Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Life in the panopticon.

Prep school in Danvers, MA goes to clear plastic bookbag rule after a bomb threat, treating the kids like they were common ghetto dwellers.

It's been fifteen years since the whole clear/mesh bookbag thing has been going on in some school districts.

Kid's been going through metal detectors and carrying a clear bookbag since he was 6, what is he going to consider an "unreasonable" search when he's 26?

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm not so concerned with the 6 year olds, they're only doing what their parents are telling them to do.


Vine

armedlaughing said...

Gotta prep 'em for the TSA/NSA intrusions!

gfa

Mike_C said...

... what is he going to consider an "unreasonable" search when he's 26?

Not to mention (from the linked article):Other precautionary measures include “limited and monitored access to bathroom facilities”

Somehow I don't think "monitored access" is going to be a simple matter of raising one's hand and asking "May I go use the restroom, Mrs. Owens?" but something a bit more complicated. Technological. Digital, even (in the 1's and 0's sense, let's not even go near the other meaning of "digital" in this context).

GMC70 said...

That of course is the point. It is the point of TSA as well.

If they can get the bulk of the population routinely accepting of random suspicionless searches, the game is up. The 4th amendment is effectively dead.

Folks, if there is one rule that is absolute, it is this one: NEVER, EVER, EVER consent to any search.

Stretch said...

When I tell youngins I use to play mumbly-peg at recess, and after I tell them mumbly-peg was played with pocket knives, they call me a liar.

Their minds can not conceive of a school where every boy and most girls had a pocket or pen knife.

JimB said...

People can't believe that almost every New York City High School has a rifle range and rifle club/team. AND the US Gov't supplied the rifles and ammo via DCM

Goober said...

Hell stretch, I used to take my shot gun to school and put it in my locker.

My high school actually had a trap shooting team. Had the gun and ammo for it stored in my locker in the on season. Or in my truck in the school parking lot.

It isn't like this was eons ago, either. I graduated high school in 1998.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Ihr B├╝chertasche, bitte.

Rob K said...

It's a big part of why I home school. I don't want my kids to be acclimated to this sort of thing.

Goober said...

Yup. Train them young, and they'll resist less when they get older.

It's amazing what you can get people "used" to. The Soviets "disappeared" people by the gazillions, and yet you never seemed to hear about any push back from the wives, mothers, brothers, and other family of the people who got black-bagged. It was just the way things were. Whatever will be, will be. Keep your mouth shut, or you're next, you know?

Oh well. It was a good run while it lasted.

Munitions & Miscellania said...

I don't see how any clear plastic bag can bear the weight of school books and supplies that you would carry in a backpack.

Interestingly, Danvers, MA used to be known as Salem Village ages ago. It is the actual home of the Salem Witch Trials: http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/Danvers.html

Munitions & Miscellania said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phssthpok said...

Clear/mesh book-bags...because no child who had it in mind to try and bring an actual bomb to school could EVER figure out how to glue a bunch of hollowed out textbooks together...

Anonymous said...

I went to SJP... and that has nothing to do with anything.

But I am impressed with the internet experts spouting off based on a half assed article that doesn't even specify the threat.

If there is a nutbag with a gun, some people shreik that the facts aren't in and we shouldn't rush to judgement.

If a PRIVATE school mandates the use of clear bags, then the article MUST be accurate and the opression unreasonable.

Because non-government entities should have no say over their own rules.

Tam said...

It's not any smarter when St. Johns Prep does it than it is when the St. Louis Rams do. Private dumb can be every bit as derpy as the taxpayer-financed variety.

You can put the lipstick away and stop pestering the pig, because even if only the basic fact ("School requires clear bookbags") is true, that's all the dumb we need to go on, here.

mikee said...

Ah, how I long for the good old days, when my schoolmates of a dark hue were banned from bringing their afro combs to school, and we palefaces weren't allowed to wear gigantic metal belt buckles on heavy leather belts, because being stabbed or flailed was undesirably dangerous in the interracial activities that occurred between classes.

But pocket knives were OK, because nobody was stupid enough to use one of those in a school fight, because it was knife and that was assault, not a fight!

More serious than what the current 6 year olds will accept when 26 is the question of what the current authorities will expect from everyone, 20 years hence.

Anonymous said...

"It's not any smarter when St. Johns Prep does it than it is when the St. Louis Rams do. Private dumb can be every bit as derpy as the taxpayer-financed variety."

Dumb? So you have more information about the nature of the threat?

Wait, I forgot. This is the internet.

Anonymous said...

"It's not any smarter when St. Johns Prep does it than it is when the St. Louis Rams do. Private dumb can be every bit as derpy as the taxpayer-financed variety."

If the nature of the threat was a bomb (the nature of the threat has NOT been reported), would you perfer bag seraches hoping it was a hoax?

Since this is dumb, what is smart?


Tam said...

