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Subject: Texas Schools rss

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Billy the Hut
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So I saw this item below and it disturbed me a bit. Is there anyone from TX who can elaborate on the story? Am I missing more important details? (I hope so)

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Seth Brown
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IMPORTANT DETAILS:
This country is really screwed up, and rapidly moving towards a police state.
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William Boykin
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Billythehut wrote:
So I saw this item below and it disturbed me a bit. Is there anyone from TX who can elaborate on the story? Am I missing more important details? (I hope so)



This is all part of the post-Columbine hyperventilation about 'crime' in schools.

The worst part is that these programs have significant support from the Teacher's Unions here in Texas.

Quote:
The Texas State Teachers Association, the state's main teachers union, did not take a position on ticketing at the recent debate in the legislature over Whitmire's proposal to scrap it. But the association's Clay Robison says that most teachers welcome the presence of police in schools.

"Obviously it looks as if some police officers are overreacting at some schools. I'm a parent and I wouldn't want my 17-year-old son hauled in to court if he and another student got in to an argument in a cafeteria. Police officers need to exercise a little bit of common sense but the police are what they are. They enforce the law," he says. "At the same time, years ago, at a school in one of the better neighbourhoods of Austin, a teacher was shot to death in his classroom. It's still a very rare occurrence but it does happen. Anything that increases the security of the teacher is good so they don't have to worry about personal safety and they can concentrate on teaching the kids. We get complaints from some teachers that the police aren't aggressive enough at moving against some of the older juveniles, those that they feel actually do pose a danger to the teachers or the other students."


This, despite the fact that police in Texas schools are authorized to use LETHAL FORCE.

Quote:
Sometimes the force is deadly. Last week, Texas police were accused of overreacting in shooting dead a 15-year-old student, Jaime Gonzalez, at a school in Brownsville after he pointed an air gun, which resembled a real pistol, at them outside the principal's office. The boy's father, also called Jaime, said the police were too quick to shoot to kill when they could have wounded him or used another means to arrest him. "If they would have tased him all this wouldn't have happened," he told the Brownsville Herald. "Like people say there's been stand-offs with people that have hostages for hours … But here, they didn't even give I don't think five minutes. No negotiating." The police say Gonzalez defied orders to put the gun down.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/09/texas-police-sch...
The US schools with their own police, The Guardian, 1.9.2012

Personally, I think this is a classic example of well intentioned idea gone horribly astray. Sure, we want our kids to be safe. But this is a job for the teachers and administrators of the schools, not the police. The sad thing is that having the police be the 'enforcers' is supported by the teachers, because it takes one of the most difficult aspects of being a teacher (keeping control of the kids) out of their area of responsibility.

That is where the mistake was made- criminalizing childhood behavior only makes things worse. How can parents in the US even TRY, with a straight face, to convince their children that education is a wonderful thing when we treat our kids like criminals?

This isn't a Texas thing, its a problem in schools throughout the US.

Darilian
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Green Dan
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Yeah, I read the Guardian article yesterday. I was going to post it, but my brain couldn't even fashion it into a debating point. It seems to beyond any 'normal' experience.
In my experience of school I remember the police being called, maybe twice. Once for assult (pupil vs pupil) and once for vandalism (of a pupils car).

The idea that they need to be ONSITE all the time is just completely alien to me. Yes, occasionally violence will happen, but surely the police are only a phone call away as they are from every location in Texas.

It's just self fulfilling. Kids see Cops in schools. So they assume the school must be violent. So they become violent to 'defend' themselves from the percieved violence. So you need cops in the school to 'prevent' the violence.
 
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Half of my friends who are now hard working highly educated professionals would have ended up in the prison system if we had that regime in Australia.
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BlueMountain wrote:
Half of my friends who are now hard working highly educated professionals would have ended up in the prison system if we had that regime in Australia.


Then the prison work system would have been able to make loads of money out of them printing licence plates while paying them a dollar a day or somthing...wait...I think I see what's going on there.
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Billythehut wrote:
BlueMountain wrote:
Half of my friends who are now hard working highly educated professionals would have ended up in the prison system if we had that regime in Australia.


Some of the kids I grew up with who are now Police would, with out a doubt, have ended up in the prison system if we had that regime back in my school days.



