Along with the usual carnage and corruption, suspected Zetas killed 52 casino goers in a gasoline/fire attack, teachers skipped school following extortion threats, authorities bust a Sinaloa Cartel "cell" in Utah, and one cartel has put up "wanted" posters targeting leaders of another cartel and offered rewards for them.
This spring, the Knox County Sheriff's Office will teach its final classes of the 25-year-old Drug Awareness Resistance Education program in local county schools. D.A.R.E., developed as a drug prevention curriculum by the Los Angeles Police Department for children 10-12 years old, has been long criticized by many studies and organizations -- including the U.S. Surgeon General, the National Academy of Sciences, and the U.S. Department of Education -- for not being effective at keeping kids away from drugs later in life.
Mexican officials are teaching school children how to dive for cover if they come under fire from gangs fighting over the Pacific beach city of Acapulco as drug prohibition violence reaches deeper into everyday life. At a drill in an Acapulco primary school this week, instructors used toy guns that simulated the sound of real gunfire. "Get down, let's go!" shouted an instructor as children threw themselves on the ground in classrooms and the playground and then crawled toward safety, burying their heads in their hands.
A school in Colonia San Antonio was supposedly torched because school staff refused demands for payment made by drug gang extortionists. Classes were canceled indefinitely.
Dozens of high school students with signs and banners will hold a free speech rally outside the Supreme Court as justices hear oral arguments in Morse v. Frederick. If the government has its way, the ruling in the case could allow school administrators to punish students just for questioning the effectiveness of the D.A.R.E. program, the humiliation of school drug testing policies, or the invasiveness of random locker searches.