‘Twilight Zone’? No, just life at Cobb schools
by William Lewis
September 16, 2013 10:37 PM | 2075 views | 9 9 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Events headlined in the MDJ over the last two weeks have me wondering if our local legislators can really be that illogical, our law enforcement that inept and our school administrators that conflicted.

First we were told that gang activity is exploding in all Cobb schools. Drugs are being sold and consumed not only on campuses but even in hallways. Innocent students are being shaken down, threatened and even assaulted by student (?) thugs. Unfortunately there is virtually nothing that either school administrators or law enforcement can do about it. They cannot act just on complaints or anonymous reports. After all, these gang members have their civil rights.

Then we read that a senior student at Allatoona High School, hoping to attend college next year, potentially has his life ruined by an overly officious school official responding to a campus officer, who in turn was responding to an “anonymous tip” from someone smelling marijuana smoke from the student’s auto.

With no search warrant and no valid legal reason to search the car, the vice-principal does so anyway and finds no marijuana, but does see an EMT rescue knife in the car’s console. That is the same piece of safety equipment that auto associations now recommend that every car possess to free seatbelt-wearing passengers from overturned or fire-stricken autos in life-threatening accidents.

Making matters worse is that this particular student was in fact in just such an accident in February, where he struggled to free himself and then three friends, all of whom watched as emergency personnel used (what else?) an EMT rescue knife to free the fifth passenger.

Apparently our august legislators did not understand the difference between butcher knives and EMT rescue knives when they drew up their confused laws. Local law enforcement is blatantly incapable of controlling serious felony activity in schools, but is only too willing to go for an easy arrest of a student with no history of any transgressions. School administrators are obviously much more concerned about the civil rights of gang members than those of innocent students.

If indeed Allatoona expels this student and the legal system makes him a victim, not only will justice not be served, but real criminals will just continue to infest our schools, thanks to the incompetent combination of lawmakers, law enforcers and clueless administrators.

In a truly logical and sane world, this student’s dad would sue all of these organizations and officials for real civil rights violations and for making this kid’s life miserable. And I would like to be on that jury that decided what he would get: lots.

This whole set of events over the past two weeks makes me feel like I’m living in Rod Serling’s “Twilight Zone.”

William Lewis is a retired senior VP of a locally based $1-billion manufacturing company. He also was a high school teacher/varsity basketball coach in Baltimore early in his career. He is a 23-year resident of east Cobb.



Comments
(9)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Mom in Marietta
|
September 19, 2013
Actually, no...cars parked on school property are still subject to 4th Amendment protections. Officers are still required to obtain a search warrant unless they have probable cause to conduct a search. As for the Alatoona case in the above-mentioned article, the teen, unaware of these protections waived his rights allowing the search to proceed.

School officials, including the resource officer at the school, erred in the application of law regarding school searches by relying on third-person hearsay to initiate an investigation into the student's car. This "search" was unlawful if not for the student's consent prior to search.

The takeaway from this unfourtunate situation is to educate your children concerning their rights and always...always, advise them respectfully to have school officals contact their parents before speaking to administration/ law enforcement or writing a statement of facts. Children do have rights and these rights need to be vigourously protected by their parents since it is apparent that lawmakers either lack the most basic of commonsense or are wholly inept regrding policy formation meant to make our citizens safer in our communities.
cars are a hazard
|
September 18, 2013
When you sign up for your child to park a private vehicle at a public school, you grant permission for that car to be searched at any time for any or no reason while it is on school property.

Add that to the hazards of driving.

If this poor child can break his inherited car dependency at such a young age as a result of administrative hassles related to a car, then this could be the best thing that ever happened to him.

Walk away from your car. Walk. or Run. Or bicycle. Or use move from Georgia and then use public transit, possibly in combination with walking or running.

Hey kid, do whatever you have to do to get way from car dependency before it literally kills you. This year for you is just the beginning of a lifetime of physical and financial hardships all for the "convenience" and "freedom" of using a private motor vehicle on public roads.

Some people will talk about welfare queens using their food stamps to buy expensive food, and they will talk about it from behind the wheel of their Lexus SUV they are driving on a public road without ever realizing they, too, are welfare queens.

Say goodbye to your car and helloooooo to a lot of money. You can save it, spend it, do whatever you want with it. It's YOUR money, no Ed Voyles' or Ricky Bobby's or BP's or Saudia Arabia's or Canada's ... It's your money! Keep it or invest it, but don't pour it into a perpetual yet unsustainable lifetime expense that harms you far more than it conveniences you!
AmericanMale
|
September 19, 2013
... and say goodbye to any jobs that aren't just around the corner from your house.

anonymous
|
September 18, 2013
Twilight Zone? You got it. Sponsored by you.
anonymous
|
September 18, 2013
It is only fair that you publish an article at least as big as one is stating that none of these people were wearing seat belts at all, and that impaired driver of the car was, well, impaired. The blame has been placed by the parents of this kid that it was not his car, the other people were impaired, etc. You do need to publish a retractment as to your erroneous statements.
anonymous
|
September 17, 2013
Spot on Mr. Lewis.

The principal and police officer have discretion (to make a big deal out of this or not)...but, certainly no common sense, and perhaps no competence.

Government schools: where logic and reason go to die.
CobbCoGuy
|
September 17, 2013
I, too, would like to be on that jury, Mr. Lewis.

The insanity is mind-numbing.
Harry Hagan
|
September 17, 2013
Excellent, Sir. The doltometer has indeed red-lined. Thanks to 2 generations or more of idiotic TV, mindless movies, video games, hedonistic parenting, accommodating religions that have, in order to keep butts in the pews, omitted any moral judgements, PC, and the eradication of any vestiges of common sense, have rendered America and Americans impotent, indolent, torpid, and fatally inert. Our form of government always necessitated vigilance and diligence, and it has not been forthcoming. We lost it when we tinkered with the Founders' notions of who gets to vote. We are sunk, it seems. We seem to have become a nation of morons. Who rules such a people? More morons.
OMIPS
|
September 17, 2013
Mr. Lewis, you're absolutely correct... this is the “Twilight Zone.” Here's my recent “Twilight Zone" experience....

Recently I come across my old Zippo lighter that I bought while in serving in Vietnam. Wondering if it still worked I went to a local grocery store to get a can of lighter fluid. At the checkout I was required to show an ID. I learned that you have to have an ID showing you're over 21 to buy Zippo lighter fluid. My first thought was that it's been a long time since I bought lighter fluid but then it dawned on me that I buy grill lighters all the time... and no one ever checks my ID. Went back to store, picked up a grill lighter and went to the same checkout and sure enough no ID required. So, you have to ask the question... what's the difference? The answer was... well that lighter is to light a grill and the lighter fluid is to light a tobacco product. So I learned that in the “Twilight Zone" I can't use my antique Zippo to light my grill and I can't use my grill lighter to light my Padron.

Our Man In Powder Springs

*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides