Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Lockdown "results"

In my previous post (The Lone Ranger) I mentioned the lockdown at my childrens' school on Friday. An explanatory note from the district superintendent said that all lockers had been searched, but no weapons were found. However, he reported that several students had been suspended. Russ picked the kids up from school yesterday, so he stopped by the principal's office and asked what the suspensions were for. The principal said that that information was confidential. Hmmm...he was not asking names or anything, just curious as a parent to know if his children were ever in any kind of danger. A reasonable request. So he asked a teacher, who repeated that he/she really was not supposed to give out that information, but just between them, and understanding the concerns of a parent, he/she confided that the following offenses were found during the locker search:
  • Tylenol (supposed to be registered with nurse's office)

  • a couple of Swiss army (pocket) knives
That's all, folks. In the name of keeping our kids safe, hundreds of students were detained in their classrooms for hours. Some poor student, carrying legal over the counter medication but not following "procedure" is now suspended from school. And as far as I know there's no law classifying pocket knives as concealed weapons and thus regulating their presence, except in schools and airports I guess.

What's to keep a school official from phoning in an anonymous threat to justify locker searches? (Orange terrorism alert; see the parallel?) Is there a procedure in place to prevent the planting of "evidence" resulting in student suspension? Why are parents not allowed to know the truth? I may be reaching here, but this reminds me of the revocation of rights under the Patriot Act.

Yes, I'm concerned for my childrens' safety while they are at school. I know there is a small but real danger that what happened at Red Lake could happen there, or anywhere. There is also a larger danger that we could be involved in an automobile accident on the way to school. Should we deal with that danger by requiring drivers to register their routes and destinations, and be subject to search and arrest if they deviate from normal routes?

Our children are being trained to accept limits on their rights in the name of "homeland (or homeroom) security".

Edited to add: I just found out that they searched all students' cars too. This is not looking good. :(

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To do anything BUT what the school did is almost un-American these days. We've become so saturated with fear and mistrust for one another that it seems okay now to go absolutely whole hawg anytime some "event" disrupts what we think shuold be perfect little insulated safe lives.

If a dead tree falls down on a car as it goes down the road, dead trees'll be illegal in the tri-county area. Utility trucks will go up and down the roads taking out every dead tree within sight of the road, no matter how minimal the threat.

Just a fictitious example, but you get the picture.

The scary part is that we do it in the name of "feeling safe", when really all this stuff does is amp up the fear and paranoia. This becomes a vicious cycle as it lays us bare and ass-up, ready to be plowed by a fearmongering media.

I know I'm preaching to choir here, but I feel what you're saying. There's a better balance than the one that's being struck nowadays. Matter of fact, there is no balance these days.