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Disturbing Schools


Disturbing Schools

Robert C. Koehler

So South Carolina has a special crime category called “disturbing schools,” which seems to be creating just that: disturbing schools. Very disturbing schools.




There were no cops in the schools when I was a kid. Flash forward 30 years and there was a police substation in my daughters school. A combination of over sensitive laws, abdication of responsibility from administrators, a consequent police presence just down the hall, and lack of respect by some students (and their parents) have caused this situation.

Cops are hammers, so every situation to them looks like a nail. They shouldn't be there in the first place.


Only an imbecile and/or individual conditioned to the military way of life could fail to see that military incursions into foreign lands INCREASES violence, or aggressive blowback.

The entire War on Terrorism, along with the War on Drugs make fictitious enemies out of thin air. Then, the "weed out the enemy" mentality is used to put a lot of not particularly bright or empathetic people (mostly males in need of demonstrating their machismo) into uniforms.

Any make-war state makes soldiers a regularly occurring phenomena.

I've used, as analogy, the film Cabaret. Initially, the Nazi soldiers were not welcomed into the cabaret... but once the shock troops bully the owner into submission, and Nazi propaganda begins to inflate patriotic fervor, uniformed soldiers begin to appear everywhere until they virtually morph into seamless extensions of the citizenry.

The adage that begins with "first they came for" explains the slow creep of fascism. It always initially targets a readily discernible scapegoat population. Typically, this group has less political power and thus makes for the equivalent of "shooting fish in a barrel." Of course, once the legalized protocols are in place to prosecute the target group, they can (and often will) be used on anyone and everyone else.

What is being shown in the Black community with both intentionally underfunded (in order to fail) schools and ubiquitous police presence (and reciprocal force) are becoming normalized so that these protocols will gradually impact (and lockdown) more and more of the citizenry.

Just as Native Americans didn't have the firepower to stand up to yesterday's conquistadors and found themselves overwhelmed and dominated; the same holds true in that peaceful people don't have, wish to have, or use the type of muscular firepower that dominators deploy in order to force others into submission.

So long as militarism and the make war mentality hold precedence, uniformed guards will be fixtures of all components of society; and many of them will use force. After all, that's what they identify with.

Translation: The power of the Beast may target persons of color... but it hardly stops there.


Your analysis is almost as bad as your spelling.


Robert Koehler, I appreciate your writing very much. However, as a public school teacher in a variety of settings for the past 17 years, an appreciator of an anarchist critique of unjust authority, a practitioner of "Nonviolent Communication" (as developed by Marshall Rosenberg), and a practitioner of proven de-escalation and positive classroom management methods that never call for hostility or put-downs towards students (which are simply unprofessional and unnecessary), I must prod a little further on this idea that a student refusing to give up a cell phone is being "insolent." Webster's defines insolent as "rude or impolite : having or showing a lack of respect for other people." In most cases, a withholding of a cellphone like this would more importantly be a matter of the student wanting to hold on to a sense of personal boundaries, or fearing that it could be very difficult or time-consuming to get the phone back (and especially for youth in unstable housing and other vulnerable situations, a cell phone can represent a lifeline to people who might care about them), or more basically a sense of wanting to say no to anyone "taking" more things away from them. Yes, the withholding here would also be an instance of non-compliance with a teacher's demand, something almost universally considered to be "insolent" in our compulsory-education model. But the student, by all I've seen, did not do or say anything more than refuse to give up the cell phone, and in most contexts (outside of schools and jails, or private places where cell phones are required to be confiscated upon entry) we would not say that is being "insolent." (Talking on the phone in class, however, when other students need a quiet environment in which to study or listen to lecture, etc., would be an intrusion into others' learning space, a more clear instance of being "rude." So could texting in class--plus there are other issues of the privacy of other students related to a student texting in class, also certainly with taking pictures.) Usually, if cell phones are off and away during class, they should not be taken away from a student; also, it is important for schools to have clear and fair procedures for returning student property like cell phones that may have been confiscated--but when that isn't the case (I don't know about this school in question), students can legitimately feel more reluctant to give up a phone they fear they won't soon get back--especially when they really need that phone for their personal safety at some point in their day. A comprehensively well-trained teacher backed up by knowledgeable and well-trained school leadership, would have been able to respond to that situation without even getting close to considering calling in a cop, and quite possibly with a process that would enable the student to actually connect more with the teacher and class rather than have had (another) horrendously traumatic experience to now have to suffer PTSD from, and hope somehow to heal from with the help of compassionate, well-trained professionals which should be somewhere to be found.


