From the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper:
Police last month raided an Española-area school looking for marijuana growing in a greenhouse, but all they found there were tomatoes.I'm sure these kiddies have learned to 'respect' law and order. They've learned that you can't distinguish kidnappers from police because they all refuse to wear uniforms while while they storm into your premises waving weapons about and growling fiercely at 8 and 11 year olds. They've learned that US citizens have all kinds of 'rights' on paper, but when the police want to raid you, you have no rights unless the police say you have rights. And... they've learned to expect that their government may just shoot you 'out of the blue' because they consider you, an 8 year old, to be a major drug lord responsible for trafficking in tons of illegal drugs from you little school yard.
Patricia Pantano, education director of the Camino de Paz Montessori School and Farm in Cuarteles, between Española and Chimayó on N.M. 76, said the raid occurred Sept. 21 during the lunch hour.
"We were all as a group eating outside as we usually do, and this unmarked drab-green helicopter kept flying over and dropping lower," she said. "Of course, the kids got all excited. They were telling me that they could see gun barrels outside the helicopter. I was telling them they were exaggerating."
After 15 minutes, Pantano said, the helicopter left, then five minutes later a state police officer parked a van in the school's driveway. Pantano said she asked the officer what was happening, but he only would say he was there as a law-enforcement representative.
Then other vehicles arrived and four men wearing bullet-proof vests, but without any visible insignias or uniforms, got out and said they wanted to inspect the school's greenhouses. Pantano said she then turned the men over to the farm director, Greg Nussbaum.
"As we have nothing to hide, you know, they did the tour and they went in the greenhouses and they found it was tomato plants and so that was the story," she said.
The nine-acre Camino de Paz Montessori School and Farm in Cuarteles is about eight years old and this year has 12 students, ages 11 to 14, who participate in farming as a context for learning mathematics and science.
Some parents, who did not want to be named, said they, too, were concerned about the raid on their children's school.
Pantano said she did not want to make too big an issue out of the raid, but questioned why such a commotion was necessary when anyone who asked would have been given a tour of the greenhouses.
"We're sitting here as a teaching staff, always short on money, and we're thinking, 'Gosh, all the money it takes to fly that helicopter and hire all those people, it would be great to have this for education.'"
Oh... and the tomato plants in New Mexico now have a new-found respect for authority. They are all quaking with fear from another raid that can be expected at any time from these heavy-jowled, tight-lipped defenders of public safety!