces my fears that a quiet convergence is at work here. I hate to fall into the Annoying Blogger Habit of quoting myself, but this is a point that bears repeating:

In theory, the current debate over school security pits the advocates of new gun controls against the advocates of arming school personnel. In practice, it's easy to imagine those positions converging on a middle ground that should horrify both principled liberals and principled conservatives: one where the "school resource officers" who increasingly patrol the halls are more likely to be armed, and where the rules they enforce are more likely to entail absurd zero-tolerance decrees.

Read the whole Times piece here.

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  1. Principled liberals? Is there such a thing?

    1. Principled liberals see total control as a good thing.

    2. Oops. Beat me to it.

  2. The NRA image used looks more like the National Recovery Administration than the National Rifle Association….

    1. There is a reason for that.

      1. Since it is next to a paragraph discussing the National Rifle Association, it seems the reason is that someone googled images for ‘NRA’ and accidentally used one for the recovery Administration.

        1. Oh, for heaven’s sake. Of course I knew which NRA’s logo I was using.

          1. Must not have been enough coffee this morning. I missed it. Sorry.

          2. Go! Frankford Yellow Jackets!

          3. I must not have had enough coffee either, because I can’t figure out why you did it either. Would you mind terribly cluing us in to your secret machinations for this deep philosophical metaphor?

            1. The NRA was about as close as the US ever got to full on economic fascism. The police state being pushed on schools draws its own parallels to fascism.

            2. I must not have had enough coffee either, because I can’t figure out why you did it either.

              It’s a joke at the National Rifle Association’s expense, as they Do Their Part.

            3. Did you read the alt-text?

  3. In my AP US History class in high school, I played Hugh Johnson, head of the National Recovery Administration, in some kind of mock debate.

    It was the start of my real FDR hatred. The man was a genuine fascist who should have been lynched by a Committee of Vigilance.

    1. But remember Roosevelt had to do all of that stupid shit to keep the country from revolting and turning fascist.

      Signed,

      Your typical high school history teacher.

    2. “Hugh Johnson”. Heh.

    3. Why do you think FDR and his fellow new dealers had such high esteem for Mussolini.

      If he hadn’t thrown in with Hitler during WW2, there would probably still be prog-tards to this day who would slobber all over his cock. I’m looking at you, Krugger-nuts.

      1. Roosevelt never had much use for Hitler, but Mussolini was another matter. “‘I don’t mind telling you in confidence,’ FDR remarked to a White House correspondent, ‘that I am keeping in fairly close touch with that admirable Italian gentleman.'”. Rexford Tugwell, a leading adviser to the president, had difficulty containing his enthusiasm for Mussolini’s program to modernize Italy: “It’s the cleanest. . .most efficiently operating piece of social machinery I’ve ever seen. It makes me envious.”

        The Nazi press enthusiastically hailed the early New Deal measures: America, like the Reich, had decisively broken with the “uninhibited frenzy of market speculation.” The Nazi Party newspaper, the V?lkischer Beobachter, “stressed ‘Roosevelt’s adoption of National Socialist strains of thought in his economic and social policies,’ praising the president’s style of leadership as being compatible Hitler’s own dictatorial F?hrerprinzip.”

        Nor was Hitler himself lacking in praise for his American counterpart. He “told American ambassador William Dodd that he was ‘in accord with the President in the view that the virtue of duty, readiness for sacrifice, and discipline should dominate the entire people. These moral demands which the President places before every individual citizen of the United States are also the quintessence of the German state philosophy, which finds its expression in the slogan “The Public Weal Transcends the Interest of the Individual.”

      2. Cole Porter’s “You’re the Tops” originally had a couplet referencing Mussolini.

        In the movie Dinner at Eight, one of Marie Dressler’s dogs was originally named Mussolini, but they changed it in post-production to (I believe) Tarzan.

    4. i was assigned William Bennett for that exercise. similar results.

  4. You can’t run a proper prison without guards.

  5. I just don’t understand why we have to fundamentally change the way we do things every time there’s a big tragedy.

    1. Those who want to expand the state are serious when they talk about not letting a serious crisis go to waste.

    2. Why?? I’ll tell you Why. I’m sick of these constant bear attacks, it’s like a freakin’ country bear jamberoo around here!

    3. That’s what pisses me off the most about this shit. The people behind the push for more control, of course, are just pushing what they already wanted anyway. But some people do actually change their minds when things like this happen and that is really frustrating.
      How can anyone with half a brain not know that something like Newtown is possible if privately owned guns exist?

  6. School officials are terrified of being sued or in any way not having their asses covered at all times. A cop on premises is the perfect way to shift responsibility for discipline. You just declare zero tolerance and have the cop arrest any kid who breaks the rules. That way it is the police department that will get sued not you. It is perfect.

    1. they’ve already declared zero tolerance which is why the kid who fights back gets the same punishment as the one who starts it, why Midol gets the same penalty as crack, and why nail files are the same as Uzis.

      1. I would not make it through school today. I always carried a knife, at least one lighter and a pack of smokes in my pockets. If I ever had drugs I needed to take during school (prescribed or OTC ones, I mean), I just kept them in my pocket even though we were supposed to keep them with the nurse. All those things were already technically against the rules, but if you didn’t cause any problems, no one would bother you much.

