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"Murphy was an optimist!"

From the mouths of babes December 15, 2008 5:30 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Activism, Daily Life, Family, From the mouths of babes, Noah, Politics, Touchy Subjects
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Dad: "Noah, do you know that the school board passed a new rule allowing random searches at the school?"
Noah, 12 years old: "No."
Dad: "It means that teachers can just pull you aside and have you show them everything in your bag and pockets. How do you feel about that?"
Noah: "I’m not doing anything wrong so I guess I’m okay with it."

My heart sank. He gave the scripted answer! The system has him. I think Noah is old enough to read 1984, Brave New World, and Fahrenheit 451. Time to knock the dust of my copies.

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1. morgan - December 15, 2008

I personally don’t know what to think about it. I know my son would be unfairly targeted because he wears black and listens to heavy metal. I discussed it with my boyfriend for a while and he feels that if you are under 18 you don’t have any rights anyways and if it keeps kids from bringing drugs and guns to school what is the harm?

I need to know more about it and be able to argue it more logically.

2. brian brinley - December 16, 2008

the bottom line is we live in a different society.

doug, how would you feel if noah was an innocent bystandard because the teacher suspected that a child had a gun but didn’t have the ability to investigate quickly enough? of course thats a worst case scenerio, and noahs response wasn’t scripted… it was honest!

3. Doug McCaughan - December 16, 2008

I call it scripted because it is the response I hear from adults and children alike before they give any thought to their civil liberties. I was trying to think of a better word than scripted. His response was really the way the powers that be who want to implement such invasive “security” procedures want you to believe.

I hate to think of Noah as an innocent bystander to such an event but random searches won’t prevent that. In your example “the teacher suspected that a child had a gun” is a case of “reasonable cause” and they are all ready allowed to search in that case. A “random search” is the ability to pull someone aside for no reason and search that person. The truth of the matter is that the kid in the turban, the Goth kid, the black kid, and the Hispanic kid will be “randomly” searched more than other kids.

Recently an independent study was conducted of the Knox County School’s security and reported that the county has wasted millions on security cameras and that the money would have been better spent on staff whose primary job was to interact with students as studies have shown that students almost always have prior knowledge to violent incidents. When students trust the staff, they share the knowledge. Knox County School Board did not like the results of that survey and paid another group $140,000 tax payer dollars to get the answer they wanted–“more cameras, random searches.” The department of education is budgeted to provide the same study had the board requested it. Why pay $140k? To get the answer you want.

US Gov Study: Prior Knowledge of Potential School-Based Violence:Info students learn may prevent an attack

Schools should focus on listening instead of relying on physical security

US Secret Service “prior to most shootings other kids knew … – but did not alert an adult”

Random searches undermine the trust between student and staff. That trust is required to prevent an incident. Incidents must be caught before they happen. If you randomly search a student with a gun who is intending on dying that day, why would he simply not begin his rampage with the adult doing the random searching?


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