Tuesday, February 1, 2011

LA School COP: Oops, My Bad, I Shot Myself

Look Officer, Use A Toy Gun Next Time (by coralinetheblue)
Jeffrey Stenroos, the LAUSD Police Officer who shot himself recently, prompting the lockdown of nine Los Angeles area schools, has told investigators that he accidentally shot himself. LAPD spent days searching for a parolee they thought had shot the officer.

The incident provoked a lock down of nine schools for as much as five hours, with students unable to leave their classrooms for food, water or the restroom.

The hoax and its consequences for LA students highlight the problems with LAUSD’s lockdown policy. Over the past month, more than a dozen schools have been locked down in separate incidents, with students confined to a classroom for as much as five hours. LAUSD is using the lockdown more for social control than for students’ safety. Neither LAPD nor LAUSD have dealt with the recent incidents rationally or reasonably, holding kids like prisoners far longer than necessary, so they could “secure” the area casually without disruption by students and their families. For example, rather than questioning Stenroos sufficiently to assess the credibility of his claims, it was assumed he was too traumatized to talk. Yet he was wearing a bullet proof vest and he was a police officer, someone who should be able to give evidence under duress.

The incident also highlights a terrible flaw in the policy.  Anyone can call the police claiming to have witnessed an armed suspect near a school and provoke a lockdown that not only undermines students’ liberty, safety and dignity, but that also steals valuable class time from them.

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