        1. And now you regularly post on a libertarian web site, so you see what happens when the schools don’t adopt a “zero tolerance” position for every fucking thing? Kids might grow up to think of themselves as free individuals or something instead of being part of a collective, dedicated to “the greater good”.

    2. Exactly. John. There is one phrase for this phenomenon: “shift the blame”.

      1. What the hell just happened here?

    3. Absolutely. The school discipline process has been subject to judicial supervision thanks to ACLU types and their activism for “student rights.” If discipline cases are going to end up in court, why not proactively get the police and courts into the process from the beginning, so the schools can wash their hands of the liability?

      Meanwhile, the “student rights” people, including “principled liberals,” will be baffled as to why there are more and more cops and judges getting involved with school discipline. How did this happen, after all the effort they put into making discipline fairer?

  7. it’s easy to imagine those positions converging on a middle ground that should horrify both principled liberals and principled conservatives: one where the “school resource officers” who increasingly patrol the halls are more likely to be armed, and where the rules they enforce are more likely to entail absurd zero-tolerance decrees.

    You misspelled “delight”.

  8. The New Yorks Times

    Ever Vigilant

  9. It won’t be long before everyone involved in a fight at a school ends up with a record that will prevent legal gun ownership later.

    1. Feature, not bug. /proggie-tardo

  10. Kids need to learn about the criminal justice system somehow.

  11. Homeschool is looking better every day.

    1. You have no fundamental right to home school “your” children.

    2. Actually this is yet another issue easily solved by vouchers. Think you brat’s school isn’t safe? Haul his ass to one that you think is.

  12. Can’t educrats envision a position that isn’t at one of the extremes? At the schools that I attended, assault and theft were effectively perfectly legal.

    1. Can’t educrats envision a position that isn’t at one of the extremes?
      ———

      nope…prohibition and alcoholism are the only options. Ever.

  13. “principled liberals”
    Unicorns.

  14. I’m seriously wondering if there’s a way to structure our lives so we can homeschool when sprog gets old enough for actual book learnin’. Private school is definitely more preferred than public, but a lot of the stupidity is contsant between the two, since education departments are run by idiots and turn out idiots anymore.

    1. I’m wondering the same thing.

      1. Homeschool co-ops is a good idea. You and three or four like minded get together, and arrange a couple lessons a week, each of the parents taking the subjects they’re qualified in.

        Another thing is that stripped of bullshit and not having to wait for other kids, you can do the instruction your kid really needs in like…three hours, maybe four. Maybe even less.

        It’s really not as hard as people think, IMO.

        1. At one time or another, my kids had all five varieties of education: conventional government skool, home school, home school co-op, private school, and government charter school.

          The particular home school co-op my kids went to was superb, far superior to either conventional government skool or private school.

          The government charter school was okay, but only because it was a junior college that awarded college credit for its coursework. Kids received a government-certified high school diploma, entered college as juniors, and completed their university bachelor’s degree in two years.

  15. It won’t be long before everyone involved in a fight at a school ends up with a record that will prevent legal gun ownership later.

    We cannot allow a lot of violent antisocial psycopaths to destroy society!

  16. I would sell the house and have the family live in a trailer so I could afford the private school tuition or reduce my hours worked to do homeschooling before I subjected my children to this shit. When a few police overreact and kill some kids, we’ll get the standard “procedures were followed” bullshit.

    What will it take for the blind faith in public servants to end?

    1. Except private schools often have armed guards, too.

  17. Instead of arming teachers, perhaps we should train cops to teach kids. They couldn’t be worse at it than the mentaly defecient graduates of the crackhouses of education that dominate the field at the moment. Just remind junior to keep the dog home on show and tell.

    1. This actually isn’t as horrible an idea as it sounds. There isn’t much philosophical difference between most teachers and most cops and the cops have the training to hide until the coast is clear when someone comes to school with guns. Teachers don’t have that training.

    2. Or we could deputize teachers and give them the same training as cops. Then merge the NEA and the FOP into one horrible uber-union.

      1. Why must you post your dystopian post-apocalyptic literature here?

  18. both the NRA and the White House have called for more cops in schools

    The NRA are a bunch of big government so-con law enforcement cheerleaders, so this should not exactly come as a surprise to anyone.

    1. I like the NRA’s “jackbooted thug” cheer for federal law enforcement

  19. Alt Alt-Text for second picture: “Preparing kids for a lifetime of made up irrational fear.”

    1. And to OBEY, of course.

      1. Do you know whom else people are taught to fear, obey, and not reason with?

        1. Terminators?

        2. Dominatrixes?

  20. I’ve thought for a long time and way before 9/11 that all of these school safety initiatives have nothing to do with safety but are just part of the indoctrination process to condition kids to accept the police state without question as the second cartoon implies. They’ve made it quite clear that you have absolutly no rights at school and since that is their main interaction with authority it’s how they learn. Hopefully, there are a enough young free thinkers that the whole thing backfires and they become more instead of less rebellous.

  21. This becomes a non-issue if you eliminate all public schools and let parents decide what to do with their children for their education.

  22. stripped of bullshit and not having to wait for other kids, you can do the instruction your kid really needs in like…three hours, maybe four. Maybe even less.

    You can also use the one room schoolhouse model, and use the students them selves as teachers” aides to teach the younger kids. Nothing reinforces your expertise like teaching it to somebody else.

    1. First time learn it, second time do it yourself, third time be ready to teach it to someone else.

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