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Cops in the Corridors: Why Your Kids Are Not Safe at School

Written by Gary North on January 13, 2012

A long article appears in The Guardian, a British Left-wing paper.

The charge on the police docket was “disrupting class”. But that’s not how 12-year-old Sarah Bustamantes saw her arrest for spraying two bursts of perfume on her neck in class because other children were bullying her with taunts of “you smell”

Police docket? What is going on?

Like hundreds of schools in the state, and across large parts of the rest of the US, Fulmore Middle has its own police force with officers in uniform who carry guns to keep order in the canteens, playgrounds and lessons. Sarah was taken from class, charged with a criminal misdemeanour and ordered to appear in court.

Each day, hundreds of schoolchildren appear before courts in Texas charged with offences such as swearing, misbehaving on the school bus or getting in to a punch-up in the playground. Children have been arrested for possessing cigarettes, wearing “inappropriate” clothes and being late for school.

In 2010, the police gave close to 300,000 “Class C misdemeanour” tickets to children as young as six in Texas for offences in and out of school, which result in fines, community service and even prison time. What was once handled with a telling-off by the teacher or a call to parents can now result in arrest and a record that may cost a young person a place in college or a job years later.

It’s not just our problem.

The British government is studying the American experience in dealing with gangs, unruly young people and juvenile justice in the wake of the riots in England. The UK’s justice minister, Crispin Blunt, visited Texas last September to study juvenile courts and prisons, youth gangs and police outreach in schools, among other things. But his trip came at a time when Texas is reassessing its own reaction to fears of feral youth that critics say has created a “school-to-prison pipeline”. The Texas supreme court chief justice, Wallace Jefferson, has warned that “charging kids with criminal offences for low-level behavioural issues” is helping to drive many of them to a life in jail.

That is correct.  There a solution. Expel them. That is what Joe Clark did in Lean on Me. But this solution is intolerable. Humanist educators have believed for 170 years in the redemptive power of tax-funded education. To expel is to excommunicate. “There is no salvation outside the church.”

Expulsion reduces state money flowing into local schools. Principals refuse to expel.

Even the federal government has waded in, with the US attorney general, Eric Holder, saying of criminal citations being used to maintain discipline in schools: “That is something that clearly has to stop.”

As almost every parent of a child drawn in to the legal labyrinth by school policing observes, it wasn’t this way when they were young.

The emphasis on law and order in the classroom parallels more than two decades of rapid expansion of all areas of policing in Texas in response to misplaced fears across the US in the 1980s of a looming crime wave stoked by the crack epidemic, alarmist academic studies and the media.

Let’s be clear: the public schools are collapsing. The erosion, 1964-2000, is now accelerating.

The Left-wing Guardian blames law and order advocates.

As the hand of law and order grew heavier across Texas, its grip also tightened on schools. The number of school districts in the state with police departments has risen more than 20-fold over the past two decades.

“Zero tolerance started out as a term that was used in combating drug trafficking and it became a term that is now used widely when you’re referring to some very punitive school discipline measures. Those two policy worlds became conflated with each other,” said Fowler.

Is this nuts? Not really. The schools are become like prisons. This Right-wing site has a frightening report on the extent of police state monitoring in the schools.

But most schools do not face any serious threat of violence and police officers patrolling the corridors and canteens are largely confronted with little more than boisterous or disrespectful childhood behaviour.

The article does not ask the obvious question: “What is the racial composition of the schools where there is violence?” That would be politically incorrect.

Students are also regularly fined for “disorderly behaviour”, which includes playground scraps not serious enough to warrant an assault charge or for swearing or an offensive gesture. One teenage student was arrested and sent to court in Houston after he and his girlfriend poured milk on each other after they broke up. Nearly one third of tickets involve drugs or alcohol. Although a relatively high number of tickets – up to 20% in some school districts – involve charges over the use of weapons, mostly the weapons used were fists.

The reality is this: the schools are breaking down.

Austin’s school police department is well armed with officers carrying guns and pepper spray, and with dog units on call for sniffing out drugs and explosives.

