The Department of Education engages in some petty fear-mongering:
The Education Department has advised school leaders nationwide to watch for people spying on their buildings or buses to help detect any possibility of terrorism like the deadly school siege in Russia. The warning follows an analysis by the FBI (news – web sites) and the Homeland Security Department of the siege that killed nearly 340 people, many of them students, in the city of Beslan last month.
“The horror of this attack may have created significant anxiety in our own country among parents, students, faculty staff and other community members,” Deputy Education Secretary Eugene Hickok said in a letter to schools and education groups.
The safety advice is based on lessons learned from the Russia incident. But there is “no specific information indicating that there is a terrorist threat to any schools or universities in the United States,” Hickok said. Federal law enforcement officials also have encouraged local police to stay in contact with school officials and have encouraged reporting of suspicious activities, the letter says.
In particular, schools were told to watch for activities that may be legitimate on their own — but may suggest a heightened terrorist threat if many of them occur. Among those activities:
Interest in obtaining site plans for schools, bus routes and attendance lists;
Indeed. I’m not exactly surprised….