Dying to Drink

A Truth Inc. Joint
By Michael Provost & Michael Marchione

2012 — This article will efficiently utilize government admissions and the reporting of brave journalists to clear the fog surrounding the poisoning of our drinking water.  The point is simple: if near 70%[s1] of municipal water supplies are indeed having an industrial byproduct pumped into them, which consists of known toxic waste and includes radioactive isotopes, and we are being told it is to protect our teeth, when the good science repeatedly shows that not only is this old claim false, but the materials in question are actually causing us harm, then we should probably get that stuff out of the water.  That will save the tax money it costs because it’s typically government funding that pays for the pumping in of this runoff from fertilizer production — sodium fluoride and a list of other substances — into our public drinking water.  This witches brew, this so-called ‘water fluoridation,’ is so toxic that it is illegal to simply throw away and highly costly to dispose of.  So instead, companies turn it into a ‘commercial’ product and sell it to our public servants to dose us under the guise of disproven health science.

Sodium Flouride, Where it comes from

Toxic waste from industrial fertilizer production[s2], which is very toxic and has a complicated, costly disposal procedure under priority dumping regulations, is sold to participating municipalities to add to their water supply in exchange for tax-payer money and our health.  We are told it is to help our teeth, but here’s the rub: it is claimed that fluoride works to protect teeth topically[s3], as in when you brush your teeth; that is why you do not swallow toothpaste (or sunscreen, when you are trying to protect your skin).  But when our elected ‘officials’ put it in our water, the CDC tells us it works to protect our teeth when we drink it[s4], and everybody is expected to drink the same dose (6-8 glasses a day) whether it is a 6’6” man or a two-year old girl.  This doesn’t make sense medically[s5]: apart from the fact that it is toxic waste, drinking a topical compound does not make sense, and clearly a one-size-fits-all dosing schedule is extremely dangerous.[s6]

In just one glass of fluoridated water, there is an equivalent of sodium fluoride to the amount in one pea-sized dob of fluoride toothpaste, but the type in our drinking water is industrial grade and has other sickening ingredients included.  If this much toothpaste is swallowed, the Crest package recommends calling poison control:

Warning: “If more than used for brushing is accidentally swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.”  Directions: “Do not swallow.”

The thing is though, it has been repeatedly shown now that even when taken topically, sodium fluoride actually wears down your teeth, pitting enamel and causing a condition known as ‘dental fluorosis.’[s7]

The medi-pharma industrial establishment and the bought-off/naïve public servants who supply their drugs are telling the truth about one thing though: it does work on you when you drink it, just not in the way they want you to think.

Rat poison, Hitler & Stalin

Notorious Nazi firm I.G. Farben researched how they could use fluoride, and concluded it was effective as a chemical war agent and pesticide.[s8]  Stalin put sodium fluoride in the water in Communist concentration camps to keep the people docile[s9], as it is a primary ingredient[s10] in most major pharmaceutical ‘anti-depressants.’  These drugs are now in our water.[s11]  Of course, all of the major anti-depressants are repeatedly linked to higher potential for depression and suicide;[s12] it says so right on the inserts of the ‘medication’.  It may work slow and steady on humans, but it works fast on smaller things: historically, sodium fluoride has been used as rat and roach poison.[s13]

It might not work as fast as rat poison in the doses we receive, but the industrial-waste sodium fluoride that is being added to our tap water is still doing damage; one might presume that Stalin put it in the water in his camps for more reasons than to just dumb-down and chemically pacify his prisoners, when one becomes aware of the added effects of drinking this swill.

Water fluoridation is linked to bone cancer[s14], loss in intelligence[s15], increased depression, sterility[s16], calcification of the pineal gland[s17], and a host of other problems for our humanity[s18].

There is other horrible shit in the mix too, besides industrial-grade NaF[s19], including radioactive isotopes.[s20]

The bright side is everyday, individual citizens are standing up to flip this shit, going before town councils with good science and demanding the only suitable answer: stopping the water fluoridation in their community.[s21]

The Fluoride Action Network reports that the percentage of ‘fluoridated’ public water in America has dropped slightly due to good peoples’ efforts in the past number of years.  However, new communities — unknowing or neglectful — are still signing on to these water-toxifying programs, so there is still much work to do in spreading the word about this deadly drink.  If we do not stand together, we won’t be standing at all.

Sources:

[s1] http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2008/r080710.htm
[s2] http://www.purewatergazette.net/fluorideandphosphate.htm
[s3]  http://www.cda.org/popup/fluoride
[s4]  http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5727a1.htm
[s5]  http://preventdisease.com/home/tips79.shtml
[s6]  http://www.fluoridealert.org/absurdity.htm
[s7]  http://www.naturalnews.com/030123_fluoride_babies.html
[s8]  http://www.fluoride-history.de/p-mfp.htm
[s9]  http://www.rense.com/general3/fluo.htm
[s10] http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm088999.pdf
[s11]  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3545684.stm
[s12]  http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2005/09/drug_secrets.html
[s13]  http://www.fluoride-history.de/p-insecticides.htm
[s14]  http://www.airandaqua.com/blogs/reuters-another-study-links-fluoride-to-bone-cancer/
[s15]  http://naturalsociety.com/your-drinking-water-may-be-lowering-your-iq-giving-you-cancer/
[s16]  http://www.fluoridation.com/sperm.htm
[s17]  http://www.icnr.com/articles/fluoride-deposition.html
[s18]  http://www.lewrockwell.com/miller/miller17.html
[s19]  http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/fact_sheets/engineering/wfadditives.htm
[s20]  http://www.xpeditionsmagazine.com/magazine/articles/kathy/fluoride_hazard.html
[s21]  http://www.fluoridealert.org/communities.aspx

