Treating children as suspects is the new normal in American culture. There is something innately wrong with children. If they’re too chatty, they need to be medicated. If they’re too angry, they need to be suppressed by a “peace officer.” They are not to be trusted, and must be monitored at all times.
A school in Pennsylvania is accused of covertly activating webcams in school-issued laptops to spy on students. The accusations have generated a lot of outrage, but this is the logical conclusion of the country’s general movement toward a police state. If the NSA can wiretap citizens’ phones, the FBI can infiltrate protest groups, and the police can generally dominate and suppress any kind of protest, why shouldn’t schools be able to monitor student activity?
Americans have already accepted forms of police brutality (macing, sound cannons, tasering) as the inevitable punishments for exercising their First Amendment rights. They have already submitted to the bureaucratic requirements of permits (permits to gather, permits to use a bullhorn,) and the ridiculous spectacle of caged protests where activists are literally penned behind gates and cannot move from their designated locations as they “exercise” their “freedom of speech.”
When the protest spills past the acceptable parameters of activism, the police state shocks the citizenry back into submission. They taser, and mace, and deafen people until they stop fighting.
There hasn’t been too much fuss about this kind of oppression. Some guy got tasered when he asked John Kerry a question, but his fellow citizens mostly laughed about that. Jay Leno had a lot of fun with the “Don’t taze me, bro” stuff. Good times had by all.
Students like Ryan O’Neil got tasered at UCLA: