Over the past year, I have listened to and watched the words and deeds of our Department of Education and its employees with apprehension. I don’t trust the benevolence or sincerity of the agency these days. Yet, at the same time I thought to myself that perhaps I was letting the more paranoid elements of my personality get to me. While the word conspiracy has crossed my mind, I also hope to avoid being one of those people you might see shouting and holding bizarre signs on street corners, with wild looks in their eyes. But today I saw a clip on Mike Klonsky’s blog that reminded me of the dictum: “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.” Apparently, on Tuesday morning, DOE agents showed up SWAT-style in Stockton, CA, invaded a man’s home, cuffed him in front of his children, and dragged him, clad only in his underpants, outside for all the neighbors to see. Why? Official word claimed a fraud investigation involving the man’s (possibly estranged) wife, who wasn’t in the home at the time.
What? I managed not to spit my coffee all over my laptop. But, what?!? I had no idea that the DOE was even armed, let alone inclined to raid people’s homes in actions more suited to say, the ATF or DHS, or dare I compare it to more sinister, historical invasions of home and hearth. (See, there goes that little paranoid voice again.)
The news clip had a non-statement from DOE’s Justin Hamilton pleading an inability to comment on case specifics. There was also a mini-lesson on the 4th Amendment, which folks in the DOE might want to study up on. This part of the Bill of Rights was designed to guard us against unlawful searches and seizures. Based on Tuesday’s action, I’d give them an unsatisfactory score in Civics.