The Starting Line – Special Ed Student Used as “Bait” in School Drug Bust After Parents Refused Permission

By Doug Porter

drugbustbadWe’ve seen an up tick in stories recently about drug busts in schools in the region.  While no parent wants to see their kid on the wrong side of the law, it turns out that at least one of these ‘stings’ wasn’t quite the law enforcement coup touted to the news media.

The San Diego Sheriff’s Department’s ‘Operation A Team’ spent a year posing as students at four county high schools, scoring drugs at Poway, Mission Hills, and Ramona High Schools. The busts were announced with much fanfare recently, and the UT-San Diego even garnered an undercover interview with one of the agents.

Last fall undercover officers enrolled at Temecula high schools rounded up 22 ruffians in a similar investigation.

Yesterday the Press-Enterprise ran a story regarding a special education student recruited by a Temecula school official over the objections of his parents to pose as ‘bait’ in an on-campus sting. And it turns out this isn’t the only case involving a special education student and drug stings in the Temecula Valley Unified School District.

The parents of a Chaparral High School student with autism, who was accused of selling marijuana last year to an undercover RiversideCounty sheriff’s deputy, filed a claim that was rejected by the district Tuesday, May 7. The parents said district officials authorized the undercover sting and allowed their son to be hounded by the deputy even though they knew he suffers from serious disabilities. Such claims are typically a precursor to lawsuits.

The new claim accuses school officials of “outrageous, reckless, illegal and egregious conduct,” alleging that they put the eighth-grader in harm’s way by involving him in an “unlawful school-directed drug sting.”

Parents of the first special ed student busted have already prevailed in court getting their son’s suspension from school reversed and have filed suit. Here’s how it came down for them:

In December, 2012, a teenager went to his public school, much like any other day. The boy was an autistic special education student, who is significantly learning disabled and on a regimen of prescription medications for a number of psychiatric disorders. That day, the boy’s parents began to worry when he did not come home after school.

What the parents did not know was that early on that morning, armed police officers had entered the boy’s classroom, handcuffed him, and had taken him away to be interrogated without a call to his parents or any attorney, then locked up for several days.

The boy is our son.

schooltojailOf course their son was the young man paraded before the TV cameras on the day of the bust.

So while politicians and law enforcement officials play to the news media with these drug busts, the reality often doesn’t match up with the hype. Did you know that special education students represent 8.6% of public school students, but 32% of youth in juvenile detention nationwide?

Here’s how the cops reeled the special ed kid in:

Our son has great difficulties making friends, which is one of the hallmarks of those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), so my wife and I were thrilled when we learned, this past August, that our son had a new friend named Daniel. We had recently moved, and our son had just begun a new school year in a new school, within his same district, so to us, this new friendship seemed like a gift from the gods. Daniel was texting our son at a furious rate, yet each time we had our son invite Daniel over, there always seemed to be an excuse.

Daniel and our son had struck up a relationship in a class that they shared, and cell phone records show that during the course of a short period of time, our son received 59 texts from Daniel’s number. Daniel was an undercover cop.

I want to thank diarist dsnodgrass at Daily Kos, the father of one of the kids involved, for making me aware of this story. The larger issue at hand here is something the ACLU calls the School to Prison Pipeline, which you should read about here.

zzz…  Benghazi… zzz

Credit: Daily Kos

Credit: Daily Kos

Predictably, Darrel Issa’s Benghazi Circus made the front page of UT-San Diego today. So many ‘ifs’ and ‘in my opinions’, so little time…

I think the Los Angeles Times summarized the whole thing from yesterday rather nicely:

The three State Department officials, one of whom had testified before, offered a few new pieces of information, but did not shed much light on the key allegations put forth by critics, some of whom have called Benghazi “worse than Watergate.”

The quote of the day on this topic goes to Rosie Gray at Buzzfeed:

“Clearly when Darrell Issa gets involved the motivation is pure politics,” said Tommy Vietor, Obama’s former National Security Council spokesman. “Whether they’re trying to take a run at President Obama or at Secretary Clinton. It’s not like Darrell Issa cared about embassy security before Benghazi.”

