The militarization of law enforcement, sensationalized mass shooting events, and a creeping police state have merged in the now common “active shooter drills” that transpire in various public places, including schools.
Yet recent research suggests how such exercises do little in the way of preparing for mass casualty events, and instead needlessly traumatize children, in the process making an entire generation more acquiescent to state authority and control over their everyday lives.
School shooters represent a minuscule fraction of the risk to America’s schoolchildren. According to a 2018 Washington Post editorial, “the statistical likelihood of any given public school student being killed by a gun, in school, on any given day since 1999 was roughly 1 in 614,000,000.” According to a recent article inThe Atlantic: “The Washington Post has identified fewer than 150 people (children and adults) who have been shot to death in America’s schools since the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School, in Colorado. Not 150 people a year, but 150 in nearly two decades.”
Nonetheless, 96% of America’s schools conduct lockdown drills meant to protect students from active shooters. These are required by state or local law in most cases.
The inordinate attention paid to a phenomenon that represents such a tiny proportion of the danger to school kids (a drop in the bucket compared to the danger they face from car accidents for example) can only be justified if one assumes that the psychological impact of these shootings on students is disproportionately great. But what if these lockdown drills are actually what is creating most of the anxiety?
The essence of the case revolves around the fact that FAU trustees and administrators disapproved of Tracy’s political views, expressed on his personal blog. They therefore utilized an unconstitutional prior restraint (“Outside Employment Policy”) barring Professor Tracy’s right to free speech as the basis for his dismissal. Moreover, to this day these very officials continue to use the same policy to limit university faculty and employee expression.
In 2017 a hostile court dismissed most of TracyvFAU’s First Amendment claims, ruling in favor of FAU and its administrators, and barring crucial evidence in advance of the case ever going to a jury.
Anticipating such a setback, the FCRC successfully engaged a prominent national law firm which, recognizing the case’s significance, brought the lower court ruling before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
An excerpt from #TracyvFAU appeal brief, filed yesterday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
This is what an unconstitutional #PriorRestraint at a public university looks like.
In June 2019 the Eleventh Circuit’s panel of judges granted the case oral argument. Such a hearing is less-than-common at the federal appellate level. TracyvFAU is scheduled to be heard the morning of September 19, 2019 at the Elbert P. Tuttle US Court of Appeals Building in Atlanta Georgia. We are uncertain of the judicial outcome, but are grateful that the case is under review at this momentous level.
The James Tracy Legal Defense Fund wants to thank all of you for your moral and/or monetary support along the way. Because we have taken on a state agency with unlimited resources, there is no way we could have endured this fight for over three long years without you.
Preview of New Documentary on TracyvFAU Federal Civil Rights Case Now on Appeal
Independent Media Solidarity proudly presents the first preview of our new feature-length film, The Conspiracy Theorist: What Happened to James Tracy Could Happen to You. From the makers of We Need to Talk About Sandy Hook, this forthcoming documentary goes behind the scenes of the most important First Amendment legal battle of our time: Professor James Tracy’s firing for his controversial online speech.
In 2015 Florida Atlantic University abruptly terminated Professor Tracy under a false pretext. When Tracy filed a federal civil rights lawsuit his attorneys discovered how university officials repeatedly schemed to defeat Tracy’s First Amendment rights without violating the US Constitution.
After a corrupt federal court threw out most of Tracy’s claims it then prevented the jury from viewing crucial evidence. News outlets continued to denigrate Tracy while publicly misreporting the case. The Conspiracy Theorist sets the record straight through extensive interview footage of Tracy, his legal team, and university witnesses and defendants.
Today social media play a gigantic role in our everyday lives. Will something you or your loved ones say online one day make you the target of harassment and defamation, perhaps even resulting in the loss of your livelihood? What happened to James Tracy could happen to you.
Blank Rounds Fired “To Expose Students to Sound of Gunfire”
Parents of children attending Bethel Park High School in southeastern Pennsylvania have protested the school and local police department’s firing of blank rounds during an active shooter drill, allegedly without the parents’ express consent.
At Bethel Park High School on Thursday, an active shooter drill is scheduled to get underway during an extended third period class.
This drill will include the sound of gunfire, but blanks will be fired, not real bullets. School Police and Bethel Park Police will conduct the exercise.
Nanette Adams has a son who just this year enrolled in the High School. She and some other parents contacted KDKA-TV News saying they were concerned about the drill; more specifically, the fact that blanks were bring used.
On a August 27th broadcast National Public Radio announced its finding that the US Department of Education’s most recent mass shooting figures at US public schools appear to be grossly inflated. This is especially significant since there are public misconceptions toward such events that stem in part from dubious statistics. These numbers are then often taken by gun control advocacy groups to mislead and frighten the public on the scope of the problem.
How many times per year does a gun go off in an American school?
We should know. But we don’t.
This spring the U.S. Education Department reported that in the 2015-2016 school year, “nearly 240 schools … reported at least 1 incident involving a school-related shooting.” The number is far higher than most other estimates.
But NPR reached out to every one of those schools repeatedly over the course of three months and found that more than two-thirds of these reported incidents never happened. Child Trends, a nonpartisan nonprofit research organization, assisted NPR in analyzing data from the government’s Civil Rights Data Collection.
We were able to confirm just 11 reported incidents, either directly with schools or through media reports.
In 161 cases, schools or districts attested that no incident took place or couldn’t confirm one. In at least four cases, we found, something did happen, but it didn’t meet the government’s parameters for a shooting. About a quarter of schools didn’t respond to our inquiries.
“When we’re talking about such an important and rare event, [this] amount of data error could be very meaningful,” says Deborah Temkin, a researcher and program director at Child Trends.
The “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave” has reached a new nadir under corporate police state control. Walmart is among the entities behind a program to equip public schools with five gallon capacity “safety” or “lockdown” buckets for readiness in the event the facility’s inhabitants undergo martial law for an extended period of time. Taking a page from “preppers” often lampooned in major media, the vessels will be stocked with first aid supplies and foodstuffs, and can even be used as latrines.
The idea of “shelter in place buckets” was floated shortly after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland Florida on February 14, 2018, as the video below suggests.
Louisiana’s WAFB carries the syndicated story attributed to CNN:
With classroom shootings on the minds of many, one Michigan high school is trying to make their students feel safer.
Heidi Hummel and her classmates are gearing up for their senior year at Clio High School, but back-to-school prep has taken a more somber tone after recent school shootings.
This year at Clio, every classroom will have what’s called a “safety bucket.”
“We are unloading them and using them in the event, if we ever needed them, for a lock down,” Hummel said. “And we can have them for food and supplies if we were ever locked down for a long time.”
The buckets will go into every classroom in the school district. Assistant Principal Kevin Ayre said the school needs the public’s help to fill the buckets with potentially life-saving supplies.
“They’re going to be filled with gauze, bandages, water – you know, necessities in the situation where we have to be in a long-term lockdown,” Ayre said.
Walmart donated at least 144 of the buckets, and students and faculty said they’re great because in the case of an emergency they could use them as bathrooms as well.