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Yankees fund 6 more SROs here; schools, sheriff proud

Sheriff Jim Hammond announces U.S. funding for 6 school resource officers. Immediately to his right is U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann. (Photo Wtvc.com)

County sheriff Jim Hammond accompanied by federal congressman Chuck Fleischmann, has announced that the county is receiving $751,000 from a U.S. justice department grant, given only if the county gives a hefty F$431,000 more as a match.

The money will pay for six officers who will be stationed in County Schools for three years, with a fourth year paid by the county.

By David Tulis / AM 1240 Hot News Talk Radio

“This is a great example of how we work together in Hamilton County and in the 3rd District of Tennessee,” Mr. Fleischmann said. “It’s good for young people to see officers in a positive light,” the sheriff added.

Later reports indicate the commitment to engaging six people is $1.14 million over four years.

It is generally reported that officers are in schools to provide security and to be “mentors” to students.

But SROs are a gross intrusion of the state into that domain that families think the good part of public school.

SROs are a mechanism for community policing, surveillance, and gathering information about students and their families without suspecting any particular student or family of criminality.

The SRO program enlarges in Hamilton County and Southeast Tennessee the school-to-prison pipeline. Offenses that students make against the rules, or against decency and good breeding now are more likely to be handled as a criminal matter, with disorderly conduct being a handy charge by which officers can make good against a recalcitrant student and his family.

The disorderly conduct statute is unconstitutionally vague and makes people subject to state harassment.

The American Bar Association says that SRO in schools criminalizes actions and behavior that normally are handled through parental authority as exercised through school staff. “A police officer’s regular presence at a school significantly increases the odds that school officials will refer students to law enforcement for various offenses, including those lower-level offenses that should be addressed using more pedagogically sound methods.”

School suspensions are disproportionately used on students of color and students with disabilities, the ACLU  says. According to the latest data, 16 percent of blacks and 7 percent of Latino students  were suspended, while the rate for whites was 5 percent. Students with disabilities had suspension rates two to three times their peers.

Beholden to feds

Public schools are antithetical to the ideals of local economy free market. They represent an alien intellectual, spiritual, and religious interest of the state and are intended from the days of the Boston school committee to mold and shape the citizenry along Unitarian and secular ideals. Read John Taylor Gatto’s works on this point, including Dumbing Us Down and the Underground History of American Education.

I understand Sheriff Hammond is glad to receive this money to hire deputies, even though it puts him into greater obligation to the national government as its representative. Sheriff Hammond is elected by the people of Hamilton County and is supposed to represent them in the face and other authorities including the federal government.

Receiving federal money makes him beholden to Washington and not to the people. Such a shift is inevitable and the degree to which it claims his perspective can be assumed to be greater the more he receives and the more he enwebs himself in commitments to the national government by funding contracts and cooperative agreements

Sources

Jeff Bryant, “Why it takes local activists to end a school-to-prison pipeline,” Alternet.org, Oct. 8, 2016

ShelleyBradbury, “Hamilton County sheriff to hire six new school resource officers,” Chattanooga Times Free Press, Oct. 5, 2016

“County Commission Approves 6 New SROs, Though County Cost To Be $1,137,400 Over 4 Years,”  http://www.chattanoogan.com/2016/10/19/334326/County-Commission-Approves-6-New-SROs.aspx

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