For as far as there was any doubt left… America is a crazy country.

So, lately I was browsing funny photos on some random site, and I encountered a rather… unusual school entrance. Let me show you…

Yes. No drugs, no smoking, no pets, no firearms, no BODY ARMOR (Why the hell?)… I’m rather surprised they don’t mention anti-tank mines and uranium. I mean, if someone would seriously consider wearing body armor to school I am sure those aren’t to be excluded… (And they don’t mention knives… hmm… Someone needs to be educated in the art of murder much?)

Anyway. Seeing this picture, I was completely taken aback by the over-abundance of signs, and I considered the possibility it could be a scam. So, what does an intrepid girl like myself do then? Consult Google Maps. Destrehan High School, 1 Wildcat Lane, Destrehan, LA actually exists, and see for yourself:

The fence and the signs are actually there. Dumbstruck royally.

Now I have a question for you, a few actually.

  • Did I miss some major update in fashion making body armor a fashion statement like piercings or crop tops (both of which aren’t allowed in very strict Belgian schools) ?
  • Are American parents going crazy with concern that much that schools have to forbid them from sending their kids to school in a harness?
  • Are American schools paranoid enough to realize someone could very well hide explosives in body armor and play suicide bomber?
  • Are American schools concerned that when you come to school with a gun, aiming at anything that moves, body armor will make it harder to take you down?
  • Do they actually believe that IF you come to school with a gun, etcetera etcetera, you’re going to care about whether or not you’re allowed to wear a harness (seeing that guns aren’t allowed in the first place?)

Really, enlighten me because I’m completely puzzled.

About quantumphysica

My name is QuantumPhysica The Insane, but you can call me QP. I am insane, admitted to a mental hospital in Belgium, and waiting for a decent diagnosis at the moment. Once I was a physics student with goals in life and what more; now I'm simply the patient of Room 93. Ever wondered what life is like in the psychiatric ward? I'll tell you everything you ever wanted to know... I am... particularly twitchy of personality. But I also am genuinely interested in everything. There is nothing that doesn't interest me, really. Everything, from quantum computers to fashion and cars to traveling... I also give advice. On anything. No taboos whatsoever. And I make lists of things...
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6 Responses to For as far as there was any doubt left… America is a crazy country.

  1. bornattwentyfive says:

    Body armor? Who knew!

  2. LOL, I’m not commenting on the questions because I’m Canadian and don’t want to sound anti-American! Lets just say I’m happy I’m North of the U.S. boarder.

  3. tteclod says:

    While I am tempted to ignore your post, or laugh it off, I also recall that you are European, so some explanation may be necessary.

    The school you located is off the Mississippi river, not far from New Orleans, but far enough that it is technically a rural school. The state of Louisiana is a “redneck” state with a significant population of gun-toting hunters, military veterans, and such. In addition to famous school shooting incidents such as that at Columbine in Colorado (almost a world away, culturally), there have been incidents in Lousiana, Texas, Arkansas, and the state of Mississippi, all of which border Louisiana. Guns are EVERYWHERE in the USA.

    Also, Louisiana is one among the majority of states that have enacted “conceal-and-carry” laws that create a class of license that allows permitted citizens to carry concealed hand-guns. THOSE LAWS are the the primary target of the example signage.

    Smoking has only recently been restricted in this country. About 25 years ago, when I was in school smoking was still permitted by school-age teenagers in designated areas of the school. [I attended school in Texas.]

    Drugs such as marijuana are still fairly common although illegal, so the signage is a patient, albeit redundant, reminder.

    Although the school is rural, all but the most rural parking lots are usually separated between “visitors” and others, retail shopping excluded, of course.

    Dogs are notoriously common in southern states; leash laws are rare in all but the largest cities. Many dogs run free, as stupid as that might be for several reasons. Such is likely in the town you identified.

    Most child abductions from schools are by non-custodial parents, hence the requirements that all visitors register upon entry onto the school property. Divorce rates are high in the rural south, and especially so in Louisiana, where marriages between untested youth are common. Child custody battles follow, and the loser sometimes ignores the judge’s custodial assignment.

    Vehicle searches are not normal for a random car sans some significant “probable cause” that will probably be overturned by the courts if an arrest and prosecution results because something incriminating was discovered. Such protections of citizens may be voided upon entering “private” property, whereupon the owner of the property may assert rights for the protection of himself (or herself) and others on the property for which he is lawfully responsible if reasonable precautions are not undertaken.

    Knives, like firearms, are a part of the culture of most of the rural USA. Pocket knives abound, and although such are usually prohibited to students, prohibiting them to adults would be akin to treating adults as children. Such would be effectively impossible and might result in the entire school board responsible for such a rule being voted out of office and ostrasized in the community. It is worth sharing that while I was in Scotland, I observed discussions about the dangers of “knife culture” among British youth. Such is laughable in the USA, where young men are usually hunting, killing, and gutting deer easily 50-100 kg and heavier by age 12. Most have 7 mm or 9 mm (or equivalent) rifles of their own, and field dressing knives 6 to 10 inches long. These days with equality for women, many of the girls are no different.

    Finally, the body armor prohibition is related to Louisiana law. See http://law.justia.com/codes/louisiana/2011/rs/title14/rs14-95-9/

    The law was passed in an abundance of caution (read: stupidity) following the Columbine massacre, a bank robbery in California (2000 miles away), and two odd incidents in Louisiana itself where students were found on campus in body armor. Yes, you read that right: students actually wore body armor to school. Body armor may be obtained, at significant cost, by any citizen of the USA with no permits whatsover, and many military veterans own it as a purchase made for the wars in Iraq, Afganistan, and elsewhere.

    Now, after all that explanation, it is probably worthwhile to suggest that all this is very difficult for a non-native-American to understand unless you have an opportunity to live for a couple years in a rural part of the USA. Dogs, guns, drugs, sanctity of the home (and car), pocket-knives, child-custody battle and related abductions, conceal-and-carry, and all other similar “wild west” stuff must seem downright crazy, but its actually part of a very well balanced set of laws and cultural expectations. Honestly, the only way I’d expect you to understand is to come over here and spend some time in a rural spot like Lake Charles, Louisiana, or Gulfport, Mississippi, or someplace really small like Destrehan, LA. After about a year, it’ll all start to make sense, and you’ll want your own rifle, gun, and hunting license. The hunting license is required because we’ve got an unlimited supply of guns and knives, but not nearly enough deer to shoot.

    As a bonus for you, “crazy” is less broadly defined over here, so if you can stay out of trouble with the law, knives are totally okay, and firearms may be a real possibility. Happy hunting!

    • Thank you so much for your very instructive explanation!
      Smoking is commonly forbidden in most Belgian schools as well, and so are drugs, and Iw as aware of the laws concerning guns in America,… Yet still you are probably right that to understand the American mindset I should live there for a while.
      Here in Europe it is so completely normal NOT to carry a gun or bring a dog to school, but I can understand that somewhere with a completely different culture these things may not be as “common sense” as they seem to me.
      Anyway, thank you for explaining all this to me. I think I would like to live in America (I’m a great supporter of firearms, knives and weaponry of all sorts)…

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