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Re-education Nation

(Truth Inc.) June 6, 2011 — Schools play a large role in a young person’s transition from childhood to adulthood.  The average American youth spends nine hundred hours, yearly, in school; that is 450 full days, spread over a standard, twelve-year education.[s1]  A school’s mission and value-adding resides somewhere in its ability to help produce quality individuals: 1) to elicit that which is unique and best in the child and, 2) to provide that child with knowledge which they could not have access to otherwise.  Education can impart knowledge, and where knowledge resides, also resides opportunity.

Now to define a few concepts, which will be important throughout this dialogue:

Liberty is the freedom to think or act without being constrained by necessity or force.  Justice constitutes objective fairness, arrived at by good reason.  Surveillance is the continual observation of a person or group, especially one suspected of doing something illegal.

Cemented in the foundation of our system of justice is the concept that we, as sovereign citizens, are innocent until proven guilty.[s2]  Also engrained in the foundation of our legal system is the right of the people[s3] to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures; this shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

These noble principles run contrary to the conniving, intrusive policies that school Principals from around the country have been instituting.  Some of these ‘officials’ — admitted peeping toms — believe that “guilty until proven innocent” is a better mantra, and that they should have the role of surveilling children even at home, and in bed.[s4]

On the foundation of these understandings, this report sheds light on some recent incidents, in schools both public and private, rich and poor.  These precedents, ranging from imaginatively creepy to the purposeful invasion of young students’ most personal space, are being established in American schools.  Each instance was, at the time, wholly endorsed by the respective school’s administration.  Each piece revealed herein, each perceivably constraining moment, is another layer of snitch-culture wrapped over our future’s sense of self-responsibility.

U.S. Courts have ruled that invading students’ privacy and violating their rights, often done in the name of “protecting the school,” is wrong.  But why do parents and the general public continue to allow it to happen in the first place?  Are these random occurrences or are they institutionalized policies and, if they are institutional, who engineers these techniques?

——————–

Dateline: May 11, 2011 — At five San Antonio elementary schools, Texas health and school officials are hoping that surveilling school lunches will help them fight childhood obesity.

These experimental elementarys are located in a county where one-third of children living in poverty are labeled obese.  The Associated Press reports[s5] that researchers selected campuses in poor, minority communities where obesity rates and diabetes risks are higher.

Every child enrolled in the program is uniquely identified by a barcode on their lunch tray.  It is not clear if each child retains a specific tray or what the exact mechanism is that ‘attaches’ the tray to the individual child.  At the cafeteria cashier, one camera looks downward over the lunch tray, at the same height as the top of the head of a student in news coverage from WBZ-CBS Boston[s6], and in the AP article, another camera points toward the student “about tray-level,” taking a mug shot of the potatoes and taco before she sits down to eat.  A third camera takes a snapshot of what is left after lunch.  Reportedly, a computer program then analyzes photographs from before and after each meal to identify everything on the plate.

The program’s perceptive ability might seem prolific to the common person — recognizing about 7,500 variations of food, discerning the ounces left of a serving on a finished tray, and calculating the consumption and values of calories plus 128 other nutrients.  It identifies foods by several visual factors as well as density, varying consistencies and textures.

In scientific experimentation, when a tester makes obvious to a participant in an experiment that they are being observed, it guarantees constraint on the participant’s decision-making — affecting their choices and making data collection inaccurate.  Yet and still, the AP reports the data will be used to study what foods children are likely to choose and how much they’re eating.

Contradictorily, Dr. Roger Echon told the Associated Press, “We’re trying to be as passive as possible.  The kids know they’re being monitored.”  Echon works for the San Antonio-based Social & Health Research Center[s7] and is the builder of the food-recognition program.

FOX 25/MyFoxBoston.com reports[s8] the two million dollar experiment, funded[s9] by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is the first of its kind in the U.S.

Parents will have to sign a permission slip before their child is photographed, apparently due to the inherently invasive nature of the experimental program.

In a fallacious appeal to common practice and popularity, a cooperating Principal told the AP that 90% of parents agreed to allow their children to be monitored, adding that he believes those who have resisted do not understand the project.

Following Logic — simply because action X is a common action, does not necessitate it being correct, or moral, or justified.  There may well be common actions that are very much correct, moral and justified, but the common nature is not evidence of correctness, morality or justification.  Likewise, simply because most people have favorable emotions toward something does not mean that if you approve of it, too, it makes the thing any more valid.  There may well be popular claims that are very valid, but the popularity of a claim does not serve as evidence that the claim is true or upright.