Heritage Immigration Report Author Thinks Brown People Are Stupid

Amnesty174x153On Monday, the scholars at the conservative Heritage Foundation released a report purporting to demonstrate ” that the legalization of 11 million undocumented immigrants will cost the country $6.3 trillion. The claim was so over-the-top that other conservative groups even denounced the methodology used to get that number.

From Kos:

Per simple math, this genuine Einstein argues that legalizing our nation’s undocumented immigrants will cost $572,727.27 per immigrant. And how does this rocket scientist get that number? By assuming every one of those immigrants is on welfare, will remain on welfare, and will never get off welfare. Because, you know, those immigrants aren’t nuclear physicists. Like him.

Huh? What?

From the New York Times:

A co-author of a new Heritage Foundation study highly critical of the Senate’s bipartisan immigration proposal also wrote a doctoral dissertation in which he argued that immigrants generally had an I.Q. that was “substantially lower than that of the white native population.”

Jason Richwine, who joined the Heritage Foundation in 2012 as a senior policy analyst after receiving his doctorate in public policy from Harvard University in 2009, focused his dissertation, “I.Q. and Immigration Policy,” on his view that the lower intelligence of immigrants should be considered when drafting immigration policy.

Here’s Richwine’s money-quote:

“No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against.”

Think he was quoted out of context? Think again. From Mother Jones:

Jason Richwine, the co-author of the conservative Heritage Foundation’s controversial studyon the supposed $6.3 trillion cost of comprehensive immigration reform, has received much attention and criticism for his 2009 Harvard University dissertation that argued there was “a genetic component” to racial disparities in IQ. But this dissertation wasn’t the first time Richwine had expressed such views publicly. In 2008, he told an audience at the American Enterprise Institute that “major” ethnic or racial differences in intelligence between the Irish, Italian and Jewish immigrants who flocked to the United States at the turn of the 20th century and the immigrants coming to the US today justified severely restricting immigration.

After he made his remarks in 2008, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported that “Richwine’s remarks were warmly received on white nationalist blogs.”

The Heritage Foundation somehow doesn’t think the author’s bias might have influenced his report on immigration. But they are disappointed to hear about his past.

ObamaScare, Part Four of the UT’s Editorial Crusade

Today we learned it’s likely ObamaCare will bankrupt us all because insurance companies will no longer be able to dump sick people by the side of the road. Or something to that effect.

Meanwhile their buddies over at the Wall Street Journal think they might (maybe) have found a silver lining amidst all this socialism.

Thousands of would-be entrepreneurs are itching to start their own businesses, but many are shackled to their current employer by health-care benefits they don’t think they could otherwise afford. Economists call this phenomenon “job lock,” or “entrepreneurship lock.”

But the pressure some Americans feel to cling to a corporate job chiefly for the health insurance could, conceivably, ease in coming years. Under provisions of the health-care law, new-business owners will be able to get coverage through public marketplaces, or “exchanges,” beginning in October, for policies that will take effect starting in January.

The Obama administration has touted a boost for entrepreneurship as one of the health-care law’s key benefits. The Kauffman-RAND Institute for Entrepreneurship Public Policy in Santa MonicaCalif., says the law could increase the number of new U.S. businesses by as much as 33% over several years.

John Galt’s Trail of Death and Destruction Continues to Grow

Explosion_rocks_West__Texas_fertilizer_p_844890000_20130417222951_640_480In case you haven’t heard, the death toll in the Bangladesh factory collapse has now topped 900 people. And there was another fire in a factory building overnight. Fortunately, that factory was closed. Companies like Benetton are now sheepishly admitting that their products were made in the collapsed building.

