Sunday, January 06, 2008

Hey Kids...Principal G.I. Joe says, "Be A Snitch!"

The following news story is wrong on so many levels. First, there is no sane, logical explanation for ever placing an Iraq war veteran, who probably has a real bad case of PTSD, in charge of our children. That is just asking for trouble.

Second, I am used to soldiers coming out of combat and being hired as Drug SWAT team officers, which is a horrible idea, but placing them in schools......??????? That has to be the worst idea EVER! How long til Principal G.I. Joe has a flashback and decides to engage in hand-to-hand combat with a student over a Tylenol?

Third, snitching is wrong. It gets people killed. It teaches kids to sell their friends out to the government for a few dollars, and the government, instead of helping kids, puts them in jail and fucks up their lives far, far worse than drugs would have. It teaches kids to depend on the government to fix a problem that isn't the government's business to begin with. Drug use is a private family matter, a health and social issue and should be treated as such.

Fourth, this country has been waging a war on drugs for over 40 years, escalating the use of force against people who ingest inanimate objects. Read that again. The war on drugs is a war against people who ingest inanimate objects. Drugs are not living things, cannot fight back and therefore cannot have a war waged against them. It's a war on American citizens. A war on American children. By all accounts the drug war has been an abject FAILURE, as drugs are cheap, of high quality and plentiful. The war has always been waged against people and now we have made the school house a literal war zone by placing someone like Principal G.I. Joe in charge of our youth.

I predict that Principal G.I. Joe will be terribly disappointed with the results of this program. No kid wants to be a snitch and they will not wear shirts identifying them as such. We shall see how it all turns out.

Iraq vet uses military tactic to fight drugs

By Nancy Glasscock
The Decatur Daily

TRINITY -- After serving two tours of duty in Iraq, East Lawrence High School Principal and Army Reserve Lt. Col. Ricky Nichols said he knows what it takes to combat terrorists.

Nichols, who has served in the military 24 years, said he hopes the same skills will help him keep drugs out of the classroom.

Nichols spearheaded a program in December named Operation Bounty Hunter after county authorities arrested several students on drug charges. The program includes $100 rewards for students who submit tips leading to drug arrests.

School officials will keep the identities of students who submit tips confidential, Nichols said.

Nichols said local residents have donated $1,100 to fund the program.

"We're excited about the possibility of what could happen," he said Friday. "We don't really know what to expect at this point."

For too long, school officials have been "on the defensive" when dealing with drugs and weapons, he said.

"No one has ever won a war on the defensive," he said.

Nichols said he wanted to try something different to attack what he said is the "center of gravity" for drug dealers. Dealers rely most on the trust of people buying drugs and the complacency of others, he said.

Posters hanging in school hallways and in local businesses feature a masked face with red eyes and a message telling anyone "selling death" they have no place to hide.

Nichols said T-shirts featuring the message soon be will available to students and staff.

Even if student participation starts slowly, Nichols said, he is confident the program will be a success.

"It may start slowly, with students testing the water," he said. "It will take a little while to get over the stigma of being a snitch. But it's not being a snitch. What they're doing is very valuable. They're providing a means by which we can do away with something that is illegal and harmful to their friends."

Nichols said he would explain details of the program to students when they return to school today.

He said the Lawrence County School Board and other members of the community support the program.

"I'm excited about it," Superintendent Dexter Rutherford said. "We're always looking for ways to gain an advantage over the few folks that are selling drugs."

Nichols said East Lawrence High School will continue to accept donations for the program.

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