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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Life Issues > Children > Explorer scout training to fight terrorism and border violence borders on overkill

Explorer scout training to fight terrorism and border violence borders on overkill

LatinaLista — The Explorers (scout) program wants its members to get real-life experience in training for careers. Yet, scouts participating in the law enforcement program aren’t just being exposed to the life-and-death scenarios that face law officials today, they’re being subjected to a training that teaches them to react first, think later to situations that demand there not be knee-jerk reactions.
The New York Times’ picture of the group of babyface Latino teens clutching guns, sporting flak jackets, dark blue uniforms and wearing serious expressions looked like an illustration for an expose on child soldiers. If it hadn’t been for the headline, a reader wouldn’t have known until three paragraphs into the accompanying story that these boys were all-American Explorer scouts, a kind of cousin to the Boy Scout program.
These scouts (14-20-years-old), girls included, are participating in a program that focuses on prepping them for learning for life careers and skills. In this case, it’s supposed to prepare them for a future career in law enforcement a future that is counting on the continuance of terrorism, illegal immigration and border violence thriving in American society.
These scouts are being put through regular drills simulating situations that feature how to confront suicide bombers, chase down undocumented immigrants and how to take out active shooters.


The kids love it and who can blame them? They have the chance to act out their favorite video game and action movie scenarios without the risk of real bloodshed. Yet, while simulation and practice allow professionals to prepare for a potentially immediate threat, handing compressed-air guns to teens and telling them time and time again to pretend they’re in a life-threatening situation borders on programming these kids to react in a certain way that calls for a violent response rather than critically evaluating any given situation.
According to The New York Times’ story, scout leaders say that the training the kids undergo is “not intended” to be applied outside the simulated setting. However, it’s human nature to put what you learn to use.
We see it in preschoolers who have learned to call 911 in emergencies and, thankfully, end up saving someone’s life. But what if these scouts find themselves in a situation that mimics, in some way, their training and they just spring into action without thought? The results could be horrific.
Admittedly, this program, with this particular focus, has been operating for a while now. The national headquarters of the Explorer scouts say that so far they’ve never received any kind of criticism for the way they’re conducting the program.
It could be that not enough people had heard about it. Not anymore. Already commentaries are springing up across cyberspace and spanning continents questioning the value of a youth program that teaches violence as the first line of defense and is based on the assumption that these same problems will still exist in the future to the degree they are at now.
We already know that Mexican migration to the United States has significantly declined. The Mexican government recently released census data that documents a 25 percent drop in the number of Mexican immigrants coming to the US.
As a result of the decline, authorities are reporting far fewer arrests of people illegally crossing the border. Also, the Obama administration has made it known that immigration reform will take place. When it does, it will include new rules for immigration policy that, hopefully, will diminish the need to arrive illegally.
For right now, the only real threat that may possibly still be around by the time these teens enter law enforcement is border violence perpetuated by Mexican drug cartels.
In this regard, it would seem a much smarter program to teach future law officers the signs of drug activity in a community, how to identify, capture and interrogate drug dealers and trace their supplies to their points of origin.
It would mean analyzing the situation — and not just merely reacting to it.

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Comment(2)

  • Avatar
    Dave Bennion
    May 18, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    It’s hard for me to get too upset about the Explorers program when there is a much larger, more successful program to recruit youngsters and train them to kill outsiders … the U.S. military.

  • Avatar
    Karen
    May 19, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Re: “Also, the Obama administration has made it known that immigration reform will take place.”
    He’s lied about so many things in the short time he’s been in in office, so I don’t know why you would trust him to keep his word on such a controversial, unpopular issue. I doubt that there will be any CIR.
    I don’t want to be mean, but this can’t go on. At some point, Mexicans are going to have to fight to fix their own country.

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