view from mars

"Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day."

Friday, February 17, 2006

terror comes home

It's only terrorism if they're brown-skinned "ragheads" right Ann?
A fourth Albemarle County boy has been charged in a plot to bomb Albemarle and Western Albemarle high schools.

The suspect, a 13-year-old Jack Jouett Middle School student, was arrested at school at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday and charged with conspiracy to use an explosive device to destroy a schoolhouse and conspiracy to commit murder.
Another 13-year-old Jack Jouett student, a 15-year-old Albemarle student and a 16-year-old Western Albemarle student were arrested two weeks ago.

Last year I was introduced to a new type of safety precaution while working in Albemarle Co. public schools (ok, technically I don't work for the county but that's neither here nor there -- the bottom line is that I witnessed the following crazy shit.) When I was in school (that is, when I actually attended public school,) we, naturally, were drilled monthly on school evacuation in the event of a fire. You hear the fire alarm go off, you stand up, push in your chair, walk silently out the door to the designated area. Blah.

Last year I witnessed an "intruder drill." Yeah. There's no alarm, no walking-single-file-and-be-quiet-dammit. There's some cryptic password broadcasted over the PA system, prompting the teachers to lockdown the room -- close the blinds, turn off the lights, lock the door, and huddle with the class kneeling down in a corner furthest from the windows and the door.

Try coaching a kid with autism through that (incidentally, my student did fine but one can imagine the horrible possibilities.) Once when I was in high school (actually a hell of a lot more than once, but this incident is remarkable in many ways) there was a bomb threat called in, and we students had to cross a four-lane avenue to the grassy area in front of an adjacent development just in case the school actually did blow up and flaming bits of my alma mater were to rain down upon us. The remarkable part is that they let all the kids go home about four hours early because they figured it would take as long to search the school and declare "all-clear" or some such reassurance. It was the most serious in a presently timely rash of bomb threats, and, needless to say, the last time students were allowed to be freed into the community (I went to the mall with my friends -- my parents had no idea.)

The Daily Progress continues:

The teens, believed to be friends, are alleged to have chatted online to strategize, with plans to blow up the schools by the end of the year.

Police seized two shotguns, computers and other evidence from the boys' homes during the first three arrests. Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Camblos declined to say whether evidence had been seized from the fourth suspect's home.

Asked whether he considered the boys' plot a serious threat, Camblos replied, "We don't file charges unless we think it's serious."

Remember in Fahrenheit 9/11 when Michael Moore interviews Virginians who talk about terrorists bombing the local Wal-Mart?

Seriously, what the fucking fuck. Bush and his pack of fear-mongerers have succeeded in forcing people to believe the only way to stay safe IN RURAL VIRGINIA is to vote for republicans, because dangit them islamo-fascists like nuthin' more than eatin' babies and if you ain't afraid like us you can git the hell out.

Meanwhile real plots grow underneath our noses, and we twiddle our thumbs while intra-school communities fester with the anomie and indifference that engenders bullying and ostracision. Indeed, our Dear Leader works diligently to rob our schools of the enriching extra-curriculars that foster a vibrant community. I'm sure in prep school and at Yale he didn't make anybody feel like complete shit.


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