Since most humans tend to conform with the views of the majority (group think), convincing a person that the majority approves of a claim is often an effective way to get him to accept it.

“Nothing in the program says they can’t have something,” Principal Mark Davis told the Associated Press.  “It just says we’re tracking what it is.”

——————–

Dateline: Mar. 23, 2010 — In Palm Beach[s10], Florida, Crestwood Middle School Principal, Stephanie Nance, installed allegedly “fake” surveillance cameras — in contrast to the admitted real ones throughout the rest of the school — in student bathrooms.

The protests began as parents who had heard about the bathroom surveillance from their children demanded answers:  Why was their children’s basic privacy being intruded upon?  Who was watching what?  Why tape toilets, or even pretend like you’re taping toilets?

Michael Messineo, father of four children who attend Crestwood, said “If it is fake, I still have a problem with that,” continuing, “But I don’t know that it’s fake.  I don’t know if there were images on a computer somewhere.  My concern is the safety of the children.”

The Palm Beach County School District stated that the cameras went up and came down within one week, reports the Palm Beach Post.

Jim Green, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Palm Beach County chapter[s11], who was considering whether to pursue a lawsuit against the school, accurately explained that even a fake camera can intrude into children’s privacy, simply by evoking the feeling of being watched.

The Post quotes school district spokeswoman, Vickie Middlebrooks, as saying, “It was for the safety of the children.  They were just trying to stop the vandalism.”  Video surveillance is used at all schools in the district, she said; the total number of security cameras is kept secret for security reasons.

Reported in the Palm Beach Post article, Michael Messineo said that the following Monday, Principal Nance showed one of the uninstalled cameras to his wife, Tracy.  When his wife tried to snap a photo of it with her cell phone, he said, an assistant principal and a school ‘officer’ escorted her off the property.  Nance did not return calls that Monday about the episode and on Tuesday referred all questions to the district.

Shocking instances where schools knowingly take away their students right to, and expectation of, privacy abound.

——————–

In 2008, a federal appellate court ruled[s12] in favor of thirty-four Tennessee middle school students who sued various officials of the Overton County, Tennessee public school system.  The children alleged that the school authorities violated students’ constitutional right to privacy by installing and operating video surveillance equipment in the boys’ and girls’ locker rooms in Livingston Middle School (LMS), and by viewing and retaining the recorded images of “students routinely [dressing and undressing] for athletic activities.”

The court’s decision details the discovery of the illicit videotaping early in the fall semester of 2002 by school officials and how, even after the fact, “the cameras were not removed nor were their locations changed for the remainder of the fall semester.”

The following January 9th, during a girls’ basketball game at LMS, “visiting team members from Allons Elementary School noticed the camera in the girls’ locker room and brought this to the attention of their coach, Kathy Carr.  Carr questioned [LMS] Principal [Melinda] Beaty, who assured Carr that the camera was not activated.  But in fact, the camera was activated and had recorded images of the Allons team members in their undergarments when they changed their clothes.”

William Needham, the Director of Schools for the county, who was initially appointed to oversee the installation of the surveillance cameras, later stated, that in his opinion, the videotapes of the 10 to 14 year old girls contained “nothing more than images of a few bras and panties.”  School employees removed the locker room cameras after that statement.

The Court’s ruling continues, “From July 2002 to January 2003, when the cameras were operational, a number of children from Overton County Schools and schools from the surrounding counties used the LMS locker rooms for athletic events and were videotape recorded while changing their clothes.”

The ruling states, “Given the universal understanding among middle school age children in this country that a school locker room is a place of heightened privacy, we believe placing cameras in such a way so as to view the children dressing and undressing in a locker room is incongruent to any demonstrated necessity, and wholly disproportionate to the claimed policy goal of assuring increased school security, especially when there is no history of any threat to security in the locker rooms.”

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled for the plaintiffs: the taping was a search, unreasonable in scope, that violated the students’ Constitutional right to privacy under the 4th and 14th amendments.

In another equally grimy, but less public, instance in 2005, Georgia’s Jasper County Comprehensive School made the news[s13] when an 8th grade boy took a small spy-camera he found hidden in the boys’ bathroom home to show his mother, a journalist.  The boy ended up being suspended from school for theft of school property.

More incidents of distinctly distasteful surveillance in schools have occurred in Ohio[s14], Texas[s15], New York[s16], and in Iowa[s17].

——————–

Dateline: Feb. 16, 2010 — All right, so schools have been making strange choices about where to put surveillance cameras: over children’s lunch trays, in bathrooms and locker rooms.  Maybe they are just more curious about your students’ digestion of materials than you realized.  Levity aside, some of these administrations’ tactics have proven grotesque.  But at least they keep it in school, right?  At least they do not employ some sort of Trojan horse-surveillance technique, sneak-attacking you where you sleep, at home.  Right?

Following a class action lawsuit[s18] filed by 1,800 high school students against the Lower Merion School District in Philadelphia, it was revealed in court documents that administrators used webcams embedded in school-issued laptops to secretly record more than 66,000 images of students while the children were at home!

The government-funded laptop ‘spy’ computers were provided to students at two high schools — Harriton High School in Rosemont, PA and Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, PA.

