“You Can No Longer Think of Yourselves as Peace Officers”: Militarizing “Lockdown High”

Posted: June 18th, 2011 by Militant Libertarian

by William N. Grigg

It was Friday the 13th, and Skylar Walters thought he was going to die.
The 16-year-old inmate of Orangeville Jr.-Sr. High in Illinois was in gym class when a deranged-looking man barged into the school and began firing what appeared to be a handgun at several of the other students.
“I started praying to God and saying my last words,” Skylar later recalled. “I was scared. I didn’t know what to do.”
As the intruder fired his gun, he called out the name of a particular student; the youngster quite sensibly fled the building. Other kids “were just running everywhere and crying and hiding,” Skylar recounted. Some of the panicking schoolkids probably attempted to call or text their parents to describe the horror unfolding in front of them. They didn’t know that each of the parents had been instructed not to answer if his child issued a desperate plea for help.
That last sadistic touch is what distinguished the May 13 “active shooter drill” in Orangevillefrom countless other performances of its kind staged in schools across the Soyuz by the Police State Play Actors’ Guild. Most of the time, the kids for whose supposed benefit those drills are choreographed — and the parents responsible for their care, education, and upbringing — are let in on the joke.
Last October 10, for example, a mob of “between 80 and 100 officials” from law enforcement agencies staged a little Garrison State melodrama in New York’s William H. Barton Intermediate School. As described in the Glens Falls Post-Star:
“Fire alarms sounded at 9:31 a.m., drawing closed doors. Three Warren County sheriff’s officers and two state troopers conducted the first search, where they encountered students in a hallway and instructed them to sit down. They reached a second floor on a north wing of the school and found several bodies laying across the hallway. Police searched the classrooms, bathrooms and even an elevator, pressing their backs against walls before entering rooms and calling out `clear.’ A cafeteria was secured as a transfer point for victims with casualties, and a triage site for patient evaluation was at a nearby school.”
In that exercise, students — some of them in grade school — were recruited to play “victims.” One of them was the third-grade daughter of Heather Holl, who was herself cast as a “victim” in the third trimester of pregnancy. Another bit player, Heather’s son Alexander, “played the role of a gunshot victim” with an entry wound in his chest and a large exit wound in the back.
It should be pointed out that the tactics employed in the “active shooter” scenario at the William H. Barton School focused on officer safety, rather than active intervention on behalf of the victims. In real life, Alexander Holl would have been one of several unarmed, helpless schoolchildren killed while the SWAT team — encased in body armor and brandishing high-performance weaponry — took exquisite care to minimize its exposure to risk.

“He’s excited,” Heather commented as her son  was transported away from the scene by medical personnel. “He didn’t even sleep last night.”
At least he was given a copy of the script before the staged shooting began. The students who were deprived of that indispensable intelligence in Orangeville most likely aren’t sleeping well now — not because they’re full of eager anticipation, but rather because they suffer from post-traumatic stress.
Parents were required to participate passively in the scenario played out in Orangeville: They weren’t informed about the event until curtain time, and then ordered to participate in an information embargo targeting their terrified kids.

What this means, of course, is that although the disguised deputy playing the role of assailant was firing blanks, the schoolkids were, quite literally, being held hostage.

If a bank robber bluffs his way through a heist with a toy gun, he’s committed a real crime. The same is true of the people who terrorized the inmates of Orangeville Jr.-Sr. High on May 13. School District Superintendent Randy Otto has submitted his resignation, and some parents have discussed the possibility of a lawsuit — but the appropriate criminal charges against those responsible aren’t forthcoming.

“Our number one goal is to save lives,” warbled Leigh Anne Ryals, Emergency Management Director for Baldwin County, Alabama, following a similar school shooter drill in Robertsdale’s Central Baldwin Middle School a few years ago. The means such drills employ are incompatible with that goal, since the standard template is based on the “Lockdown” Scenario: The killers conduct the rampage on their own terms, end it at a time of their choosing, and the SWAT team merely cattle-pens the victims.

WKRG.com News

Like every other “security” measure inflicted on Americans since 9/11, the “lockdown” scenario treats schoolchildren as a tactical impediment — or perhaps even a threat — to be dealt with, rather than as innocent people to be protected. That model was actually put in place before 9/11 — even before Columbine – as part of the federal “Safe Schools” dogma that grew out of the Regime’s narcotics price support program (sometimes dishonestly called the “War on Drugs”).

Today it is typical for police agencies to deploy “Resource Officers” to prowl the halls of schools in search of misbehavior that can be treated as criminal offenses, rather than disciplinary problems.

