by William Grigg (reprinted from LRC blog with permission)
Five-year-old Stockton, California resident Michael Davis has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a clinical term often used to pathologize the predictable behavior of young boys. Like many other boys his age, Michael doesn’t take well to prolonged “educational” detention, and sometimes proved to be a disruptive influence in his class.
Seeking to “cure” Michael of his rambunctiousness, the commissariat in charge of Rio Calaveras Elementary School arranged a meeting with Lt. Frank Gordo, a “resource officer” assigned to the district. The “scared straight” script called for Lt. Gordo — whose surname, so appropriate for a tax-feeder, is one of God’s little jokes — to waddle menacingly into the room, reducing young Michael to a puddle of docile obedience. Michael displayed a precociously healthy disposition by being un-intimidated by the state functionary in full battle array.
At one point, according to Gordo’s account, he placed his hand on Michael. This was the very definition of a “bad touch,” and Michael quite sensibly rebelled. Gordo reported that the youngster “pushed my hand away in a batting motion, pushed papers off the table, and kicked me in the right knee” — a perfectly proportionate response to armed physical aggression by a much larger assailant (although I suspect Michael’s aim was a little low).
Rather than backing off and calming down, which is how a functioning adult would have behaved, Gordo escalated the assault and compounded it with armed abduction by hog-tying the five-year-old — zip-tying his hands and ankles and dragging him to the station, where he was charged with “battery on a police officer.” The child would remain trussed for at least two hours. During that time he was forced to undergo a psychiatric evaluation — since, as all dutiful subjects in the Soyuz understand, only someone clinically ill would display such hostility toward an agent of the State.
It wasn’t until two weeks later that the police and school district deigned to share the details of the incident with Michael’s mother, Thelma Gray. “I was led to believe that Michael saw and police officer and attacked a police officer on sight,” Gray told a news team from the local NBC affiliate KCRA.
Michael, whose parents are divorced, may have emotional problems. This much should be said: Whatever “affliction” inspired this youngster’s reflexive hostility toward a member of the State’s punitive priesthood is something I wish the rest of us would catch.
It’s worth noting that “resource officers” — the uniformed bullies who prowl the hallways of government schools looking for trouble — are taught to see themselves as an army of occupation whose mission is to overawe a hostile population.
In his keynote address to the 2007 National Association of School Resources Conference, held against the rugged and forbidding backdrop of Orlando’s Disney World, self-styled tactical and counter-terrorism “expert” John Giduck opened a window into this mindset:
“You’ve got to be a one-man fighting force…You’ve got to have enough guns, and ammunition and body armor to stay alive…You should be walking around in schools every day in complete tactical equipment, with semi-automatic weapons…. You can no longer afford to think of yourselves as peace officers…You must think of yourself [sic] as soldiers in a war because we’re going to ask you to act like soldiers.”
Perhaps the intrepid Lt. Gordo will receive the equivalent of the Purple Heart for the wounds of honor he received in hands-on combat with Michael Davis.