Well, former-Army-colonel-turned-school-superintendent Casey Wardynski probably didn't mean it that way, but consider this question. “How can we seriously consider high school students to be a “danger to schools” because they've been photographed holding guns and not hold political candidates to the same standards?”
Why just here in Alabama, it's de rigueur for Alabama political candidates to pose with guns, use them in campaign commercials, bray about gun laws for political advantage, and even hold state Republican Party events at gun ranges becuase nothing goes with the crushing defeat of your presidential candidate like guns & alcohol, right?
In case you haven't heard, either the HCS system has some kind of creepy “Big Brother Is Watching” tendencies or they got punked by someone pretending to be from the National Security Agency. Or maybe both, who knows? The school system has offered a number of different explanations for their school surveillance program and board members really can't say and/or can't remember if they were told about the program.
Now exactly what was the threat that led the school system to spend a million dollars on their spy scheme? Well, it could have been any number of things:
First: psst… NSA calling….
In AL.com's report, the city school system's security officer is quoted saying the NSA called with a tip about a threat to a teacher on social media. An NSA spokeswoman is quoted saying the agency has no record of the call and such calls are “inconsistent” with NSA practices.
The superintendent said the NSA was interested because someone from a foreign country was involved in the conversation.
Regardless of how the program started, Huntsville City Schools began scanning Facebook and other sites for signs of gang activity, watching for photos of guns, photos of gang signs and threats of violence.
Fourth: People holding guns in social media pictures!
Internal documents explaining the program, obtained by AL.com, show examples of four different students posing on Facebook with handguns. None are on school grounds. Three are listed as expelled. One was referred for counseling.
Well campers, if we're going to use that last standard as our template for banning people from the public schools & putting them into treatment, then it's a safe bet that virtually every Alabama politician needs to stay away from schools. As a group, they're all over social media with their gun-shaped BBQ grills, posing with their guns, or grinning next to dead animals they killed with guns, bows, or maybe their bare hands….
But hey: look at the damage the GOP supermajority has done to the state in just four years. They didn't use guns; they used their votes as weapons and shot it out with public school teachers, the education budget, and the working poor.
That's a lesson for every Alabama school kid and every Alabama voter. Guns can be deadly on an individual basis, but power in the hands of the corrupt puts the whole state at risk.