What’s so uniquely tragic about the the intrusion of the police state into America’s schools, is it appears the parents themselves are the ones demanding it. This is in contrast to an overbearing surveillance state implemented by government in secret, as well as by private corporations via lengthy terms of service agreements nobody actually reads.
What follows are excerpts from a very important article published at The Nation, The School-Security Industry Is Cashing In Big on Public Fears of Mass Shootings:
“Security was the number-one factor for me in choosing a school,” explained one of the mothers I met late last winter at a Montessori preschool in an affluent suburb of Salt Lake City. A quality-control expert at a dietary-supplement company, the woman said she vividly remembers the jolt of horror she felt when she first learned of the Columbine massacre in 1999. So when the time came to send her child to preschool, she selected one that markets itself not only as creative, caring, and nurturing, but also as particularly security-conscious.
To get the front door of the school to open, visitors had to be positively ID’d by a fingerprint-recognition system. In the foyer, a bank of monitors showed a live feed of the activity in every classroom. After drop-off, many parents would spend 15 minutes to half an hour staring at the screens, making sure their children were being treated well by their teachers and classmates. Many of the moms and dads had requested Internet access to the images, but the school had balked, fearing that online sexual predators would be able to hack into the video stream. All of the classroom doors had state-of-the-art lockdown features, and all of the teachers had access to long-distance bee spray—which, in the case of an emergency, they were instructed to fire off at the eyes of intruders. The playground was surrounded by a high concrete wall, which crimped the kids’ views of the majestic Wasatch Mountains. The imposing front walls, facing out onto a busy road, were similarly designed to stop predators from peering into the classrooms.
“I fear a gunman walking into my child’s school and gunning up the place,” the mother continued. (I have withheld her name, and that of the school, upon request.) “And I fear someone walking onto the playground and swiping a kid. And I fear an employee of the school damaging my child. These things happen more commonly than people expect.”