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Keeping his eye on the news and offering commentaries and insights on what is happening in Oakland County, around the world, on the tube and in the news.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Report: Police use anti-violence pledge to get all students' handwriting samples

A report out of Massachusetts says that police investigating a threat of violence at a school used a student-signed pledge to obtain handwriting samples in their efforts to locate and identify a suspect.
The Republican of Massachusetts says that the school and police are in the city of Northampton, where a threat was made on Dec. 1989 with a note left in a high school bathroom. That was five days after the Sandy Hook shooting, which left 20 children slaughtered.
Two days later, on Dec. 21, a pledge was offered to take student violence and threats seriously with officials from the school, prosecutor's office and police agreeing on the effort.
What do you think of this? The trick is legal, police and prosecutors say, and the police note they also want to help someone if they are troubled. The case could result in a criminal charge punishable by up to three years in stir.
The report from the Republican is here.
Tricks are commonly used by police during their investigations, though usually, it is perceived they may trick an individual who is a suspect. But tricking an entire student body? Beyond the area of cops dealing with juveniles, would this damage the credibility of school efforts to curb violence or ask students about safety or health issues? Does the threat of violence, and the disruption it causes allow police and schools to look for creative ways like this combat the issue?
In Oakland County, police have many times had to deal with school problems, often threats of violence, hit lists and, many times, damaging many buses to get a day off school. The detectives typically get their man — or boy or girl — due to the main way students give up themselves: telling a friend or simply everyone on social media or even videotaping themselves.
Again, what do you think?

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