In his keynote address to the 2007 National Association of School Resources Conference, held against the rugged and forbidding backdrop of Orlando’s Disney World, self-styled tactical and counter-terrorism John Giduck offered a telling glimpse into the mindset of the armed strangers who haunt local government schools:

“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.)

In her immensely informative and tirelessly infuriating new book Lockdown High: When The Schoolhouse becomes a Jailhouse, investigative reporter Annette Fuentes  describes Giduck’s audience as ” a sea of khaki uniforms, some [of whom in the crowd] were waring holstered handguns…. [M]ore than a few had shaved heads and bulging bellies or biceps. Some had both. If drug tests had been required for registration, odds are that a few steroid-positives could have resulted among the more muscular attendees.”

Giduck himself has appointed himself an authority on the tactics and training of special forcesdespite a resume untainted by actual experience in the same. In similar fashion Giduck advertises himself as a world-caliber authority on radical Islam and counter-terrorism: He claims to have been tutored in counter-terrorism by “Putin’s boss,” the former head of the KGB, and to have trained with Soviet-era special forces, during a visit to Russia in the late Gorbachev era. Assuming that Giduck is telling the truth, that line on his vita should summarily disqualify him from having anything to do with children anywhere.

Whatever proves to be the truth about Giduck’s claims, he is a prominent figure among the cohort Fuentes calls the “Profiteers of Lockdown High” — an interlocking collection of governmental and quasi-private bureaucracies committed to eradicating the few substantive distinctions separating schools from prisons.

“Every day in communities across the United States, children and adolescents spend the majority of their waking hours in schools that increasingly have come to resemble places of detention more than places of learning,” observes Fuentes.  Federally subsidized “zero tolerance” policies have created what Fuentes and other critics of the system call the “school-to-prison pipeline”: “If yesterday’s prank got a slap on the wrist, today those wrists could be slapped with handcuffs.”

The danger here is not merely that schools have been largely transformed into short-term prison facilities; it’s that the SROs deployed therein take seriously Giduck’s catechism about being combat-ready “warriors,” rather than peace officers. Their operational credo is not “protect and serve,” but rather “control and dominate” — and, with increasing frequency, “close and kill.”

Those options are compellingly displayed in two entirely unnecessary police assaults on young teenagers: The case  of 17-year-old Derby, Kansas resident Jonathan Villareal, who was beaten, tasered, and handcuffed by police “resource officers” who took offense over the way the high school student was wearing his pants; and the murder of 14-year-old San Antonio reform school student Derek Lopez. Significantly, both of those incidents occurred after school hours.

Relieved by the end of his daily sentence in the government mind-laundry, Jonthan passed a brace of officially licensed bullies on the way to the bus. One of them told Jonathan to pull up his pants; the youngster replied — hopefully with the appropriate measure of controlled contempt — that school was over and he was thus free to dress any way he chose.

One of the thugs — his tax-fattened bulk making him much larger than the scrawny adolescent —  threw Jonathan to the ground while bellowing the familiar rapist’s refrain: “Stop resisting!” The other thug immediately joined in, both of them striking and kneeing the prone, helpless teenager in the back, legs, and neck. Jonathan also suffered a black eye.

When Jonathan struggled to his feet, he was thrown down forcefully; he felt his arm snap as he hit the ground. He struggled to his feet again, thereby giving one of the costumed enforcers an excuse to report that the victim had assumed an “aggressive stance.” This supposedly justified a potentially lethal taser attack.

The Derby High School newspaper, appropriately called the Informerexplained that students can be subjected to “administrative” discipline for wearing their pants “inappropriately.” Derby Police Chief Robert Lee described the incident as “a flagrant violation of school policy that could have been handled administratively, if he had not resisted the SRO.”

Once again, we see the logic of the rapist at work: If the victim is severely injured or killed for fighting back, it’s her own fault; she shouldn’t have resisted. This comparison, of course, is unfair: Rapists and other aggressors not swaddled in government-issued costumes aren’t generally permitted to file criminal charges against victims who fight back. The Derby Police Department “will take the incident to the district attorney for possible criminal charges against Villareal,” observes the Informer.

Through an interpreter, Villareal’s mother said that she “understands if they need to arrest him for being disrespectful,” but that she doesn’t understand why “they need to beat him up for whatever reason.”

The short answer, of course, is this: They do it because they can.

Derby High’s dress code is described as part of an effort to beat back the insidious “gang culture” considered to be a besetting scourge of society. Doubtless the school also participates in the Regime’s “anti-bullying campaign,” in which students are encouraged to rat out each other whenever they hear inappropriate comments, or see what they believe to be inappropriate conduct.