"Since this is dumb, what is smart?"

Reading the "Your Comment Will Be Visible After Blog Owner Approval" before getting spittle all over your screen and hitting resubmit.

If you can't figure out a way to get a bomb into the school in a clear bookbag, St. John's must be a preparatory school for the mentally handicapped.

Tam said...

I guess we cheerlead for Security Theater when it's the alma mater putting on the play?

Ancient Woodsman said...

Danvers was also home to the state lunatic asylum that was the model for Lovecraft's Arkham, among a few other things.

Jim said...

What they gonna do if a muzzie student claims that clear or mesh bags ain't halal?



Jim
Sunk New Dawn
Galveston, TX

Tam said...

"What they gonna do if a muzzie student claims that clear or mesh bags ain't halal?"

lolwut?

I don't get it. I don't think the Catholic prep school is all ate up with Mohammedan students, anyway, dude.

Anonymous said...

"I guess we cheerlead for Security Theater when it's the alma mater putting on the play?"

I guess you still won't divulge the nature of the threat or the "not dumb" response.

But the internet is easy, and snarking about security theater is even easier.

As for other religions at the Prep, it just happens to be one of the best schools in MA for college bound students. If you could do well enough on the entracnce exam and afford it, you could go. No religion required.

Tam said...

"I guess you still won't divulge the nature of the threat or the "not dumb" response."

Do tell just what threat, other than the threat of enraged "Do Something!" Helicopter Parents and their Kneejerk Alumnus Cheerleaders, this will stop. Be thorough, now.

Remember: Internet is easy!

Anonymous said...

The threat could be "act of violence with object X in Xavier Hall on Friday"

What is the appropriate response? Hell if I know. Assuming all is well is negligent, and clamping down is abusive. The world is messy that way

"Do tell just what threat... this will stop"

Huh, what would not allowing someone to conceal something backpack sized do to help... No destructive or harmful device has ever been transported via backpack. Never in the greater Boston area*.

Will is prevent every possible threat? Nope! Hell, if the evil little prick didn’t broadcast his intent, we wouldn’t even know there was the possibility of a threat.

Is it an infringement of the freedom of the students? I'd say more yes than no.

Is it the wrong thing to do? In the light of a repeated specific threat… I just don’t know.

"Helicopter Parents and their Kneejerk Alumnus Cheerleaders"

You win the internet, I concede. These people have no valid concern and all avenues of mitigation are jackbooted in their thuggery. Thank god you were able to expose their knee jerk overreaction to a repeated threat of violence to their kids. I like how you belittled anyone concerned as a Helicopter parent. And you nailed me as a kneejerk alumnus cheerleader; my thoughts truly are laughable.

But now that the ad hominem attacks are done with, is there a proper response to a repeated threat citing a specific day which will not neglect a possible real danger while not infringing on the rights of anyone? You told us what was dumb, what isn’t dumb?




* - the entire eastern half of the state is considered the greater Boston area

Tam said...

"Huh, what would not allowing someone to conceal something backpack sized do to help... No destructive or harmful device has ever been transported via backpack. Never in the greater Boston area*."

http://pistol-forum.com/showthread.php?10881-No-more-backpacks-only-clear-plastic-bags&p=189721&viewfull=1#post189721

Anonymous said...

http://www.fagoramerica.com/cookware/pressure_cookers/duo_line/duo

Looks like we're going to need a bigger book...

Neither of us knows what the nature of the threat is.

Is there any response that *is* appropiate?

P.S. This blog is yours. I do not mean to be contencious nor disrespectful. I am under the impression that you view me as a a fool / statist based on your responses. If you wish me to stop, I will do so. But i will continue till we lose interest, or you make such a request.

Tam said...

I doubt we are going to agree as to whether this is just a feel-good measure. I do reluctantly accept that sometimes feel-good measures are all that can be taken if you want to make people feel better.

(And I almost never have hard feelings over words on the internets.)

Rob K said...

'The threat could be "act of violence with object X in Xavier Hall on Friday"'

Seriously? Call off school for Friday on a pretext such as an HVAC problem. If you know when and where, it's not hard to prevent. And if you know when and where, then it should not be that hard a thing to come up with who. You don't take up broad, untargeted security theater measures like clear backpacks based on a specific threat.

If I were a parent of a private-schooled kid, and the school said clear back-packs only, either the school is not safe for my child, or the people running it are just tin-pot dictators. Either way, I don't want my kid there. Neither my child nor my money would go to that school again.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough, agreement isn't required.

If the clear book bags become the new standard, then it is theater.

If the requirement is dropped once the threat of violence passes, then its still an infringement. I'm just not sure that makes the response a valid target for derision.

Matt (sometimes ".22lr")

Steve Skubinna said...

I had noticed the clear backpacks and bookbags for a few years and thought they just a silly trend. It was only a year or so ago when I realized they were a "security" measure.