Marcy Wheeler’s blog (Empty Wheel) posted a worthwhile analysis (from which I stole the headline for this story) looking at the linkage between events in Asia and Texas:

John Galt has been a deadly and destructive guy lately, with the largest of his most recent attacks taking place in the garment factory collapse in Bangladesh on April 24 where the death toll has now tragically topped 900 and the fertilizer storage facility explosion in West, Texas on April 17 that miraculously killed only fourteen people but injured over 200 and caused damage that is now estimated to exceed $100 million.

In an interesting development, Bangladesh has shown that at least on some fronts it is more civilized than Texas. Both the building’s owner and the engineer accused of colluding with the owner to add three unregulated floors on top of the building have been arrested, while Texas lawmakers, previously known for their refusal to vote in favor of disaster relief when it was in New York and New Jersey, now have called for socializing the losses in Texas. Of course, since the fertilizer plant owner (who has not been arrested) only carried $1 million in liability insurance (and since Texas doesn’t require liability insurance for many businesses operating with dangerous materials), those losses are bound to be socialized anyway.

San Diego Gets a Gun Control Debate

Karen Murry of Parker, Colorado, stands outside the Colorado State Capital Building during an anti-gun control legislation rally organized by Guns for Everyone in DenverWhy should all the talking heads and politicians get all the debates? Here’s your chance to see the Real Deal live and up close. And I can guarantee there’s gonna be nothing better on TV that night.

The San Diego Lawyer Chapter and California Western School of Law Student Chapter of the American Constitution Society are presenting ‘Gun Control: What Can be Done? What Should be Done?’ next Wednesday (May 15th) starting at 5:30pm.

Featured will be:

  • Sean A. Brady, Associate, Michel & Associates, P.C., Second Amendment Advocate with the NRA
  • William M. Lansdowne, Chief of Police, San Diego Police Department
  • Adam Winkler, Constitutional Law Professor, UCLA School of Law & Author, Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms inAmerica

This debate will be held at the California Western School of Law, 225 Cedar Street San Diego, CA.  RSVP here:

On This Day: 1960 – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for sale an oral birth-control pill for the first time.  1974 – The House Judiciary Committee began formal hearings on the Nixon impeachment. 2000 – A federal appeals court upheld a $5.4 million jury decision that Michael Bolton had plagiarized parts of the song “Love is a Wonderful Thing.” The original song, of the same name, was released in 1966 by the Isley Brothers.

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I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.Org    Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.


Doug Porter

Doug Porter was active in the early days of the alternative press in San Diego, contributing to the OB Liberator, the print version of the OB Rag, the San Diego Door, and the San Diego Street Journal. He went on to have a 35 year career in the Hospitality business and decided to go back into raising hell when he retired. He's won awards for 'Daily Reporting and Writing: Opinion/Editorial' from the Society of Professional Journalists in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Doug is a cancer survivor (sans vocal chords) and lives in North Park.
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  1. avatarBrent Beltran says

    Calling anybody at the Heritage Foundation scholars is a stretch. Quotation marks around the word may be called for. Regardless, I hope the next time this Richwine pig dines out that the immigrants in the kitchen put a little extra something in his meal.

  2. avatarJay Powell says

    Drug Busts using special ed students as bait: very disturbing and disgusting abuse. thanks for passing on this expose’. I think that associations of parents and others concerned with welfare of special ed students formed in school districts such as SD Unified and Board members — and incoming superintendent ought to be aware of this and “….just say no!”

  3. avatarbob dorn says

    Gawd, narcs exploiting autistic kids, rich think tanks deciding that immigrants are genetically stupid, drones killing women and kids. Then, the other day, reports that there was an approved booth at the NRA convention featuring a “former girlfriend” doll that bleeds when you shoot it, and of the 2-year-old girl shot to death by her 5-year-old brother using a rifle specifically marketed for kids… I don’t feel decadent, but sometimes it certainly seems my country is.
    Maybe we all just have to keep amplifying these stories, if only to chronicle the collapse and warn, once again and again after that, the next holy empire that gets all uppity about its mission to save the world just how ugly it can get when things fall apart.