Evanston Township High School, Evanston, Illinois, is a public school located in the near north suburbs of Chicago. As such, it faces a variety of security issues unique to the educational environment. Evanston has long been plagued with problems of gang violence, parental apathy, and an unprofessional and somewhat heavy-handed police force. These problems have contributed to a rising level of violence and disorder among the educational community.
ETHS' Superintendant, a visionary leader named Doctor Allan Allson, knew that ETHS' safety problems needed to be solved. He also knew where to look for such expertise, and so he contacted the Security and Information Services Division of VioPac.
VioPac Executive Vice President for Security and Information Services Mike S. Medintz was only too pleased to receive such a call. A former student of ETHS, Medintz welcomed the opportunity to join his former mentor in ushering in a new era of order and stability. Medintz undertook an investigation of ETHS' situation and circumstances, and had a radically new approach.
"We looked at Evanston's police problems and levels of parental apathy. Most consultants, when they look at such a situation, would see only pitfalls. However, we at VioPac are well-schooled in the various philosophies of problem-solving. ETHS' situation can be truly described as a crisis. However, we of VioPac know that the Chinese ideogram for 'crisis' is a composite of the ideograms for 'danger' and 'opportunity.' Where any other consulting service would find danger, we would find and exploit opportunities."
"We also looked at the specific problems facing ETHS. These truly could be weaknesses. However, I have many years of experience at counterguerilla warfare in the former South Africa, Israel, and Turkey, and I learned many guerilla methods. The most important to know is that weaknesses can easily be turned into strengths."
Parental apathy, for example, will help to prevent interference in our difficult but necessary task of bringing order and security to the school. While it would be noble of the parents to take an active role in the upbringing of the children, it's a simple fact that raising children is a collective effort and cannot be done solely within the home. Nor need it be done within the home, thanks to the educational methods being piloted by our sister organisation, VioPac Didactic Services.
Police heavyhandedness is also a two-edged sword. While such a history renders the Evanston Police Department useless in the project itself, it has helped to alter the public perception of police methods by altering the community standard which the police are intended to meet.
With these factors in mind, we at VioPac are eager to begin our partnership with ETHS.
It is our intention that the security function of the schools be revised. An examination of the various search-and-seizure case law suggests that school officials may undertake certain needed measures without being bound by the standard of "reasonable suspicion" or "probable cause." Legally speaking, as long as school officials are not being directed in their security functions by police officers, they are not actors of the state and are therefore not bound by the restrictions contained in the United States Constitution.
To that end, we are suggesting that the school develop its own non-sworn security force. This force will be staffed at a level suited to maintaining the public safety within the institutional environment. They will have the powers necessary to their operations, and will be armed as appropriate to the institutional environment.
ETHS currently suspends or expels students for violations of school policy. This method is questionable, as it allows the student to associate with bad elements, to secure drugs and weapons, and does not deter the student from further deviant behavior. We propose that the student instead be isolated in a special facility on the school grounds. While in this isolated disciplinary environment, the student will be permitted to learn good habits and to seek freedom through labor.
The school nurse is not presently able to dispense medications, no matter what the situation. It is our proposal that she be supplemented by a licensed psychiatrist. It is obvious that deviant behavior is frequently the result of an improper mental orientation or of psychiatric disorder. Therefore, in order to correct such behavior, we must be able to correct the underlying condition and reorder and reorient the student to the correct path.
There are many triggering factors behind violence. One of them is the perception of difference between the attacker and the victim. These differences can be differences of clothing, of hair, or of jewelry. It is our proposal that the school dress policy be changed to mandate uniform clothing. This clothing should be either denim or of a jumpsuit design, and should be colored in blaze orange or blue, in keeping with the school colors. Jewelry should not be permitted, as it is a trigger to violence and may be used as a weapon to assault the faculty. Hair is also troublesome, as its mere existence is an invitation to individual styling and our problem of difference. In addition, hair harbors lice and lice is endemic in the institutional environment. We propose that all students should be given crew cuts weekly, at the time of their regular drug screening.
Our budget is as follows:
Fifty new security officers, hiring expenses at $5,000 each: $250,000 (one-time)
---annual salary and benefits for same: $45,000 each, or $2,250,000 per annum
Six security supervisors, hiring expenses at $6,000 each: $36,000 (one-time)
---annual salary and benefits for same: $60,000 each, or $360,000 per annum
Securing and lockdown of 17 exterior doors at $4000 each: $68,000
Installation of metal detectors and millimeter-band radar at the remaining three exterior doors, at $77,000 each: $231,000
Uniforms for 2,700 students, at $30 each: $81,000
Sixty Heckler and Koch USP 9mm pistols, at $500 each: $30,000
Thirty Heckler and Koch MP-5SD carbines, at $1,500 each: $45,000
180,000 rounds of 9mm ammunition (Winchester 115 grain FMJ) at $.10 each: $18,000
Two 37mm tear gas projectors, Federal Laboratories M-79 type: $2,500
100 37mm Oleoresin Capsicum shells, Federal Laboratories Triple-Chaser model: $1,500
Assorted equipment for guards (gun belt, holster, magazine pouch, PR-24 baton, helmet and faceplate, Defense Technologies MK-III OC canister, handcuffs): $330 each or $19,000
Estimated first-year costs: $3,396,000 for basic expenses. An additional $4,000,000 is being budgeted for VioPac's report recommended changes to the school disciplinary system. Additional curriculum changes are within the province of VPDS, and are therefore not being included here.