I would now be in the prison system if we had that regime back in my school days..

but then i went to a school where until the 60s (i think) the head boy had a copy of the key to the armoury..
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Andrew Rowse
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Darilian wrote:
Quote:
Sometimes the force is deadly. Last week, Texas police were accused of overreacting in shooting dead a 15-year-old student, Jaime Gonzalez, at a school in Brownsville after he pointed an air gun, which resembled a real pistol, at them outside the principal's office. The boy's father, also called Jaime, said the police were too quick to shoot to kill when they could have wounded him or used another means to arrest him. "If they would have tased him all this wouldn't have happened," he told the Brownsville Herald. "Like people say there's been stand-offs with people that have hostages for hours … But here, they didn't even give I don't think five minutes. No negotiating." The police say Gonzalez defied orders to put the gun down.


The kid is dead because the kid was fucking stupid. He pointed a replica gun at armed police. If I were married to a police officer, I would not want her to excessively risk her life by trying to use a less-accurate weapon like a taser, just on the off-chance that the deadly weapon pointed at her was pretend. Consequently, I find it obscene to criticise other people's police officer loved-ones for reacting in the most efficient way to protect themselves and bystanders.

Children should be given leeway when it comes to misbehaviour, but some crimes (such as rape and assault with a deadly weapon) are simply adult crimes. Youth is not an excuse to break every rule, and expect there not to be serious consequences.
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KAndrw wrote:
Darilian wrote:
Quote:
Sometimes the force is deadly. Last week, Texas police were accused of overreacting in shooting dead a 15-year-old student, Jaime Gonzalez, at a school in Brownsville after he pointed an air gun, which resembled a real pistol, at them outside the principal's office. The boy's father, also called Jaime, said the police were too quick to shoot to kill when they could have wounded him or used another means to arrest him. "If they would have tased him all this wouldn't have happened," he told the Brownsville Herald. "Like people say there's been stand-offs with people that have hostages for hours … But here, they didn't even give I don't think five minutes. No negotiating." The police say Gonzalez defied orders to put the gun down.


The kid is dead because the kid was fucking stupid. He pointed a replica gun at armed police. If I were married to a police officer, I would not want her to excessively risk her life by trying to use a less-accurate weapon like a taser, just on the off-chance that the deadly weapon pointed at her was pretend. Consequently, I find it obscene to criticise other people's police officer loved-ones for reacting in the most efficient way to protect themselves and bystanders.

Children should be given leeway when it comes to misbehaviour, but some crimes (such as rape and assault with a deadly weapon) are simply adult crimes. Youth is not an excuse to break every rule, and expect there not to be serious consequences.


This was my first thought as well. Assuming the "fake" gun looks reasonably like the real thing, how the hell are the police supposed to react? And the kid's dad sounds like a fucking moron as well. Real life isn't an action movie where the cops can shoot the gun out of someone's hand. When faced with a potentially lethal target and a split-second to react it seems like you would aim at the biggest part of your target.

I agree that having cops on school grounds is a problem, but this incident does nothing but emphasize the stupidity of self-involved teenagers who don't recognize the potential consequences for their actions.
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
KAndrw wrote:
Darilian wrote:
Quote:
Sometimes the force is deadly. Last week, Texas police were accused of overreacting in shooting dead a 15-year-old student, Jaime Gonzalez, at a school in Brownsville after he pointed an air gun, which resembled a real pistol, at them outside the principal's office. The boy's father, also called Jaime, said the police were too quick to shoot to kill when they could have wounded him or used another means to arrest him. "If they would have tased him all this wouldn't have happened," he told the Brownsville Herald. "Like people say there's been stand-offs with people that have hostages for hours … But here, they didn't even give I don't think five minutes. No negotiating." The police say Gonzalez defied orders to put the gun down.


The kid is dead because the kid was fucking stupid. He pointed a replica gun at armed police. If I were married to a police officer, I would not want her to excessively risk her life by trying to use a less-accurate weapon like a taser, just on the off-chance that the deadly weapon pointed at her was pretend. Consequently, I find it obscene to criticise other people's police officer loved-ones for reacting in the most efficient way to protect themselves and bystanders.

Children should be given leeway when it comes to misbehaviour, but some crimes (such as rape and assault with a deadly weapon) are simply adult crimes. Youth is not an excuse to break every rule, and expect there not to be serious consequences.


This was my first thought as well. Assuming the "fake" gun looks reasonably like the real thing, how the hell are the police supposed to react? And the kid's dad sounds like a fucking moron as well. Real life isn't an action movie where the cops can shoot the gun out of someone's hand. When faced with a potentially lethal target and a split-second to react it seems like you would aim at the biggest part of your target.

