Battle and Wardynski agree, you need to know the surveillance is for your own good…

Relax plebeians, the state knows what is best…

Huntsville’s Mayor Tommy Battle says the city does it

Saying there is a “responsibility out there” to preserve safety, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said Saturday he supported the Huntsville City Schools’ program to monitor students’ social media accounts.

The program, revealed last week by AL.com and which has become a controversial topic in the community, has been implemented by Superintendent Casey Wardynski and his staff and has led to the suspension or expulsion of four students.

The most controversial elements have been mention of the National Security Agency, which has denied it contacted the Huntsville City Schools regarding any student, and that students, staff and school board members were not advised of the SAF-e program established by Wardynski.

“It’s social media. It’s wide-open to everybody,” Battle told AL.com, defending the latter point. “I’m not sure if people understand that we watch social media from the City of Huntsville. If we see something that is a life-threatening thing or might threaten safety, we look at it and react.”

Battle said in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of Todd Brown at Madison’s Discovery Middle School in 2010 by classmate Hammad Memom, “an action group came back with a safety report and part of the recommendation was to monitor social media, all the kinds of pages you could so you knew what was happening with those kids. Looking at what’s happened here, if it makes a kid safer in school, I’m for it.

School Superintendent Casey Wardynski still defends the program and says it is related cyberbulling…

On numerous occasions, in calls to school board members and administrators, and at school board meetings, citizens have voiced their expectations that the school system do more to protect students from bullying, intimidation, and to address threats of suicide that surface in school and online. Some who now object to the school system looking at social media, have previously said schools are not doing enough to protect kids from cyberbullying.

Those asking us to address such issues certainly know that these lower-level threats to student wellbeing frequently occur on Facebook and Twitter away from school. Indeed, by definition, cyberbullying occurs on social media.

Therefore, one wonders how folks who criticize our SAFe program propose that we document and check on allegations of cyberbullying and online threats to the well being of students. We know that kids who are cyberbullied are more likely to suffer emotionally and academically.

Wait, now this is about bullying and not threats of violence?

Let’s just use whatever we can to justify the school system watching your kids 24/7…

Huntsville City Schools and Spying – A Question of Trust and Confidence

You do not have to be in the Edward Snowden fan club to be disturbed by the recently revealed social media surveillance program run by Huntsville City Schools’ and to be concerned that Huntsville seems to have a rogue superintendent and a disinterested board of education.

The surveillance program began last year not long before Snowden left the National Security Agency for a new home in Russia. This means the program matured amid a great and relevant controversy. Superintendent Casey Wardynski says he was tipped off by the NSA about a potential risk posed by a Yemeni – American student. And now he says his students are safer because he is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to see what some potentially bad actors are doing on twitter and face book.

I am all for making students safer – but regardless of how wonderful the program is, in the USA ends do not justify means. This program expands government, expands the education police function, and encroaches on privacy. It needs more justification, especially because much of what we have heard so far is fishy, and it should be ratified by the elected board of education.

Meanwhile, I wonder why the NSA say they did not contact Wardynski or his guys. The NSA say that would have been against NSA policy. Is someone lying or merely incompetent? Or maybe we have a rogue or faux NSA agent which someone should be tracking down.

I wonder why the Huntsville board of education was kept in the dark about such a controversial program. Wardynski is running the program without board approval or oversight. I think if a hired man is going to be spying on folks, the folks who are elected to oversee him ought to be in on the secret. And merely saying no laws were broken is not justification.

I wonder if the surveillance program were necessary, would it not be better for it to be run by the professional police of Huntsville so it could be integrated with their surveillance, intelligence, and enforcement programs so the schools and the general population could profit from it. Professionals would be better at connecting dots which go beyond the schools’ interest, detecting real problems and determining how and the urgency with which they should be handled, and minimizing false alerts. And when serious threats are detected, real police will be required to deal with them effectively and safely.

Keeping voters in the dark and waffling amid controversy destroys trust and confidence. I encourage voters in Huntsville’s district 3 to consider that between now and the city runoff election on October 7.

I wonder how anyone could possibly vote for current board member Jennie Robinson to have a place on the Huntsville City Council.

I wonder how anyone could possibly vote for board candidate Elisa Ferrell who seems to be quite satisfied with a rogue superintendent and his disinterested board.

A one issue race? School board candidates Elisa Ferrell and Anson Knowles weigh-in on spying by Huntsville…

Ferrell is taking the school board’s line

Ferrell said Thursday that she began making phone calls to sources in the school district, trying to learn more about the SAFe (Students Against Fear) Program, as soon as she heard about the controversy. What she learned, she said, reassured her that administrators are not “hunting down” students.

