In a March 31 article, I wrote about invasions of privacy being implemented by school districts in Texas and Florida. Plans included allowing students to carry only clear backpacks and subjecting students to security checkpoints complete with metal detectors. The justification offered is students’ safety and, in particular, protection against potential mass murders.
Now, Texas’ lieutenant governor is pushing to take this sort of invasion of students’ privacy statewide, starting with a fall semester rollout of metal detectors in a school district in which a mass murder occurred recently.
Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, in a Monday announcement, declared he would donate ten metal detectors for use in Santa Fe school district schools. A mass murder occurred in the district’s high school in May.
Testing such an expansion of power in the name of providing protection will likely encounter less resistance from students and parents in this area that has recently experienced a mass murder in a school, with the accompanying fear and worry. And, with the loss and anxiety people have been experiencing in the area, most media and many individuals will be more hesitant to offer criticism of the metal detectors’ placement and use in Santa Fe schools.
Next up in Patrick’s plan is the state government funding the use of metal detectors in schools statewide. Patrick, who as lieutenant governor presides over the state Senate, declared in his Monday announcement “that the Texas Senate will create a new matching fund program in the next legislative session for other schools that want to install metal detectors or use wands for inspection.” Patrick further says the new state program will apply retroactively to help pay for metal detectors installed in schools prior to the program’s creation.
Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.