Always so lovely to have you respond to one of my posts. Respectful, humble, helpful...that's you! While I may have misspelled a word or two, ( cat was trying to lay on the keyboard while I was trying to type..:smile: ) i'm not going to worry about it.

Aside from my spelling, what exactly did you have a problem with? I know my writing could be better, ( I could, for example, write in tortured, opaque academy speak to try to make myself appear more intelligent) but heck, it's just a forum.


As an aspie kid from a dysfunctional family with abusive parents, who's daydreaming in all classes (except the science classes and shop classes) was, for practical purposes, a form of rebellious insolence, I don't want to think about how I would have turned out had I been a student in modern-day public school in a poor district...


Oops. This was meant to be a general comment not a reply. But as a fellow libertarian in the classical meaning of the word, I do agree with your comment.


They probably would have called out the SWAT team.. :smile: I was a daydreamer too.


Agreed. I perceive a growing, dysfunctional, extreme-to-absurdity obsession with safety and security which reaches its most extreme in suburban areas. It is often driven by whole-cloth myths about how the world outside the confines of the house or the big SUV is supposedly far more dangerous than some mythical Beaver Cleaver 1950's past...


Many thanks to Mr. Koehler for yet another insightful and thoughtful essay. I should have known this fact, but I didn't, and it brought me up short: "It’s called 2.3 million people in U.S. prisons in 2015, compared to less than 200,000 in 1968." I graduated from high school in 1968, so that date range is one I can relate to. In '68 I was living in a neighborhood in central Illinois that had changed from a peaceful, green residential street to a main thoroughfare for drugs coming down from Chicago. Quiet nights on my block had changed to sounds of shouting and gunfire; neighbors' homes gradually became boarded up. I suppose (should know, but don't) it was the drug trafficking and related crime that started then that led to the zero tolerance policies of the '80s, but it's been clear for a long time that zero tolerance was a foolish, fear-based response to a complicated problem, and it's led inevitably to a nation in near lock-down as a response to greater and greater problems.


I agree with you ErnieJ. This is not about learning math. The student who started this was not interested in learning math. She was into interacting with her phone. The officer who has lost his job was third in line to get her to comply. He lost his job; that is not enough, others here (on another thread) want to crucify him.


The idea that you beleve the brutalization of this girl - over not "putting a cell phone away" to be justified is sick and vile. and belies a deep, violent sickness that infects US culture. In virtually every part of the civilized world, people would not believe that such extremist violent poeple such as you could even possibly exist. And what the hell does "lawful command" mean in ANY society that is even a semblance of a democracy?

I have flagged you post - please go back to whatever right-wing racist shit hole you crawled out of.


Siouxrose - As usual, you are right on and able to place these incidents into the bigger and more important picture. I despair where we are going.


Thanks - our 'kids' went to SVHS - this gal was very new to the school, very quiet, and horribly mistreated. This is a good reason we need school nurses & social workers, not school cops.


I was surprised and sad in the video to see that the other students seemed not at all shocked by the "incident"-just sat quietly.


Incarceration nation .


So a nonviolent 'offense' justifies a violent , maximum-use -of-force response ? An out-of-control , 300-lb. cop slamming around a girl half his weight and half his age is OK with you ? You could spend the rest of your life watching the million videos on YouTube of police goon-thugs brutalising and even killing people for trivial offenses or asking a question or recording them or breathing while black . The land of the free and the home of the brave - NOT .
As for your preposterous assertion that every single one of the countless incidents of police violence in schools is justified : The only explanation that makes any sense is that you are a cop attempting to justify the unjustifiable . Damage control's a bitch .


Probably too brutalised and intimidated by previous experiences . After all , look what happened to the girl who recorded it and spoke up for her friend . I've seen some comments on other threads casting aspersions on the male students who sat there passively and did nothing to intervene . Who would know better than they how precarious and arbitrary the life of a young black man can be ? Their lives can be snuffed out for any reason or no reason at all at any time. Their reputations will be blasted posthumously in an effort to justify their killers .