“They are specifically looking at kids who have been in trouble at school, students who have posted things on Facebook or Twitter,” Ferrell said. “They are looking at those kids who are already causing problems.”

Ferrell said none of the surveillance is happening through students’ school-issued laptops, but that the SAFe staff is looking at students’ public social media pages.

They are not investigating the students’ parents, or using students’ pages to monitor their siblings.

Ferrell said if that remains the procedure for the program, she is on board.

Knowles sounds like a civil libertarian….

Knowles, on the other hand, said that, while he understands the need to keep students safe, the school district “is not an intelligence gathering service.”

“If a threat is real enough for our superintendent to begin spying on students’ activities outside of the school, what is the limit on the authority of a school system?” Knowles said. “It is the duty of local police to investigate these types of issues if a serious threat exists outside of the school.”

Knowles said, too, that Superintendent Casey Wardynski should have brought the program, known as SAFe to the school board for approval. Two of the five current board members said Wednesday that they had never heard of the program before anAL.com reporter told them about it.

Board vice president Laurie McCaulley initially told AL.com that she’d not heard of the program, but backtracked on Wednesday, saying she knew about the program but was unaware of its name.

“We need to get back to teaching students in Huntsville and leave this type of investigative activity to police,” Knowles said.

Ferrell is going to lose this race on this issue.

The unreasonable response to the John Crawford shooting…

I know this will be unpopular because anytime an officer shoots a citizen who is not actively shooting at them, we immediately hear how the cops are gunning people down non-stop. It’s not true.

The latest case surrounds a shooting that took place in a Wal-Mart in Ohio…

The recently released video appears to show 22-year-old John Crawford III being fired upon just seconds after police encounter him.

The August 5 incident triggered protests from residents and family members demanding the video be released. Crawford is black, and the two officers involved in the fatal shooting are white. Crawford’s family asked for a federal investigation to see if race was a factor.

Instead, a grand jury determined Wednesday that the two officers involved were justified in their actions.

Police have said multiple times that Crawford refused commands to drop the air rifle, according to the Dayton Daily News. The surveillance video, obtained by the Xenia Daily Gazette, appears to show Crawford shot almost immediately after police encounter him.

Special Prosecutor Mark Piepmeier told the Associated Press that Crawford picked up the air rifle, which had been taken out of a box and left on a shelf in the store, and walked around while on his cell phone when officers approached and shot him.

The Crawford family said they were “disgusted” by the grand jury decision to not file charges against the two officers involved in the shooting.

Also, remember that media outlets were telling us he was shot after putting the gun down…

Then he wasn’t

Correction: An earlier headline originally indicated John Crawford was shot after he dropped the toy gun, based on a video released with no sound. Full video footage and other media reports suggest he was shot prior to dropping the toy gun. This post was updated with a new headline, more details, and the full video footage to explain the correct chain of events.

None of this helps.

Here are the facts.

A caller, a complete moron, and a horrible person called 911 and told a series of lies that led law enforcement to believe a gunman was loading bullets into a rifle and pointing it at people

“Beavercreek 911 Where’s your emergency?” said the dispatcher.

“I’m at the Beavercreek Walmart there is a gentleman walking around with a gun in the store,” said Richie.

Dispatchers continue to grill Ritchie to find out what’s going on.

“What’s he doing now?” said the dispatcher.

“He looks like he’s just trying to load it,” said Ritchie.

“He’s just trying to load it?” said the dispatcher.

“Yes,” said Ritchie.

“Confirmed,” said the dispatcher.

“What’s he loading it with? Can you see?” asked the dispatcher.

“I have no idea I’m not getting that close to him,” said Ritchie.

“OK, that’s fine,” said the dispatcher.

At that point, dispatchers make a call to police.

“I have a gentleman who’s watching him, says he’s waving it around, believes it’s a rifle, says he just put some bullets inside,” said the dispatcher.

Moments later, you see Angela Williams and her two children walk into the frame and Ritchie told dispatchers this…

“He just pointed it at two children,” said Ritchie.

Obviously, when police arrived on the scene they were at the ready.

What happened next is unfortunate, cops encounter a man with a gun and react, it was.a man with a pellet gun vs. a cop with a real gun and information about a guy waving a gun around pointing it at people.

This was not an incident where a man was shot down by gun crazy, racist, killer cops. But it doesn’t matter.

