Why put armed guards in schools when one law enforcement official could be enough to, um, keep the children, uh, "safe"? Wait a minute...
... When it comes to putting more law enforcement officers inside our schools, the National Rifle Association (NRA) and liberal Democrats like Senator Barbara Boxer are as one. And when police (or “school resource officers” as these sheriff’s deputies are often known) spend time in a school, they often deal with disorder like proper cops -- by slapping cuffs on the little perps and dragging them to the precinct.
Just ask the three nine-year-old girls and an eight-year-old boy who got into a fight at their Baltimore elementary school -- then got arrested by real police. Or Salecia Johnson, age six, cuffed and arrested for throwing a tantrum at her elementary school in Milledgeville, Georgia. Or Wilson Reyes, a seven-year-old at a Bronx, New York, elementary school who last December 4th was cuffed, hauled away, and interrogated under suspicion of taking $5 from a classmate. (Another kid later confessed.)
The last of these incidents made the cover of the New York Post, but the New York City Police Department still doesn’t understand what they did wrong -- sure, the first-grader spent about 4 hours handcuffed in a detention room, but that’s “standard for juvenile arrest.”
Which is precisely the problem: standard juvenile misbehavior (a five-year-old pitching a fit, a 12-year-old doodling on a desk, a 13-year-old farting in class, a class clown running around the football field at halftime in a banana suit) is increasingly being treated like serious crime, resulting in handcuffs and arrest.
That's an excerpt from a piece at TomDispatch.com written by Chase Madar, a civil rights attorney in New York. He is concerned about the increasing militarization of our police and, indeed, of our reactions to events in the rest of the world.