Your tax dollars at work

Here in SoCal, we’re enjoying temps in the eighties. It’s dry and sunny and hard to believe the other side of the country is in the midst of an epic disaster. I’m happy to report my son is weathering the storm in San Francisco; he emailed from Stanford‘s library. I hope everyone else makes it through the night unhurt and unscathed.

This morning I stepped onto the deck intending to feed our resident scrub jays and heard the roar of a helicopter overhead, I mean right over my head. Our street sort of borders on an undeveloped hilly area and there’s also an elementary school across another street. Sometimes really bad traffic accident victims are transported here and picked up by an air ambulance that lands on the playground. However, this helicopter looked like a huge military one and with all the weather turmoil on the east coast and what seems to be a surge in crime locally, I thought this was the beginning of the end. We’ve all heard the dire predictions of the Mayan calendar, right? The helicopter circled a couple times, diving ever closer, and landed at the school playground. It was unbelievably loud! Were we under attack?

I ran out the front door and across the street with my camera. About a dozen cars had stopped to watch what was happening. It was then that I noticed the entire student body was outside on the far field, sitting “criss cross applesauce” on the grass. There were police cars and white police S.W.A.T. vans surrounding the helicopter. I asked a neighbor what was going on and she told me it was part of the drug program. Drugs not hugs or hugs not drugs, something like that. In case you were wondering, here’s where some of your our tax dollars are going. I have no idea how much it costs to send a military helicopter from either Miramar Naval Air Station or Camp Pendleton and the police officers were diverted from the actual job of preventing crime. Do you believe that this has any effect at all on future drug consumption and/or selling of drugs? As a former teacher and a mom, I say no, but I’m a bit jaded with regards to the whole “Just Say No to Drugs” propaganda. I have a hard time believing that anyone has not tried drugs or not sold drugs because they were forced to attend a couple of assemblies or colored a worksheet or two. I believe it’s the home environment that makes a positive difference and it’s peers that influence our kids, too. I guess I’m kind of curmudgeonly resenting the use of our military and police to scare these kids straight, and I’m not convinced it’s a good use of my tax dollars.

11 thoughts on “Your tax dollars at work

  1. Wow, the helicopter sort of was a little over the top! What happened to the programs that actually went into the schools and talked / mentored the students about the effects of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, all? I agree with you : )


    • I’m glad to hear I’m not alone. This is the same elementary school my son went to and there was a different admin and much more basic, down-to-earth education. I’m not sure a lot of what they do now is worthwhile. If I had a little one now, I’d homeschool.


  2. When I was in school the program D.A.R.E. was in full effect. We had a school designated police officer who would come in and talk to us about drug and alcohol consumption and its effects. You would then “graduate” from the program after I don’t remember how many weeks. May I say, I don’t remember ANYTHING that was mentioned in that class, and the only reason I never tried drugs nor alcohol (until I was of legal age) was because of my parents. Me and my brother were told if we didn’t drink until we were 21 we would get $500. That was enough incentive for me! I have never tried drugs either, quite frankly they have always scared me, probably thanks to my parents teaching.


    • LOVE your comment. I wish I could compile a ton of similar experiential responses and do something with them! Parents are the greatest influence possible. I like their incentive ($$ works with me!) and I’m sure they taught you ethical behavior in many ways.


      • Yes they did. I have drank alcohol only three times in my life so far, and I am 27. I didn’t drink until I was 25. I think because I waited so long, and didn’t have any peer pressure, alcohol lost it’s allure. I actually have a malt cooler sitting in my fridge right now from months, and months ago that will probably be passed on to a friend, ha ha!


  3. I’m with you on this one too! Remember Nancy Reagan’s “Just say no!” OMG, my kids still howl at that one. Even with good parenting kids experiment and then there is the chemical component of addiction. It’s a complicated issue that helicopters can’t compete with. Both my kids went to alternative schools where they educated kids what to DO and where to GO if they developed an addiction, while talking openly and honestly and teaching them the consequences. That was money well spent.


    • Oh yes, I think the “alternative” was a better “alternative”. What I saw felt very distasteful to me. I would have pulled my son out that day and gone on one of our adventures to enrich his life, not fill it full of crap. Open and honest communication, what a concept! And you are so right, just say no doesn’t touch on the chemical, psychological, or any other factors. It is so much more of a complex issue. Thank you so much for contributing to the discussion.


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