FROM Susan Ferriss
Police in Schools The video of a police officer body-slamming a student in South Carolina went viral yesterday. Having police officers—often known as School Resource Officers—in classrooms is not rare. In the U.S., 43 percent of schools have some sort of security staff on hand, and more than half of those positions are held by sworn police officers.
'Stand Your Ground' in the Spotlight It used to be that people threatened with violence had a duty to flee, unless they were defending their own homes. Now 25 states have extended the right to "defend the castle" to any place it's legal to be, and anyone who claims to "perceive" a threat has the right to use equal force for protection. Florida adopted the first so-called "stand your ground" law in 2005. The Trayvon Marin case has brought attention to the laws that give people with no law enforcement authority the right to make instant decisions about life or death — with immunity from prosecution. Is that really what the Second Amendment is all about?
Is it 'Stand Your Ground' or 'Make My Day?' It used to be that people threatened with violence had a duty to flee, unless they were defending their own homes. The recent Trayvon Martin killing has focused attention on so-called "stand-your-ground" laws, which began in Florida and have spread to 24 other states. Under such laws, anyone who claims to "perceive" a threat has the right to use equal force for protection. New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg says they're creating a nation of vigilantes. Many cops and prosecutors agree. The National Rifle Association supports "stand-your-ground" laws and gun control advocates are losing ground. Despite real dangers in some neighborhoods, is the right to carry a gun being given more value than the right to life? NOTE: The NRA declined our invitation to participate in this discussion.
Will LA End Truancy Fines? The LA City Council will vote next week on rules for enforcement of truancy laws by the LAPD and LA Unified's School police force. Yesterday a council committee agreed to changes worked out by the chiefs of both departments. LA is leading the way to changing practices established in the 1990's, which turned out to drive kids away from school rather than encouraging more attendance. Susan Ferriss reports for the Center for Public Integrity .
Preparing for Closing Arguments in Proposition 8 Trial In the challenge to Proposition 8 , which banned same-sex marriage in California, US District Judge Vaughn Walker has asked both sides to answer a lot of questions before their closing arguments tomorrow. Susan Ferriss is covering the trial for the Sacramento Bee .
Truth and Lies in Trumpland Donald Trump is using mis-information like no President has before him. It's an unprecedented challenge to the news media, and a potential threat to democracy. We hear how the "leader of all the people" is dividing Americans and confusing the rest of the world.