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teach your children well, at gunpoint
ap via abc news, august 20, 2004
Justice Says Guns-Drawn School Raid Legal

A guns-drawn raid at a high school last year did not violate civil rights laws and the case is closed, the U.S. Justice Department said.


Fifteen officers entered Stratford High School's main hallway and ordered 130 students to the floor Nov. 5 of last year. They used plastic ties to handcuff 18 students and school officials opened and searched 17 book bags using a drug dog.

Police found no drugs or weapons, but the raid frightened children, provoked marches and lawsuits and brought national media attention and the resignation of the school's longtime principal.

the original story is covered here with video. the memory hole has more, including an unidentified person in what appears to be a military uniform.

This is one incident that I can't imagine happening in Japan... at least not yet. I wonder what this sort of "police state" behavior does to children.


"I wonder what this sort of "police state" behavior does to children."

I suppose it makes them realize that they live in a police state, albeit a wealthy and mostly comfortable one.

Oddly enough, the school principle (as well as administrators) seem to be boosters of this raid.

It's not just the raid itself I object to, its the principle of the thing.

Boo: Yeah, because free will and freedom of thought, movement, worship and all that aren't nearly as important as being wealthy and comfortable.

(Not that it is likely that those kids at a public high school were particularly wealthy. Or comfortable, from the looks of things. They look a bit terrified to me.)

America has poverty, too. Why is it that the world forgets this? So many of our children live in real poverty.

The saddest poverty of all is an impoverished mind and spirit, and there's depressingly far too much of that here.

Penn & Teller covered this this season on Bullshit! too. Here's a link to the clip. [30 MB]

Around the time this raid occured, there were a handful of other educated and culturally aware folks serving at the "Ahbu Gah-Rub" prison, as Bush II calls it. It must have been "Undereducated and Authoritarian Ass-hole American" month.

This is one incident that I can't imagine happening in Japan... at least not yet. I wonder what this sort of "police state" behavior does to children.

Japan doesn't have the nonsense that South Carolina does, but aren't Japanese high schools a little militaristic already? :) When I was going to school in Matsue, I remember a big story in the news where a teacher purposely shut a gate to the school entrance, even though it meant crushing the skull of a young female student who was running late and trying to squeeze through. This was a long time ago, maybe '91.

My main fear is that jerks with 5-watt cranial capacities can be observed in all corners of the globe.

always funny to see how people can interwine President Bush into all this.

Give it up. This issue has nothing to do with George W. Bush.

As with a lot of things in the media, this story hardly gives a larger picture. For example, was there dangerous suspect amoung the students? Did the police get a tip? Just an inflammatory story that does nothing but provoke this kind of inane banter.

it's linked indirectly to dubya, since it's part of the culture of ubiquitous, matter-of-fact culture of fear which he's taking all the way to the bank.

if they had tips about some kid having committed a crime they could have gone and arrested him/her at home. but i suppose someone just figured it was a good idea to make an example of some kids and make sure all the others stay scared (put the fear of (drug) dog in 'em - hah). most public schools are just really nice jails, after all.

How was I "intertwining" Bush into this? Does mention of his name constitute intertwining? It's a stretch, but you might be able to claim that I was seeking to establish a congruence between the incompetent guard and an incompetent President. Then again, you would have said it. Not me.