The lawsuit[s19] alleged that the laptop webcams were remotely and covertly turned on by administrators and that the concealed cameras within the machines were used to spy on students and their parents, without their knowledge or consent.

The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 and included charges of invasion of privacy, theft of private information, and unlawful interception.  The school district soon became the focus of an FBI probe[s20] and an investigation by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.  An FBI spokesman, speaking anonymously, told CNN[s21] it was investigating to see if wiretap or computer intrusion laws had been broken.

In the suit, the plaintiffs provided the disturbing evidence of the school district exposing itself exposing students: Mr. Michael Robbins son, Blake, received a warning — which is considered to be a disciplinary action — from one of the school’s Vice Principals concerning what she qualified as “improper behavior in his home.”  The Vice Principal cited a photograph taken from Blake Robbins personal computer camera, at home, in his bedroom.  The picture had been recorded via remote access by school administrators.

At the time, school district Superintendent Christopher McGinley issued a statement rejecting the allegations:  “At no time did any high school administrator have the ability or actually access the security-tracking software.  We believe that the administrator at Harriton (the peeping Vice) has been unfairly portrayed and unjustly attacked in connection with her attempts to be supportive of a student and his family.  The district never did and never would use such tactics as a basis for disciplinary action.”

As revealed in court, the school district was lying.

The litigation states that, prior to the suit, it was verified to Mr. Robbins by an assistant principal, Ms. Matsko, in corroboration with what later came out in court, that the school district, in fact, had the ability to remotely turn on the camera contained in a student’s personal laptop computer — issued by the school district — at any time it chose and that administrators were viewing and capturing whatever images were in front of the webcam at the time.

There had never been documentation presented to the families concerning their permission, or detailing the surreptitious surveillance going on and the subsequent intercepting of images from their homes.  The litigation describes the actions of the school district as “conscious, intentional, wanton and malicious.”

The complaint notes that “the laptops at issue were routinely used by students and family members while at home,” and that “many of the images captured and intercepted may consist of images of minors and their parents or friends in compromising or embarrassing positions, including, but not limited to, in various stages of dress or undress.”

The plaintiffs sought damages in respect of not only a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution[s22], but also a host of other federal and state privacy laws, including the Electronic Communication Privacy Act[s23], the Computer Fraud Abuse Act[s24], the Stored Communications Act[s25], the Civil Rights Act[s26], the Pennsylvania Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act[s27], and Pennsylvania common law.

On October 12, 2010, the Lower Merion School District paid $610,000 to settle[s28] the lawsuits — the cost of over 66,000 stolen surveillance photographs, some of children in bed.

——————–

As shown on[29] PBS FRONTLINE — Digital Nation: Life on the Virtual Frontier (from early February, 2010):

‘Teaching with Technology’: This clip entails a middle school assistant principal describing to a reporter part of his daily process, which in this case is in school, covertly and remotely taking pictures of children through surveillance cameras embedded in their laptops.

Assistant Principal: “So I click, and there is an observe button and it brings up their screen.”
Reporter [off-screen]: The schools assistant principal spends part of each day remotely monitoring what the kids are doing on their laptops.

(While simply observing, he can see them, but they can’t see him.  If he chooses to take a picture, the children are made aware of the peeper because the computer lights up.)

A.P.: “These kids [on his screen] are goofing off, taking pictures of themselves in class…  A lot of kids are just on it to check their hair, do their make-up, they just use it like it’s a mirror.  I always like to mess with them and take a picture.  Nine times out of ten they duck out of the way.  Then they shut down and they get right back to work.”
Reporter [off-screen]: As demonstrated by the assistant principal, the remote viewer can not only see what programs are running on any individual student’s computer that he sees fit, but can actually see in real time the programs being used and everything the child may be doing on the laptop, as well as the child herself, through the embedded camera.
A.P.: “I think the kids know what it expected of them, but they also want to do all their other things; that’s what I see a lot of, is the multi-tasking.”

——————–

Now back to the U.S. Department of Agriculture spending huge amounts of money to install surveillance cameras in the cafeterias of poor elementary schools so that control freaks can closely monitor what our children are eating.  What is the real reason for this creeping behavior?

Instead of serving the students what looks like stale fast food in this video from Fox 25’s report, perhaps the Department of Agriculture should supply better food for school lunches than they currently do.

The DoA’s National School Lunch Program[s30] mandates that its vast number of member-school districts must serve meals consistent with menu planning.

Researchers, from the very same Social Health & Research Center that is collaborating with the Department of Agriculture and implementing the spaghetti surveillance, actually corroborate other studies[s31] warning that obesity problems are not necessarily correlated with people consuming too many calories.  More often, it is the consumption of foods that provide poor nutrition that results in an array of health problems.

The Associated Press reported the SH&R Center’s own research found that, of the children studied, 44% consumed calories below what is considered daily minimum requirements.  But, nearly one-third of those children were obese.  Seven percent of those under-consuming children tested positive for type 2 diabetes.

Another relevant question is whether social stress[s32] — like the stress of being surveilled — alters the microstructure of food intake.

According to scientists at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine[s33], environmental factors — including everyday stress — can cause metabolic changes that, over time, contribute to obesity.