I agree that having cops on school grounds is a problem, but this incident does nothing but emphasize the stupidity of self-involved teenagers who don't recognize the potential consequences for their actions.


Photo of the toy gun:



No orange parts on this; it looks exactly like a real pistol.

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Michael Tagge
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Nah, we just need to expand the TSA's mandate and have them police the schools. Then our citizens will be better prepared for what is to come and won't mind the lack of privacy.
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John Mellby
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Darilian wrote:



Quote:
Sometimes the force is deadly. Last week, Texas police were accused of overreacting in shooting dead a 15-year-old student, Jaime Gonzalez, at a school in Brownsville after he pointed an air gun, which resembled a real pistol, at them outside the principal's office. The boy's father, also called Jaime, said the police were too quick to shoot to kill when they could have wounded him or used another means to arrest him. "If they would have tased him all this wouldn't have happened," he told the Brownsville Herald. "Like people say there's been stand-offs with people that have hostages for hours … But here, they didn't even give I don't think five minutes. No negotiating." The police say Gonzalez defied orders to put the gun down.


Darilian


While I really, really don't like the way police seem to be
overreacting this year, I don't think this is one of those cases.
(Admittedly I don't have all the facts, but...)
There was a problem here but the police didn't make it.
If confronted by a deadly weapon (gun, or a knife at close range)
you never try to wound him or shoot it out of his hand.
That's just TV stuff. Their training is to fire multiple
times, or until the danger goes down.
I know the police tried talking to him before the shooting happened.
I'd be happy if these replica guns were banned to keep this
from happening again.

John
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Blorb Plorbst
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There's nothing like this going on in my local schools.

Which is why I'm not moving.
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mtagge wrote:
Nah, we just need to expand the TSA's mandate and have them police the schools. Then our citizens will be better prepared for what is to come and won't mind the lack of privacy.


We should get that Jean Claude Van-Damme wannabe from the TSA thread to patrol the schools. He could dish out justice and one-liners in equal measure.
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Here is some source data rather than that sensationalized opinion piece.

[url]
http://cbsdallas.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/ticketing_bookl... [/url]

I think this is a mess overall. On the other hand I can see how the mess got started. Once you take the power of discipline out the schools AND raise up a generation of parents who don't, won't or aren't allowed to discipline their kids in effective ways you end up with a screwed up system like this.

I doubt it actually raises revenue. I am sure it costs the state more to run these messed up programs. And I think it is a crappy system. Schools should be allowed to make kids experience meaningful consequences again and then ditch the police.
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tscook wrote:
What meaningful consequences? Being paddled in the principal's office?


Maybe for really bad offenses yes. But I was thinking more about the strenuous and/or humiliatingly visible punishments like ... Lunch room clean up duty, running laps, having to pick up litter during recess, writing "I will not XYZ" 100 times on the board, or even on paper as homework with escalating consequences if you don't do it, extra home work, missing out on a special class treat, having to stand in a corner publicly humiliated yada yada yada. I recall a series punishments I received and/or saw dished out in elementary school and middle school that were far more effective than sitting around being bored in detention and didn't rely on parents doing something about a sent home note.

Oh and BTW I never knew anybody who actually got paddled, but knowing it was POSSIBLE meant you DID submit to the non-corporal punishments. Even if you were a mouthy aggressive teen-aged boy.
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Meerkat wrote:

Oh and BTW I never knew anybody who actually got paddled, but knowing it was POSSIBLE meant you DID submit to the non-corporal punishments. Even if you were a mouthy aggressive teen-aged boy.


When the mouthy aggressive teen-aged boys were being told to bend over and pull down their pants, who was telling the mouthy aggressive teen-aged girls to do the same?
 
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Remember...

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You have to start arresting kids early, so they can't get financial aid, so they can't go to college, so they drive shitty beater cars, so they get pulled over and searched for having a light out, so an officer can provoke them with pain compliance, so they flinch, so it becomes resisting arrest, so it becomes a felony, so they enter the prison-industrial complex, so they can work for pennies, so private prisons can make more money, so they can donate to politicians, so the politicians can win elections, so they can change laws to be tough on crime, so you can start arresting kids early.

(paraphrased from elsewhere)
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MisterCranky wrote:
Meerkat wrote:

Oh and BTW I never knew anybody who actually got paddled, but knowing it was POSSIBLE meant you DID submit to the non-corporal punishments. Even if you were a mouthy aggressive teen-aged boy.


