Friday, April 20, 2012

Then they came for the kids...

...or, reason 24,913 why my kids are homeschooled:
Samples of DNA were collected without parental consent from students at a Sacramento, Calif., middle school in connection with the murder of an 8th grade student who was found stabbed, strangled and beaten to death near the dugout of a local park.
The Sacramento Sheriff's Department, which has been spearheading the investigation into the murder of Jessica Funk-Haslam, 13, said parental consent was not required in the DNA collection and interview of minors, several of whom were taken out of class during the day last week at Albert Einstein Middle School...
There is nothing under California law that prohibits DNA collection of consenting minors, said John Myers, a professor at the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.
"I think the answer is, kids can consent, and if they consented and it was knowing and intelligent, [law enforcement] can do the search," he told the Sacramento Bee.
Ramos said last week's DNA collection was not the first time detectives visited the school and that he expects they'll be back for more follow-up.
No, Mr. Myers, 13-year old minors cannot give legal consent.  That's why there's such a thing as statutory rape.  In essence, that's what the state has done here.  Those commenting on the linked article point out there is little reason to believe the kids thought they had the option not to cooperate.   Nor could they be expected to understand the implications of what they were being subjected to.  Besides, taking the most personal information there is (DNA), and storing it in a permanent record (don't think for a moment they didn't) without any sort of warrant or probable cause, is such a blatant violation of the 4th Amendment it should even have to be pointed out.

Problem is, Americans no longer understand their ability--no, their duty--to say "NO" when officials exceed their authority.  One really can't blame these young ones for their reflexive obedience to authority, when the public accepts virtual and actual strip searching to board a plane (or, soon, most methods of mass transportation).  Kids learn by watching.  

Those younger than about 18 have no real significant memories of America before 9/11.  That fact unnerves me more with each passing day.

"Teach the children quietly, for someday sons and daughters will rise up and fight while we stood still..."

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