The response in someone being openly surveilled full-time is, obviously, a feeling that they are being watched, full-time.  This turns students into captive audiences.  If we expect people to be able to choose wisely what they take into their bodies, then our children should be learning how to become good decision makers, not restricted automatons destined for obesity due to poor nutrition and paranoia.

So maybe the Department of Agriculture should serve better school lunches instead of further invading every child’s space and perpetrating an atmosphere where surveillance cameras clock everything that a child does or says.

Should we have machines forcefully take blood sugar levels before kids are allowed to eat lunch?  Or should schools, who employ teachers to engage students in the primary environment where children are to be ‘educated,’ adhere with discipline to the method of teaching — imparting knowledge and skill by instruction and example — and fearlessly dedicate themselves to cultivating an environment where children are at liberty to learn about geometry, justice and healthy eating?

Point blank — there are some public school ‘officials’ in the United States that are such control freaks that they have actually installed surveillance cameras in student bathrooms and overlooking the changing areas in locker rooms.

U.S. Courts have ruled[s34] that invading students privacy and violating their rights in the name of protecting the school is wrong, and wholly disproportionate to the claimed policy goal of assuring increased school security.

But this seems like common sense… doesn’t it?

Are administrators really going against school policy, or, is the true policy different from that which they claim?  In Lower Merion, PA, school ‘officials’ were caught lying about the capacity and intentional applications of the peeping technology — which was paid for with tax-payer money[s35] — that was cunningly given to students.  Should someone take responsibility for these intrusive actions if they are revealed to be the result of institutionalized policies?

Who is setting the policies?

The Lower Merion School District received their laptop computers, along with the embedded, remote-surveilling technology from the One-to-One Institute[s36].

One-to-One is a national organization, describing their services as “expertise and hands-on experience in all aspects of developing educators’ 21st century learning environments and related skills.”  Their programs include “technology enhanced learning environments, sustainability, leadership and meaningful instruction/curriculum technology integration.”  On their website, the first partner they list in their section about themselves is the Consortium for School Networking[s37], another national organization, based in Washington, D.C., which One-to-One describes as “the premier voice in education technology leadership.”

This Consortium (CoSN) describes its program as, “[helping] k-12 education technology leaders address ‘key challenges’.”  Their initiatives include ‘k-12 open technologies’, ‘cyber-security’, and ‘empowering superintendents’.  CoSN writes[s38] extensively about elevating the role of an implanted ‘Chief Technology Officer’ within school districts that become partners; administrators from partner districts must commit to the Consortium’s “21st century framework.”

On their website, CoSN recommends[s39] “Action Steps for Superintendents and District Leadership Teams,” including the following: Understand the importance of 21st century skills, commit to improving your own 21st century skills, engage your school community in a dialogue about 21st century skills, set a vision for integrating 21st century skills into k-12 instructional programs, conduct an audit that matches 21st century skills with your district’s strategic plan, then revise the plan to address any gaps you find, develop and implement a professional development program for 21st century skills for you and your district leadership team.

On the same webpage, they recommend the following reads for “going deeper”:  Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century, Leading 21st Century Schools: Harnessing Technology for Engagement and Achievement and 21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our Times.

CoSN intends to develop their ‘educators’ with “21st century skills,” which are never exactly defined to non-members.  The Consortium’s site refrains from detailing that, but in describing the “mantra” of significant educational initiatives in the United States, they do cite “rigor and relevance”.

Perhaps it is not just cooperating educators, but also parents, who deserve to be fully informed of what this organization and others like it consider “relevant” in education, and what these organizations wish to enforce with rigor — since the fruits of their labors thus far have included the criminal surveillance of students in their very homes.

On another page[s40] of their website, the Consortium for School Networking thanks their partners: the American Association of School Administrators, the School Superintendents of Alabama, the Association of California School Administrators, the Colorado Association of School Executives, the Illinois Association of School Administrators, the Maine School Superintendents Association, the Michigan Association of School Administrators, the North Carolina Association of School Administrators, the South Carolina Association of School Administrators, the Texas Association of School Administrators and the Virginia Association of School Superintendents — this no doubt encompasses many, many of our country’s children.

The Consortium for School Networking confirms[s41] that a growing number of states, policymakers, business groups, and educational leadership organizations endorse this “framework for 21st century learning” provided by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills[s42] — an “advocacy organization made up of business, education, and policy leaders.”

CoSN, “the premier voice in education technology leadership,” states that their framework “captures the new kinds of knowledge and skills that students need to master to succeed in workplaces, participate effectively in society, and lead productive lives.”

To participate effectively in society, should all of our children submit to 24/7 surveillance?

If this One-to-One, CoSN, Partnership for 21st Century Skills ‘framework,’ which business and policy-making ‘authorities’ intend to make their member administrators commit to and impose on their students, has revealed that it is open to abuse, should we wait for school districts who advocate this arrangement to admit their exploitative techniques and this perversion of technology — as they eventually acknowledged they did in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania — only after revealing themselves and being sued?  Or should we proactively find out for ourselves who is really setting the policies imposed on our kids?

