Over the last decade, TFTP has been reporting on the encroachment of the police state into the public education system. As we previously reported, schools across the country are increasingly hiring police officers to do the job that teachers and guidance counselors once did. This is resulting in the criminalization of childhood as well as increased police violence against children. This tendency of school systems to rely on the police state has increased in the last 12 months thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the following scenario in Wisconsin shows exactly how bad it’s getting.
Because multiple states ignored the science and continue to keep schools closed, millions of children have been and continue to be forced to go to school via online classes and Zoom meetings. Anyone who has children attending these online classes knows how difficult it can be to maintain schedules and communications even when you have a computer and reliable internet.
However, if you take away reliable internet and nice computers, the struggle to maintain an online school presence becomes all but impossible. Instead of trying to help children who struggle with online learning, a Wisconsin school district has taken to extorting them.
A new report out of the Guardian exposes an insidious scheme by police and school officials to fine students who miss too many online classes. Tracie Higgins was one of these parents who was shocked when police showed up at her home to issue her teenage son a $439 fine for missing Zoom meetings for class.
Higgins told the Guardian the reason for the online absences was due to faulty school technology, including a Chromebook that wouldn’t charge. But police and the school district reportedly did not care, so Higgins’s son was extorted.