Sometimes my own dumbth astonishes me.

Of course, as others have noted when I went to school it was more or less normal for males to carry pocket knives. I still do, and still am surprised at the sometimes hysterics that ensue.

Ancient Woodsman said...

As if you ever wondered why Jay, Borepatch, et al. moved out of MA, Mr. Anonymous is here to remind you.

Kristophr said...

I'll divulge the mysterious "not dumb" response.

You handle this the same way El Al handles its passengers. You profile the snot out of them.

If little Ackbar's parents attend the Mosque of the Holy 'Splodie-dope, then maybe little Ackbar's parents should be encouraged to deport themselves for being enemy aliens, instead of making all the students perform Security Kabuki.

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna sound like a geezer here, but what the hell is up with any backpacks? I attended the inner city version of this school in Boston during the 70's. My books were carried under my arm on the meta. It was a good education, It taught me to flee Mass at a much younger age than Jay! (j/k Hi Jay!)

Anonymous said...

Someone at the school made a violent threat. The threat was made at least twice and cited a specific day.

What is a valid response I ask...

It seems that ANY response is overboard.

And apparently my posts are indicative of the cowed mind of one living in a police state.

Because someone made a specific threat, a school took the draconian step of not allowing book bags and requiring that gym bags be dropped off at a specific time. Almost as if they were looking for something too big to be hidden on one’s person, but small enough to be hidden in a bag. (see link to pressure cookers)

These steps are without value. It is merely theater for those that want to “feel good”. What stupid sheep right? We all know that threats of violence are always in good fun. Why worry?

So my questions have been:
1) Why assume the article presented accurate facts?
2) What makes the response draconian or mere theater?
3) If the threat is a backpack borne bomb, is restricting the use of backpacks unreasonable?
4) What is an acceptable response / effective response to a threat of violence?
I don’t expect nor demand respect. I do want to discuss this. Explain to me where my jackbooted statist has gone off the rails. Educate me on the rational response.

Or, make comments that Muslims and Catholic high schools don’t mix. Be passive aggressive. Tell me how disregarding a violent threat enhances freedom. And by all means, hammer your point home with broad brushed name calling.

I’ve got a 3 week old daughter next to me; I’ll be up all night and need the distraction.

Anonymous said...

Someone at the school made a violent threat. The threat was made at least twice and cited a specific day.

What is a valid response I ask...

It seems that ANY response is overboard.

And apparently my posts are indicative of the cowed mind of one living in a police state.

Because someone made a specific threat, a school took the draconian step of not allowing book bags and requiring that gym bags be dropped off at a specific time. Almost as if they were looking for something too big to be hidden on one’s person, but small enough to be hidden in a bag. (see link to pressure cookers)

These steps are without value. It is merely theater for those that want to “feel good”. What stupid sheep right? We all know that threats of violence are always in good fun. Why worry?

So my questions have been:
1) Why assume the article presented accurate facts?
2) What makes the response draconian or mere theater?
3) If the threat is a backpack borne bomb, is restricting the use of backpacks unreasonable?
4) What is an acceptable response / effective response to a threat of violence?
I don’t expect nor demand respect. I do want to discuss this. Explain to me where my jackbooted statist has gone off the rails. Educate me on the rational response.

Or, make comments that Muslims and Catholic high schools don’t mix. Be passive aggressive. Tell me how disregarding a violent threat enhances freedom. And by all means, hammer your point home with broad brushed name calling.

I’ve got a 3 week old daughter next to me; I’ll be up all night and need the distraction.

Tam said...

I swear to Christ I'm turning off Anonymous commenting unless you people start signing something to your posts so I can tell the anonymice apart.

If this is still Matt, direct your aim better, because I can't tell if you're trying to drag me into a discussion I'd thought I'd quit. Believe me I don't do "passive aggressive"; this is about passive as my aggression gets, right here, and it won't get this passive again.

Anonymous said...

It's Matt.

I apologize for not signing my posts.

Is there a valid response?

Anonymous said...

Matt again.

Not directed at you. Directed at the responses. I really don't understand why my disagreement on the response is seen in the light it is.

By all means, let me have it. when I ask for education on why my stance is offensive, I mean it.

Tam said...

Matt,

I'm sorry, comments are moderated and I'm watching TV with an iPad in my lap, so they only get approved in batches.

Like I said, I've said my piece, but if you want to keep on hashing it out with the other commenters, I've got no problems with y'all going on.

Anonymous said...

Eh, I seem to be muddling my point, i'll be good.

If you have any TV recomendations though... 3 week old daughters exude cute, but her conversation skills are lacking (apparently she takes after dad).

R/

Matt

Kristophr said...

Another better response is one being taking by schools in Utah:

Encouraging teachers to get trained and then to CCW.

You do NOT need to turn schools into prisons to deal with violence in schools.