Are the school districts acting out of hand, or they acting intentionally based on whose pocket they are in?

Maybe we do not need cyber-security experts molding our k-12 educators.  Maybe the think-tanks who are intent on controlling your child’s curriculum from far away, but insist on being able to keep an eye on them as they sleep, are not the people to be dictating our educational processes.

Should schools take pictures of children in their bedrooms?  (No.)

Or should we applaud these school districts’ claims that they intend to advance the availability of equitable technology, but, demand they do not supply technology that comes with invasive surveillance capabilities.  (No Shit.)

According to comments[s43] by the Lower Merion School District’s Superintendent, Christopher McGinley, the One-to-One initiative “enhances opportunities for ongoing collaboration, and ensures that all students have 24/7 access to school based resources and the ability to seamlessly work on projects and research at school and at home.”

Clearly this opportunity for access worked both ways, but that element was not what the Superintendent wished to highlight.

——————–

Unless we intend to produce a glut of empty school buildings, and proclaim this ‘achievement’ as the basis for declaring victory in the ‘War on Education,’ might we presently presume that a ‘school’ is only as valuable as the whole of the staff and the students that make it up.  Our children are not prisoners, and they are not cattle.

Unfortunately, in this time and space, all children may not have equal opportunity to sufficient education.  But public school should, at the very least, mean that each and every student and member be guaranteed that they will be immersed in an environment that teaches what it claims to, and maybe even ensures that every child can learn a set of basic, personal tools; it should not be an environment where administrators sneakily thieve private moments.

Only prisoners are surveilled around the clock.  These policies that are being considered, and in many cases utilized, are inherently built upon the belief that all children should be suspected of doing something wrong, since one of them just might.  This goes against our very laws — in the land of the free and brave — and the values we claim, and implicates our progeny as an enemy.  Indeed, the truth is, if there is no hope for the youth, then there is no hope for the future.  Are these the fantasies and realities we want to pass on to our future?

Decidedly, no.

Somebody said it takes a village to raise a child.  This is because the children, whether they are yours or not, grow up to become the village.  The younger generation will become our future, for better or worse — depending on what we nourish them with.

************

Written & Researched by M. Provost

[s1] Research by Norman Herr, PH.D. and Professor of Science Education at California State University, Northridge, including the analyzing of statistics from A.C. Nielsen Co.
[s2] innocent until proven guilty: http://supreme.justia.com/us/156/432/case.html; U.S. Supreme Court decision – Coffin v. United States, 156 U.S. 431 (1895).
[s3] the right of the people: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html
[s4] and in bed: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/04/webcamscanda/
[s5] Associated Press reports: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42990928
[s6] WBZ-CBS Boston: http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/05/12/keller-large-cameras-coming-to-a-school-lunchroom-near-you/
[s7] Social & Health Research Center: www.sahrc.org/about.html
[s8] FOX 25/MyFoxBoston.com reports: http://www.myfoxboston.com/dpp/news/national/cameras-videotape-the-eating-habits-of-school-children-20110512
[s9] funded: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/11/us-texas-cafeterias-cameras-idUSTRE74A8KU20110511
[s10] Palm Beach: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/schools/parents-object-after-crestwood-middle-school-principal-puts-429218.html
[s11] ACLU chapter: www.aclufl.org/palm_beach/
[s12] federal appellate court ruled: http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions.pdf/08a0083p-06.pdf
[s13] the news: http://www.infowars.com/articles/bb/camera_school_bathroom.htm
[s14] Ohio: http://seclists.org/politech/2001/Feb/8
[s15] Texas: http://www.strangecosmos.com/content/item/111926.html
[s16] New York: http://www.nytimes.com/1992/03/25/education/camera-in-school-bathroom-curbs-vandalism-but-sets-off-debate.html
[s17] Iowa: http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/article/Complaint-Iowa-principal-hid-camera-in-restroom-1408773.php
[s18] class action lawsuit: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/7266059/School-spied-on-pupils-at-home-through-webcams.html
[s19] lawsuit: http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/02/18/Eyes.pdf
[s20] probe: http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Security/FBI-Investigates-Webcam-Spy-Allegations-Against-School-451724/
[s21] told CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/02/20/laptop.suit/index.html
[s22] violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution: http://www.topics.law.cornell.edu/constitution/billofrights
[s23] Electronic Communication Privacy Act: http://www.justice.gov/criminal/cybercrime/wiretap2510_2522.htm
[s24] Computer Fraud Abuse Act: http://www.justice.gov/criminal/cybercrime/ccmanual/01ccma.pdf
[s25] Stored Communications Act: http://www.justice.gov/criminal/cybercrime/ECPA2701_2712.htm
[s26] Civil Rights Act: http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/civil-rights-act/
[s27] Pennsylvania Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act: http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/037/chapter51/chap51toc.html
[s28] $610,000 to settle: http://articles.philly.com/2010-10-12/news/24981536_1_laptop-students-district-several-million-dollars
[s29] shown on: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/view/
[s30] National School Lunch Program: http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/lunch/
[s31] other studies: http://www.nourishingconnections.com/obesity_myths_debunked.html
[s32] social stress: http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/09/05/chronic-social-stress-linked-to-obesity/17685.html
[s33] University of Cincinnati College of Medicine: http://healthnews.uc.edu/news/?/11289/
[s34] ruled: http://www.aclu-nj.org/downloads/StudntsRightHandbk.pdf
[s35] tax-payer money: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2459703/posts
[s36] One-to-One Institute: http://www.k12one2one.org/Display.aspx?id=2
[s37] Consortium for School Networking: http://www.cosn.org/
[s38] CoSN writes: http://www.cosn.org/Initiatives/FrameworkofEssentialSkillsoftheK12CTO/tabid/4489/Default.aspx
[s39] CoSN recommends: http://www.cosn.org/Initiatives/EmpoweringSuperintendents/21stCenturySkills/ActionSteps/tabid/5107/Default.aspx
[s40] page: http://www.cosn.org/Initiatives/EmpoweringSuperintendents/SuperintendentHome/tabid/5098/Default.aspx
[s41] confirms: http://www.cosn.org/Initiatives/EmpoweringSuperintendents/21stCenturySkills/tabid/5106/Default.aspx
[s42] Partnership for 21st Century Skills: http://www.p21.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=351&Itemid=120
[s43] comments: http://www.lmsd.org/sections/about/default.php?t=distinfo&p=welcome

