Tuesday, April 17, 2007

University Shootings

Finding out about the US university shootings and how the 'Police came out of nowhere' got me thinking about the 'problem - reaction - solution' process.

From George Bush we hear that: "Schools should be places of safety and sanctuary and learning" and that the government "would stand ready to help local law enforcement... any way we can." My guess is that 'any way we can' does not refer to diplomacy but to the usual power-over, police state attitude.

Here, we have voices alerting us that the US college shooting 'could happen in UK'. In this article, Prof Alderman, referring to security at the New York campus, said: "Security was pretty tight. Every student and member of staff had to wear photographic ID and there were security guards on the gates of every campus. Nobody was allowed in or out without ID. But security ID can only go so far, especially if you have a sprawling campus, and not one that you can lock-down" Hmm, 'lock-down' seems to be the next step...

Events like these serve as perfect excuses for governments to enforce new policies. In name of security, lets fingerprint all children, make sure they're locked in schools and that they adapt to surveillance society while young, by getting used to being watched by school police units. Police bases for schools are well underway. In Cambridgeshire, a school is paying £35,000 for a police officer to patrol its corridors. The police officer said: "It is a sign of the times. I don't think things have got worse over the last few years, but the school has identified a need to have me on site more."

Of course things have not got worse! However, our perception is changing thanks to the mass-deception work of the news media. The use of wording is, of course, carefully chosen. On the one hand, children are frightening and out of control, on the other, police intervention in schools is described as reassuring and positive. Teachers welcome police in schools, they've been saying this for a while now, but do we really want our children to be seen as potential criminals and having the police send four police officers to tackle a 11 y.o. boy, who called schoolmate 'gay'?

Do we want vulnerable children, who already struggle to cope with the school's unfriendly environment and the bullying that goes on, to be given the help they are entitled to - but hardly have access to - or anti-social behaviour orders? Did you know that "more than a third of children given Asbos have underlying brain disorders such as autism." If not, and if curious, you could always read 'Autism link' to Asbo youngsters.

Today's Quotes
"In lesson six I teach children that they are being watched. I keep each student under constant surveillance and so do my colleagues. There are no private spaces for children; there is no private time. Class change lasts 300 seconds to keep promiscuous fraternization at low levels. Students are encouraged to tattle on each other, even to tattle on their parents. Of course I encourage parents to file their own child's waywardness, too.

I assign "homework" so that this surveillance extends into the household, where students might otherwise use the time to learn something unauthorized, perhaps from a father or mother, or by apprenticing to some wiser person in the neighbourhood.

The lesson of constant surveillance is that no one can be trusted, that privacy is not legitimate. Surveillance is an ancient urgency among certain influential thinkers; it was a central prescription set down by Calvin in the Institutes, by Plato in the Republic, by Hobbes, by Comte, by Francis Bacon. All these childless men discovered the same thing: Children must be closely watched if you want to keep a society under central control." - Gatto

"The chief lesson I have learned in a long life is that the only way you can make a man trustworthy is to trust him; and the surest way to make him untrustworthy is to distrust him and show your distrust."
Henry Lewis Stimson (1867–1950), U.S. Secretary of State (1929-1933), U.S. Secretary of War (1911-1912 and 1940-1945)

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