FBI Orders Teachers To Report Students Who Question Government
New federal guidelines have just been introduced across the country, and what they mandate is quite disturbing to civil libertarians. The FBI has now instructed high schools across the nation to report students who in any waycriticize government policies and what the report phrases as âwestern corruption.â
The FBI is interested in determining â as part of some warped âpre-crimeâ program â who might become potential future terrorists.
The FBI warns in the report that that âanarchist extremistsâ are no different that ISIS terrorists.
They further caution teachers against young people who are poor, as well as immigrants and others who travel to âsuspiciousâ countries. These, they explain, are teens who are more likely to commit terrorism.
Sarah Lazare, writing for AlterNet, notes that âbased on the widely unpopular British âanti-terrorâ mass surveillance program, the FBIâs âPreventing Violent Extremism in Schoolsâ guidelines, released in January, are almost certainly designed to single out and target Muslim-American communities.â
Lazare notes that the FBI cautions teachers to âavoid the appearance of discrimination,â in carrying out the order to spy on students and report them to the Bureau.
âThe agency identifies risk factors that are so broad and vague that virtually any young person could be deemed dangerous and worthy of surveillance, especially if she is socio-economically marginalized or politically outspoken,â she notes.
This overwhelming threat is then used to justify a massive surveillance apparatus, wherein educators and pupils function as extensions of the FBI by watching and informing on each other.
The FBIâs justification for such surveillance is based on McCarthy-era theories of radicalization, in which authorities monitor thoughts and behaviors that they claim to lead to acts of violent subversion, even if those people being watched have not committed any wrongdoing. This model has been widely discredited as a violence prevention method, including by the US government, but it is now being imported to schools nationwide as official federal policy.
The new guidelines suggest that âhigh school students are ideal targets for recruitment by violent extremists seeking support for their radical ideologies, foreign fighter networks, or conducting acts of violence within our borders.â
The paranoid of the document warns that the youth âpossess inherent risk factorsâ that predispose them to being terrorists.
The FBI suggests that all teachers âincorporate a two-hour block of violent extremism awareness trainingâ into their core curriculum for all high school students in the United States.
But the FBI didnât stop at the ISIS boogymanning. They warn teachers of âAnimal Rights Extremists and Environmental Extremistsâ who are â to the FBI â no different than âwhite supremacy extremists,â ISIS and Al Qaeda terrorists.
As Hugh Handeyside, staff attorney for the ACLUâs national security project, said that âbroadening the definition of violent extremism to include a range of belief-driven violence underscores that the FBI is diving head-first into community spying. Framing this conduct as âconcerning behaviorâ doesnât conceal the fact that the FBI is policing studentsâ thoughts and trying to predict the future based on those thoughts.â