According to the department’s records, officers used force in schools more than 400 times in the five years to 2008, including incidents in which pepper spray was fired to break up a food fight in a canteen and guns were drawn on lippy students.

One anonymous teacher spoke out.

“There’s this illusion that it’s just a few kids acting up; kids being kids. This is not the 50s. Too many parents today don’t control their children. Their fathers aren’t around. They’re in gangs. They come in to the classroom and they have no respect, no self-discipline. They’re doing badly, they don’t want to learn, they just want to disrupt. They can be very threatening,” he says. “The police get called because that way the teacher can go on with teaching instead of wasting half the class dealing with one child, and it sends a message to the other kids.”

Bleeding heart liberals don’t know what to do about their premier institution for social salvation.

I do. “Not a brass farthing!”

Continue Reading on www.guardian.co.uk

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12 thoughts on “Cops in the Corridors: Why Your Kids Are Not Safe at School

  1. There is only one thing more dangerous than a trigger happy cop pulling a gun on a juvenilewho is acting up in class, that something is me as the parent. I will disipline my children when necessary, but if I were to find out that you pointed a gun at my child for some nonlethal offence, you are in for the ass kicking of your life, I don't give a damn what athourity you think you have.

  2. Amen sister !

  3. *juvenile who

  4. Bob,

    The few good men must stand now, face death, and die, to protect our land from this tyrannic and governmental oppression.
    It all began decades ago, with a loose, lax, immigration policy. Allowing people from all walks, with and mostly without morals by God to live among us, at our protest. Using the crime of from and by the Illegals to create the largest crackdown ever envisioned by any of the sick minds who let this occur. With those roaming demons by the millions, gives the people a want to stop the crime and this my friend is the result. America's Melting Pot only works if the people here gain a sense of morals and God that will govern their lives to practice the last six commands ,how Man should treat men.
    God help us all, as we have passed the tipping point and are now inside the ideology of and headed directly for Tyrannic Oppression.

  5. They now discipline teachers who discipline students. Bring back the "Hickory Stick" and you won't need the police. In the 1930s just about all boys carried knives to school. We played games with them at recess. I never heard of anyone using one as a weapon. Now it is a crime just to have a pocket knife at school. It is ASSUMED to be a weapon. Then, if you misbehaved, the teacher used the discipline method they preferred and if that didn't work you went to the principal's office where the "board of education" was applied. Very few misbehaved twice. As far as I know, nobodies self esteem was damaged.

  6. I agree with the sentiment but you have to remember the second you draw back on a cop.
    He has a legal right to kill you.
    It aint the old usa.

  7. If I had any kid in Texas schools I would pull them out If the Goverment has its hand in anything something bad will happen some cop will kill a child or hurt them bad wait and see what is wrong with you guys in Texas stop this madness

  8. The only way to deal with kids who are in gangs and who are disrupting the school activities is to send them to "Military School" where their sorry asses will turn into a more civil society. Discipline, hard discipline is what they need.

  9. These kids aren't doing anything they don't see on tv. We laugh at the shows and don't teach our children anything different.

  10. Myrtlelinder says:

    Who was the Russian Ruler who said, "Give me a child until he is seven years old." Children are not taught to respect others,at home, they have been pampered and allowed to have their own way and think that will work at school. Imagine hundreds of children getting together with this mindset.

  11. Remember years ago when the government decided to "protect kids" and no parent could think of threatening a spank without the cry of "I'll call the cops on you for beating me!"
    Well, here my friends are the results… Kids who respect no authority, no one- least of all themselves, and welcome to "1984"

  12. the schools in pueblo colorado has police in all of the distric schools the courts are filled up everyday with the kids from school . they are policeing the schools and trying to get the kids to give info on what going on at home and what not ive seen kids including my own in court for wearing thier belt hanging down or late to class swearing at someone ect most kids i know dont go to school or just dont care cause they feel like they are going to prison with the wearing of school uniforms and thats at the high school level too i hear kids talking that they are giving tickests for allmost everything from not dressing in uniform to some small knifes and ect they feel no diffarence then being in school or walking down the street. you can sit in the city court house and listen all day long on the tickets they give at school to me it all about money and wanting to be in everybodies bizz.