Single Bullet Found at Small Town High School Leads to “Every Student” Search Policy

Police: No Formal Threat of Violence

(Truth Inc.) Oct. 28, 2011 — Massachusetts authorities made David Prouty H.S. students stay in their classrooms for almost four hours after an unnamed student reportedly discovered a .22-caliber round on the floor[s1] outside the high-school cafeteria Wednesday. Students were not released until around 4:30 p.m., according to Spencer East Brookfield School Superintendent Dr. Reza Namin.

Police Sgt. John M. Agnew stated police received a call about the discovery of the bullet at 12:18 p.m. “It was something that is definitely of a serious nature. It was a .22-caliber live round that was found,” he said. “Obviously, these days, you have to take everything seriously.”

He added that no formal threat was made nor note found implying any actual danger.

There were several parents who arrived at the school at normal release-time seeking custody of their children, but they were prevented by police and school officials, and not allowed to get their kids before or during typical dismissal time, or for two-and-a-half hours afterward. “I’ve seen it on TV but never seen anything like this in person,” one parent said.[s2] “It’s scary.”

Students were only released after an extensive search of the entire perimeter and every room, according to Superintendent Namin[s3]. “The search covered the whole school, lockers, classrooms, backpacks,” Sgt. Agnew said. “Everything that was possible to search, we searched.” Local news on NECN reported the search included a helicopter.

WCVB TV5 Boston was live on the scene and reported that every room and locker was searched and that every student was subject to a pat-down before they were allowed to go home. According to one high-schooler, the students were made to remove their shoes and empty their pockets. Reportedly police found no additional ammunition and no weapons.

What was found was ‘drugs’ in the lockers — 55 students got suspended for possession, according to the student I interviewed. Three students were arrested for having cocaine in their lockers.

20120303-211622.jpg

D.P.H.S. at 320 Main St., Spencer, MA 01562.

“We’re in a ‘stay in place’ because we don’t have [a shooter],” Mr. Namin said. “So we just want to stay in place until we do the search.” Superintendent Namin said the “stay in place” order that was in effect is a less stringent security measure than a lockdown. He said the school had the full support of state and local law enforcement agencies.

I asked the student, “Did anyone resist the searches of their person or belongings?” He responded, “No. The janitors and the athletic director came into the class and said they had to check our bags and pockets and the students went along with it.” I asked, “Why do you think that’s the case?” He responded, “If they had nothing to hide then they probably figured, ‘why not let them search the bags?’” I then asked if “fear played a part,” to which the student answered, “No. We weren’t afraid of the janitors looking through our bags.”

Students were forced to leave their backpacks (and in the case of at least one student, his shoes) at school, with authorities planning to do an additional sweep of the school in the evening, including double-checking backpacks. “We’re going to continue to search those bags,” Namin said. “And then tomorrow morning, as they enter, we are going to continue to search each individual student.”

Sgt. Agnew confirmed that David Prouty students will be directed to come in only through the front door at the beginning of school Thursday, with no backpacks, and will be individually examined when they come in.

Local police, three fire and explosion detection dogs from the State police, and several members of the Central Massachusetts Law Enforcement Counsel (CEMLEC) took part in the four-hour-plus search, which included helmeted SWAT officers with guns at their sides.

CEMLEC[s4] is linked up with the Department of Homeland Security and in their mission statement[s5], are self-described as “a non-profit corporation consisting of 45 law enforcement agencies that assist each other through a mutual aid agreement. CEMLEC’s four divisions are Collision/Reconstruction, Motorcycle Unit, Swat, and their Special Response team. On their website the Special Response Team is listed as being in “training phase, not operational,” and is shown next to a training photo with several masked SWAT members with assault rifles trained on a man on the ground being arrested.

