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Tag: students

AG Sessions Wants to Resurrect Anti-Drug Program D.A.R.E

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to resurrect the anti-drug program D.A.R.E, despite evidence that it’s ineffective.

While speaking at the D.A.R.E training conference in North Texas on Tuesday, Sessions defended the program as an effective way to prevent drug use among young adults, the New York Daily reports

“D.A.R.E. is, I think, as I indicated, the best remembered anti-drug program today,” Sessions said. “In recent years, people have not paid much attention to that message, but they are ready to hear it again.”

D.A.R.E. , which was founded in Los Angeles in 1983 and later criticized for its alleged failure to prevent young people from using drugs.

“D.A.R.E. does not work to reduce substance use. The program’s content, teaching methods, and use of uniformed police officers rather than teachers might each explain its weak evaluations,” the National Criminal Justice Reference Service said in a 1998 report to Congress.

Sessions countered that the program has provided effective results in schools nationwide. s

“We know it worked before and we can make it work again,” the AG said.

Teachers, Others Oppose FBI’s Online Anti-Extremism Video

Screenshot of the video, "Don't Be a Puppet."

Screenshot of the video, “Don’t Be a Puppet.”

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI hoped to discourage teenagers from becoming extremists by introducing a video called, “Don’t Be a Puppet.” 

The idea was to counter homegrown extremism by teaching users how to identify young people who are gravitating toward radical ideology.

But now the American Federation of Teachers union and other groups are vocally opposing the video, saying it could lead to more distrust of peaceful Muslims, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

The Wall Street Journal wrote:

In August, the groups, which include the American Association of School Administrators and American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, wrote a letter to FBI director James Comey saying they were “deeply troubled” by the Don’t Be A Puppet campaign and claimed it would increase distrust of Muslim and Middle Eastern students. Critics of the website fear that the recent bomb attacks in New York and New Jersey, and stabbings at a Minnesota mall, will be used to further justify its use with young people.

The website—which walks users through various topics related to extremism and allows them to “free the puppet’ after each section—references religious and environmental extremism, white supremacy, and anarchists. It offers short explanations of the Sept. 11 attacks, as well as the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City.

Specifically, the advocacy groups have raised concerns that the computer program can too easily be interpreted as singling out Muslims. Critics have taken issue with several of the potential signs of extremist behavior that the website warns users to report—such as “talking about traveling to places that sound suspicious” and “using code words or unusual language.”

First 7 Students Graduate with Newly Created Minor in Homeland Security

The College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at the State University of New York in Albany.

The College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at the State University of New York in Albany.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The first seven students graduated with a newly created minor in homeland security and other emergency fields at a New York state college, the Washington Times reports. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that the students may play an important role in responding to emergencies that range from terrorism to extreme weather.

The first academic year at the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at the State University of New York in Albany attracted more than 270 students.

State education officials hope to soon create a major in the field.

Questions Raised about FBI Targeting High School Students Who Show Signs of ‘Extremism’

schoolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is now targeting high school students who could be potential extremists.

New FBI guidelines are calling for high schools nationwide to report students who are critical of government policies and “western corruption” in an effort to get an early warning about potential sympathizers of terrorism, Alternet reports.

The guidelines warn of “anarchist extremists” and young people who travel to “suspicious” countries.

The “Preventing Violent Extremism in Schools” guidelines were released in January and “are almost certainly designed to single out and target Muslim-American communities,” Alternet argues.

“However, in its caution to avoid the appearance of discrimination, the agency identifies risk factors that are so broad and vague that virtually any young person could be deemed dangerous and worthy of surveillance, especially if she is socio-economically marginalized or politically outspoken,” Alternet reports.

The new guidelines suggest high schools can be hotbeds of extremism.

“High school students are ideal targets for recruitment by violent extremists seeking support for their radical ideologies, foreign fighter networks, or conducting acts of violence within our borders,” the document warns, claiming that youth “possess inherent risk factors.”

Iowa Boarding School Accused of Confining Students to Small ‘Isolation Boxes’ for Weeks

Keokuk Iowa

Keokuk, Iowa

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating an Iowa boarding school that is accused of routinely confining troubled teenagers to small concrete “isolation boxes” for up to weeks until they could maintain a specific posture for 24 hours, the Associate Press reports. 

Six former students claim they were abused while attending Midwest Academy in Keokuk, Iowa.

According to the allegations, the students were kept in dark, cell-like rooms for days and even weeks.

“You spend your time pounding your head against the wall. You can’t sleep because there is a lot of noise. A lot of girls like to scream in there. You basically look forward to bathroom breaks and those moments when you can get out of your box,” said Emily Beaman, 17, of Wheaton, Illinois.

Beaman said she was kept in isolation for weeks until she cut herself with a bottle cap and implored emergency responders to take her away from the academy.

The investigation began investigating allegations that a staff member sexually assaulted a student. Now the FBI is investigating whether students were tortured by being confined to isolation boxes.

FBI Assists Investigation into Disappearance of 43 College Students in Mexico

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com  

The FBI is beginning to help investigate the disappearance of 43 college students in Mexico, even as evidence recently surfaced that the country’s government may have been involved in rounding up the young people, NBC News reports.

The students, who were training to be teachers, vanished on Sept. 26 after protesting for more funds.

American scientists are helping analyze DNA evidence to determine whether bodies found in a mass grave in October are those of the missing students.

Prosecutors alleges that local officials were behind the disappearance. Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca, his wife and dozen of local officials have been jailed, accused of turning the students over to a local drug cartel, Guerreros Unidos, which grows opium poppies for heroin that is shipped to the U.S.

Investigative reporter Anabel Hernandez believes the Mexican government played a significant role in the disappearance.

“The government knew exactly what was happening,” she said, citing documents and cell phone videos that revealed the presence of federal police during the disappearance.

The Mexican government has denied any involvement.

Study: Only 20% of Sexual Assaults on College Campuses Are Reported to Police

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Only one of five campus sexual assaults are reported to police, according to a new Justice Department report, PBS reports.

The reasons victims didn’t alert police range from fear of reprisal to believing the crime doesn’t rise to the level of police involvement.

The findings are based on figures from the National Crime Victimization Survey from 1995 to 2013.

Peter Lake, a law professor at Stetson University College of Law who conducts training for colleges on the topic, said some students “don’t know what their legal rights are.”

Former FBI Agent Hired by School District to Scour Social Media Comments by Students

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

One school district in Alabama has taken the unusual step of hiring a former FBI agent to monitor students on social media, the Daily Intelligencer reports.

The idea was to catch students who make statements linking them to drugs, guns, sex and gangs.

The effort led to 14 expulsions last year.

Ex-FBI Agent Chris McRae was hired to look for expulsion-worthy transgressions.

The expulsions drew criticism because 12 of the 14 expelled students were black in a district where only 40% of the students are black.

“That is effectively targeting or profiling black children in terms of behavior and behavioral issues,” said Madison county commissioner Bob Harrison.

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