When the mouthy aggressive teen-aged boys were being told to bend over and pull down their pants, who was telling the mouthy aggressive teen-aged girls to do the same?


Girls tend to be more passive aggressive. Rarely do they get into an adults face and threaten them with violence. The only kid I every know of who even got threatened with a "paddling" in school had threatened to punch his female teacher when she told him he had to come to the board and write sentences.

Oh and I never heard of anybody having to pull down their pants for school corporal punishment.
 
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and with advent of "privatized" prisons, the kids might get to go before a judge on the take:
http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2011/02/22/judge-found-guilty-in-ca...
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My point is that police shouldn't be in a school at ALL. More to the point- why respond with Lethal force, even if it was a 'real weapon'? Suppose it was a real gun, and the kid took it to school. Given that this was a child, and he had NOT begun shooting, non-lethal measures should have been considered and utilized waaay before the decision to go lethal was made.

This was a child at school- not a child breaking and entering, stealing a car, or selling drugs in a drug deal gone bad. The presumption of any adults on school grounds should be to consider non-lethal means first, as a priority, and not to assume that this was a life threatening situation.

Its the assumptions behind all this that scare me the most- that a child with a gun is somehow an equivalent 'threat' to an adult with a weapon. If we respond to children as criminal threats, we are going to get tragedies like this.

Police should not be schools- period. If an extra security presence is required, then school districts should hire and train security guards equipped only with non-lethal restraining kit. But the criminalization of childhood is a very scary thing, indeed.

Darilian
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Darilian wrote:
My point is that police shouldn't be in a school at ALL. More to the point- why respond with Lethal force, even if it was a 'real weapon'? Suppose it was a real gun, and the kid took it to school. Given that this was a child, and he had NOT begun shooting, non-lethal measures should have been considered and utilized waaay before the decision to go lethal was made.

This was a child at school- not a child breaking and entering, stealing a car, or selling drugs in a drug deal gone bad. The presumption of any adults on school grounds should be to consider non-lethal means first, as a priority, and not to assume that this was a life threatening situation.

Its the assumptions behind all this that scare me the most- that a child with a gun is somehow an equivalent 'threat' to an adult with a weapon. If we respond to children as criminal threats, we are going to get tragedies like this.

Police should not be schools- period. If an extra security presence is required, then school districts should hire and train security guards equipped only with non-lethal restraining kit. But the criminalization of childhood is a very scary thing, indeed.

Darilian


Dar, I agree with you on the fact that police don't belong in schools, but I would strong dispute you on the other points. One, anyone who can pull the trigger is an equal threat when holding a firearm, I don't see any distinction between a teenager waving a gun at the police and a grown man or woman doing the same.

More interesting to me, though: what "non-lethal" response would you have had the police take without the benefit of hindsight here? If it had been a real gun, and that kid had shot an officer or another student while the police tried to "talk him down" wouldn't we all be sitting here criticizing the police for being ineffective?
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The likelihood that a child could inflict a lethal wound, even with a real pistol, is much less likely than the ability of a trained policeman to kill.

I would have far rather that there had been security guards there, who when confronted with the kid with a possible gun, pepper sprayed him. Or used a taser. Or brought in a guy wearing body armour and deliberately wrestled the child to the ground.

My point is that, in a public school, ALL of the adults working onsite should have the well-being of the CHILD- no matter what the circumstances- as the highest priority. If this means that an adult has to take a bullet, then that is what this means. Once we start saying that the safety and wellbeing of the adults is more important than that of the children, then we've entered into a twilight zone where public schools no longer have as their purpose the education of the next generation, but have simply become state funded centers where we control and keep off the streets young hooligans.

A student with a gun is still deserving of being protected. I'm willing to accept that there will be times like Columbine where the use lethal force against children, in order to protect the lives of other children, could be necessary. But the protection and education of the children should be the paramount concern.

My fear is that we're moving away from that.

Darilian
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Darilian wrote:

A student with a gun is still deserving of being protected. I'm willing to accept that there will be times like Columbine where the use lethal force against children, in order to protect the lives of other children, could be necessary.


That's an awfully iffy judgment call to ask of anyone in the heat of the moment, Dar. I appreciate the sentiment, but I don't see how to implement that. My sister-in-law is a teacher, and under no circumstances do I think it's her responsibility to take a bullet because the person wielding a gun is a child rather than an adult. I just can't wrap my head around that idea.
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