Idaho, Arizona Schools Go Into Full Prison Mode

by William Norman Grigg

Recently by William Norman Grigg: Officer Safety Uber Alles: Christopher Dorner and the ‘RickoverianParadox’

Schools in Meridian, Idaho went into full “prison mode” after a student who brought a folding shovel to Heritage Middle School in Meridian, Idaho prompted the school’s “resource officer” to call for a full lockdown.

Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea told KTVB news that the youngster had been seen “jogging out of the school, then back into the school with what [staff members thought] was an axe.” After the “resource officer” called for a lockdown, police arrived “seconds” later, set up a perimeter, and deployed “search teams” to confront the “suspect” – an innocent teen who had brought the shovel to serve as a prop in a classroom presentation. Meanwhile, students at four nearby schools were put into “shelter in place” mode – that is, they were confined to their classrooms until police at Heritage Middle School gave the all-clear.

All of this occurred, once again, because a junior high school student brought a shovel to school, and none of the purported adults on campus was blessed with the presence of mind to approach the kid and find out what he was doing. Interestingly, the state stenographers in the local media referred to the farm implement as a “military-style shovel,” a cosmetic designation that might someday be seized on by Commissarina Feinstein when she and her comrades seek to deprive the public of any implement that could possibly be used against their tax-feeding overlords.

The militarization of government schools has reached a point at which a tangible “threat” like a shovel is no longer necessary. On February 5, three schools in Yuma, Arizona were placed on lockdown as the result of what was later described as a “rumor” of a gun on campus. Officers from two local law enforcement departments and two federal agencies – many of them kitted out in full combat attire – were mobilized for the operation. Following an evacuation each of the school campuses was subjected to a systematic search. The students were held in custody for more than three hours before being released.

As such examples of reflexive overkill multiply, we will have frequent opportunities to recall the admonition given to the School Resource Officer Corps by soi-disant “tactical and counter-terrorism expert” John Giduck at a 2007 professional retreat at Orlando’s Disney World:

"You’ve got to be a one-man fighting force…. You’ve got to have enough guns, and ammunition and body armor to stay alive…. You should be walking around in schools every day in complete tactical equipment, with semi-automatic weapons…. You can no longer afford to think of yourselves as peace officers…. You must think of yourself [sic] as soldiers in a war because we’re going to ask you to act like soldiers." (Emphasis added.)

Apparently Giduck wants SROs to see themselves as the domestic equivalent of U.S. soldiers patrolling Fallujah – and this is likely to get innocent kids killed.

In Iraq, US occupation forces were taught to consider shovels as evidence of potential hostile intent: They could be used to bury IEDs, or even employed as close-combat weapons. They could also be used to cover up incidents in which U.S. troops shot and killed unarmed Iraqi civilians. Jason Moon, who served with the U.S. Army in Iraq, recalls that troops were instructed to carry “drop shovels” that could be placed near the bodies of non-combatants they had killed. This was done so that the dead civilian could “retroactively” be classified as a suspected insurgent.

Given the mindset propagated by Giduck and his ilk, it’s possible that next time a junior high school student brings a shovel to school he could find himself injured or killed by the “resource officers” deployed on campus for the supposed purpose of protecting him.

Thanks to LRC reader Edward Dindinger for the tip.