Hindsight is 20/20 and this was a horrible situation.

The bad guy here is not the cops, it’s the punk who lied to 911.

Then there is this, a liberal talk radio host calling for things just like this to happen

“I guess what I’ll do if I’m ever in that situation and I see one of these half-witted yahoos walking in with a weapon, high-caliber rifle like that, I’ll just put on a berserk act. I will just start screaming Gun! Gun! Gun! Watch out, everybody hit the deck! Guns! Guns! Everybody! And then dial 911 and I will say, shots fired, which will bring every g**-damned cop within 15 miles. And then the half-wits with the long guns are going to panic and they’re going to run out of the store and if that rifle isn’t shouldered properly, the cop is going to take a look at that and put a bullet right in their forehead.”

You can listen to the audio here.

Did Huntsville City Schools spend $595,000 to spy on kids without telling anybody?

How did this happen?

A secret program to monitor students’ online activities began quietly in Huntsville schools, following a phone call from the NSA, school officials say.

Huntsville schools Superintendent Casey Wardynski says the system began monitoring social media sites 18 months ago, after the National Security Agency tipped the school district to a student making violent threats on Facebook.

One of several former Huntsville students posing with a weapon on Facebook. Taken from system documents on the SAFe program. Face and name redacted by AL.com.

The NSA, a U.S. agency responsible for foreign intelligence, this week said it has no record of a call to Huntsville and does not make calls to school systems.

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.

The Huntsville monitoring program is called SAFe, or Students Against Fear. School board members said they did not know about the program when contacted last week.

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.

Here is, reportedly, the bid that made this happen….

How

How did the board not know?

Who approved this?

How does this system work?

The Dale Jackson Show (WVNN) podcast – 09-24-14

Rush vs. The Twitter Bots…

We already knew the “Stop Rush” movement was a small group of malcontents who were more interested in silencing their enemy than they were in winning a debate but now we know how small they actually are

The recent campaign to silence conservative radio legend Rush Limbaugh is led by ten liberal activists engaged in a more than four-year long effort to destroy Limbaugh by targeting his advertisers, including a Media Matters executive vice president.

A former Kent State university professor even targeted a small businessman advertising on Limbaugh’s show using her official university email account.

Information compiled by Limbaugh’s team — and first provided to The Daily Caller — demonstrates that nearly 70 percent of the tweets targeting Limbaugh’s advertisers come from the same ten Twitter users, all of whom are actively involved in the “Stop Rush” campaign, which keeps a database of all of Limbaugh’s advertisers.

The recent campaign to silence conservative radio legend Rush Limbaugh is led by ten liberal activists engaged in a more than four-year long effort to destroy Limbaugh by targeting his advertisers, including a Media Matters executive vice president.

A former Kent State university professor even targeted a small businessman advertising on Limbaugh’s show using her official university email account.

Information compiled by Limbaugh’s team — and first provided to The Daily Caller — demonstrates that nearly 70 percent of the tweets targeting Limbaugh’s advertisers come from the same ten Twitter users, all of whom are actively involved in the “Stop Rush” campaign, which keeps a database of all of Limbaugh’s advertisers.

Un-shockingly, the official Democratic Party apparatus is involved…

While the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is presenting its current anti-Rush campaign as a genuine repudiation of out-of-context remarks Limbaugh made on his radio show (replete with a fundraising email from Sandra Fluke), the Stop Rush effort is small, organized, and existed long before the most recent controversial Limbaugh comments.

The activists even use technology to “machine-tweet” anti-Rush comments in robotic fashion to ensure maximum Twitter exposure for their insular group’s efforts.

“Angelo Carusone is the self acknowledged originator and head of the StopRush protest, in his professional role as executive vice president of Media Matters for America,” Limbaugh spokesman Brian Glicklich told TheDC. “But since they prefer it look grassroots and made up of real customers, he faded into the background long ago, reemerging only this week as he senses the danger of this illicit scheme being exposed for the fiction at it’s heart.”

I told you on day one of this, these people don’t listen and all they want is Rush off the air…

Conrad Walton, owner of the emergency supplies company Survivor.com, revealed in a blog post that he began receiving emails from the small group “within 20 minutes” of his local advertisement airing during Limbaugh’s show on the Los Angeles station KEIB.

“It seemed to be a very organized campaign, from people who don’t listen to the show and know nothing about our company,” Walton wrote. “I just checked and they put one of my responses on their site, with my phone number.”

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