The activation protocol[s6] for CEMLEC’s SWAT team are incidents including but not limited to: armed standoffs, barricaded suspects, hostage situations, high risk search warrants, dangerous felon pursuits and missing persons. The activation protocol for their Special Response team is incidents including but not limited to: crowd control, dispersal, and Civil unrest.

What about the instances around our country, like in Orangeville, Illinois[s7], where the same types of “authorities” engage students in staged shootings, without informing the students that the “mock” scenario is taking place? Wouldn’t it be fitting in this situation at David Prouty High to evacuate the students out of the danger zone, if their was a threat of a shooting or a bomb? Students at Nashoba Tech[s8], another Massachusetts high school, were sent home after only an hour lockdown on the 19th of this month, when the cause was a suspended student pointing an assault-rifle-replica pellet gun at an administrator. The end result was the juvenile subject was charged, no one was hurt, and students were sent home to their parents early. The innocent Spencer students were essentially held captive and subjected to repeated individual searches; a public school eviscerating the Fourth Amendment protection rights of the students.

At David Prouty High School, the lockdown kept students in the potential danger zone for two-and-a-half hours beyond the normal dismissal time, and for over four hours after the initial discovery of the lone, lying bullet.

These “lockdown” scenario tactics, in drills or real-life, are incompatible with the goal of saving lives: The killer(s) conduct the rampage on their own terms, end it at a time of their choosing, and the SWAT team merely cattle-pens the victims.

In Spencer two automated phone messages were sent to all parents informing them of the scenario when it was happening and when the search was over. The school could not be reached by phone during the lockdown.

“The whole intent here is to make sure we communicate with the parents and let them know what is happening,” Superintendent Namin stated. “And to make sure we provide a safe environment for our kids, so when they come to school they feel safe as always. And that is by ensuring when they enter, we check every bag, every student that comes in. And that’s just to play it safe.”

It is unknown at this point what sort of searching or pat-downs that “playing it safe” will entail for Prouty students.

Mr. Namin said he has received nothing but appreciation from the students and their parents on how safety protocol was handled and how they were kept abreast of the situation.

One parent said she had called the school’s administrators the day after the event, to voice her complaint that the ‘authorities’ — for hours — would not allow her to retrieve her son from what could possibly be a dangerous circumstance. She did not reach Superintendent Namin.

In addition to reading, writing and arithmetic, our children are being taught in school how to be sitting ducks. They are being taught that the State is their parent, and that their true parents are irresponsible and cannot be left to protect or discipline their own children. Furthermore, parents are learning to stand idly by and watch while the State imposes extrajudicial searches in our public schools.

The administrators at David Prouty High School surely are not teaching basic Civil Rights, as every student there is now presumed guilty until proven innocent. Police officers take an oath as public servants to protect and serve the people, and that means not just their physical well-being, but their natural liberties — peace officers and shields against all forms of tyranny.

I asked the student I interviewed, “Do you think the tone of the response was necessary?” to which he replied, “They had people come and check the place out and I don’t see why you wouldn’t do that when you found a bullet in the school.”

They are not teaching our children that free men and women have a right to not be searched outside of due process of law.

Drug charges resulted from the so-called weapons search, despite police not having a warrant to look for or seize drugs on the premises. In public school, they do not teach about the corporate fascist mega-banks and their drug-money-laundering and for-profit prisons, with minimum 90% stated quotas. Maybe they should teach the children of the scourge of addiction, how Hollywood images are made to pique their interest in shit, or how the Department of Homeland Security is involved in drug-running[s9], gun-smuggling[s10], and uses companies that hire illegal immigrants[s11] to build a holey fence along our southern border in order to “keep illegals out.” You couldn’t make that sort of hypocrisy up.

The indoctrination of our children continues on a bullet albeit not with a bang.

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” –IV Amendment

************

Written & Researched by M. Provost, D.P.H.S. alumnus

[s1] WCVB TV5 (Boston ABC affiliate): http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/29594446/detail.html
[s2] NECN: http://www.necn.com/10/26/11/Bullet-found-in-Mass-school-cafeteria/landing_newengland.html?blockID=583466&feedID=4206
[s3] Worcester Telegram & Gazette: http://www.telegram.com/article/20111026/NEWS/111029691
[s4] CEMLEC: http://www.cemlec.com/cemlec10.htm
[s5] Mission statement: http://www.cemlec.com/mission.htm
[s6] Activation protocol: http://www.cemlec.com/activation.shtml
[s7] Orangeville, Illinois: http://www.lewrockwell.com/grigg/grigg-w218.html; “You Can No Longer Think of Yourselves as Peace Officers: Militarizing ‘Lockdown High” by William Norman Grigg
[s8] As reported by Boston.com (The Boston Globe): http://www.boston.com/Boston/metrodesk/2011/10/report-school-officials-teachers-tackled-pellet-gun-wielding-student-nashoba-tech/1hYFRMjSOMxwLK5CWYPQlK/index.html
[s9] drug-running: www.examiner.com/human-rights-in-national/faa-dhs-blind-eye-to-60-yr-drug-running-out-of-fl-airport-ultimate-hedge
[s10] gun-smuggling: www.infowars.com/napolitano-knew-about-fast-and-furious-in-2009/
[s11] Companies that hire illegal immigrants: www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6626823

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