None of this applies to the sanctified bullies in military attire, of course. Since they belong to the State’s punitive priesthood, those skeevy armed adults can loiter around schools, leering like Aqualung at underage girls and taunting smaller young males in an attempt to provoke them into doing something to justify a righteous beating — followed by prosecution for “resisting arrest.”

With troubling frequency, this State-authorized bullying involves the use of consistently lethal weapons, such as the ubiquitous portable electro-shock torture device. On occasion, it involves unambiguous criminal homicide. Witness the November 12, 2010 killing of Derek Lopez by Officer Daniel Alvarado of San Antonio’s Northside Independent School District Police.

Alvarado was an exceptionally unqualified officer even by the dismal standards that prevail among the ranks of tax-subsidized gun thugs. Between March 2006 and November 2010, Alvarado was suspended four times. Four times he was informed by supervisors that he faced “immediate termination.”

For some reason — most likely one rooted in police union politics — when it came time to fire Alvarado, his superiors just couldn’t bring themselves to pull the trigger. Alvarado displayed no similar scruples on November 12, 2010, when he murdered 14-year-old Derek Lopez, who had just taken part in a brief scuffle with another student.

 

Owing to his own troubled past, Lopez was a student at the Bexar County Juvenile Justice Academy. At around 4:30 PM on the fatal day, Lopez sucker-punched a 13-year-old classmate at a bus stop.

 

“He just hit me once,” the student later recalled in a sworn deposition. “It wasn’t a fight. It was nothing.”

 

Unfortunately, Alvarado happened to be prowling the intersection in his patrol car, and witnessed the trivial dust-up.

 

 

“Freeze!” Alvarado shouted at Lopez, who bolted from the scene. Alvarado, in his mid-40s, briefly gave token pursuit before wheezing out the first of several self-serving falsehoods.

 

“I just had one run from me,” gasped the winded tax-feeder. “I saw an assault in progress. He punched the guy several times.” (Emphasis added.)

 

A supervisor instructed Alvarado “not [to] do any big search over there” in pursuit of the assailant. “Let’s stay with the victim and see if we can identify [the suspect] that way.”

 

Rather than doing as he was ordered, Alvarado bundled the “victim” — who was probably more terrified of the armed functionary than of his obnoxious classmate — into the patrol car and went in pursuit of Lopez.

Lopez vaulted a nearby fence and hid in a backyard shed containing Christmas decorations. The homeowner saw the intrusion, and a neighbor flagged down Alvarado’s patrol car. The officer drew his gun “when he came up the driveway,” recalled the homeowner.

Within a minute or so, a single gunshot resonated through the neighborhood. When asked by the horrified homeowner what had happened, Alvarado — who reportedly looked “dazed or distant” — replied that Lopez “came at me.”

 

“The suspect bull rushed his way out of the shed and lunged right at me,” the timorous creature later claimed in an official report. “The suspect was literally inches away from me, and I feared for my own safety.”(Emphasis added.)

 

Alvarado was lying, of course. An autopsy revealed “no evidence of close range firing [on] the wound,” and no gunpowder stains were found on the victim’s bloody t-shirt.

 

By this time, the boy who had taken the punch at the bus stop had called his mother via cell phone. She arrived shortly after Alvarado had gunned down Lopez.

 

“At one point, the mother told a witness, `He shot him? Why did he shoot him? He didn’t have to shoot him,” reports the San Antonio News-Express.

 

Alvarado, who four times was on the cusp of being fired for insubordination, disobeyed a direct order on November 12. He falsified key details of the shooting in his official report. A 14-year-old boy was gunned down execution-style for the venial offense of engaging in an adolescent scuffle, and for compelling an overweight middle-aged badge-polisher to run a few hundred yards. According to the San Antonio Police Department, this is all perfectly acceptable: The department ruled that the murder of Derek Lopez was a “justified” shooting.

 

Although he’s been removed from patrol duty, Alvarado remains on the force, albeit in a tax-underwritten sinecure. Although he had repeatedly been threatened with termination for sloppiness or defiance in carrying out administrative duties, Alvarado faces neither criminal prosecution nor professional censure for murdering a 14-year-old boy.

Apparently, insubordination in carrying out office functions is a much graver matter than insubordination that results in the needless death of an adolescent Mundane.

 

Despite the fact that this incident involved two teenage boys who attended a special school for troubled juveniles, parents should understand that students in practically any government-run “educational” institution can fall prey to sudden — and potentially lethal — police violence.

The purpose of “active shooter drills” is not to refine protocols intended to protect inmates of government schools; instead, it is to habituate children to the presence of paramilitary operators in their midst. Parents should ponder that reality as millions of young Americans begin their welcome Summer parole from the government’s hybrid school/prison system — and they should likewise consider the wisdom of making that parole an unconditional pardon.

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