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Lockdown High


Lockdown High: When the Schoolhouse Becomes a Jailhouse

By Annette Fuentes

This book is a riveting report on the overblown fear of violence that turns American schools into prisons and students into suspects.

In the dozen years since the shootings at Columbine High School, hysteria has distorted the media’s coverage of school violence and American schools’ responses to it. School violence has actually been falling steadily throughout the last decade, and yet schools across the country have never been more preoccupied with security.

This climate of fear has created ripe conditions for the imposition of unprecedented restrictions on young people’s rights, dignity, and educational freedoms. In what many call the school-to-prison pipeline, the policing and practices of the juvenile justice system increasingly infiltrate the schoolhouse. These “Zero tolerance” measures push the most vulnerable and academically needy students out of the classroom and into harm’s way.

Investigative reporter Annette Fuentes visits schools across America and finds metal detectors and drug tests for aspirin, police profiling of students with no records, arbitrary expulsions, teachers carrying guns, increased policing, and all-seeing electronic surveillance. She also reveals the many industries and “experts” who have vested interests in perpetuating the Lockdown High model. Her moving stories will astonish and anger readers, as she makes the case that the public schools of the twenty-first century reflect a society with an unhealthy fixation on crime, security and violence.

Verso Books:


“[The] penetration of prison culture into daily life and particularly schools has been brilliantly traced by USwriter Annette Fuentes in Lockdown High” –– Bidisha, Guardian

“[A] well-argued book … packed with the anecdotally eye-catching and hard, persuasive data. Fuentes’s detailed and daunting investigation … is a wakeup call.” –– Publishers Weekly

“Examples of zero-tolerance policies taken to absurd levels are attention-grabbing, but the real story, spelled out [in Lockdown High] with clarity and a touch of anger, is a disturbing one that should concern members of school boards, principals, teachers and parents. ” –– Kirkus Reviews

“[A] chilling report … extremely well-written.” — Library Journal

“Lockdown High is a wake up call for Americans who care about how schools treat children and young people … This book is a must read for school boards, school administrators and parents.” –– Rodney Skager

“Fuentes’ style is smart and accessible, her material both revelatory and relevant—it’s not only parents who will stay up late reading Lockdown High, but anyone interested in where we are headed.” –– Nell Bernstein

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:


    • Dr. Richard J. Caster
    • Posted June 30, 2011 at 3:55 pm
    • Permalink
    • Reply

    Let’s set the record straight on school resource officers. The SRO serves three functions in the school setting: 1) law enforcement officer, 2) teacher and 3)counselor. They are primarily in schools for the protection of students and staff. They present a “resource: to troubled youth who may relate better to a person who knows what the streets are like rather than a school staff member. They are a link between the school and other agencies within the juvenile justice system and yes, they are the key defender of children when someone with a gun, student or adult, has decided to kill as many people as he can. Most parents feel a sense of security knowing there is a trained police officer working in their son or daughter’s school everyday. It is the most unique position in law enforcement and requires the most dedicated officer totally committed to students. YES; the SRO must be a highly trained tactical officer in the event shots ring out within the school. Seconds count in saving lives and his or her effectiveness is the students only hope of survival. To characterize the SRO in any other way is a showing of ignorance to the role and function of the school resource officer.

    Richard J. Caster, Ed.D
    Former Executive Director
    National Association of School Resource Officers

  1. Freedom of Speech?

    I find it nauseating that for the second time in four months I find it necessary to respond to someone’s worthless diatribe concerning a topic that they don’t have the foggiest idea about or the intestinal fortitude to research properly the training that it encompasses. The amazing thing about America is that Freedom of the Press also means the freedom to bullshit and the ability to misinform the public.

    I have spent the past forty years in law enforcement and recently retired with the rank of Major in one of the United States most violent areas. Most of my career I was involved with SWAT/Tactical teams as an operator and Commander. With that in mind I can speak with some authority on the topic and unlike most of those writers who specialize in “yellow journalism” I will sign my name and not hide behind an anonymous source or blog name.

    If I didn’t know better I would have thought from the wording of the article that the author was writing during the German occupation of Europe. “Police State, summer parole, regime, the government’s hybrid school/prison system, etc” the terminology is borrowed and unoriginal at best.

    I have participated in training scenarios where we used students, faculty and staff as part of the reality that is needed to prepare for an event in America. I don’t have both sides of the issue in either Illinois or New York and won’t comment on the pros or cons of the training that took place. I will say in all of the training that I have been involved with the participants were aware of what was going to occur in advance of the training and even with that knowledge many of those same participants were rattled by the reality.

    The author describes School Resource Officers as prowling the halls in search of misbehavior. Nothing could be further from the truth. SRO’s serve as law related educators, problem solvers, community policing liaison and only a small percentage of what they do involves arrest and investigation.

    In addition to all of the above duties the SRO needs to be the first line of defense in protecting our children from the likes of a terrorist event like Beslan, Russia, or the home grown degenerates that attacked our schools in Bailey, Colorado, Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, Littleton, Colorado, and Blacksburg, Virginia.

    Here again I can speak with some authority since I did accompany Dr. Giduck, who was attacked in the article, to Russia, where I was involved in interviewing the men that fought bravely against the Beslan terrorist during an 11 hour gunbattle. And those were Russia’s most elite special forces, not police who we will turn to in America. From that interview I remember one leading Russian commander telling us to warn American law enforcement that two things would occur during a terrorist attack against one of our schools: first, there was going to be a battle, and second, people were going to die. Basically he was telling us “wake up America and get your head out of the sand” because in today’s terrorist filled world we are not ready for this to occur on the home front. And if bringing that message to America means that I shouldn’t be allowed to protect children, then maybe I too will rely on the First Amendment and people like Fuentes and Grigg to come save me.

    From his experiences in Russia, and from going to the sites of, examining, and de-briefing the special forces who fought out such battles in places like Ma’alot, Israel; Budyonvosk, Russia; Kizlyar, Russia; and Mumbai, India, Dr. Giduck – perhaps having been to more of these than any other single professional on the planet – has come to the recognition that when the next terror attacks occur, or should Beslan ever happen in America, that the police are the ones who are going to get thrown into the battle. They will not get to sit safely on the sidelines while the special forces, Delta Force, SEAL Six, or even FBI’s HRT handle it for them. Recognizing this, he tells them that only in the event of such a battle against trained, vicious, torturous and battle hardened terrorists that at that point the police need to recognize that they will not be “peace officers administering the law to a civilian population, that they will be soldiers in a war, and that they are going to have to be mentally prepared to fight it as soldiers in a war.”

    In direct contrast to what Fuentes and Grigg have accused, he tells them this so that they know they cannot worry about their safety, but that “children will be dying” and that “in America, for our most innocent, no one else is coming for them.” These are the exact statements he makes in trainings. I have heard him speak dozens and dozens of times, and there has never been a deviation from that exact message, or the that specific context in which police will, at that point, have to alter their view of who they are, what they will be called upon to do, and how much they are going to have to risk to ensure that they do not walk out of a building with 314 dead hostages, 186 of them children, as at Beslan, or 172 dead as at Mumbai. For Fuentes to have been in one of his trainings and to have twisted it to such a degree, bespeaks a willful falsification that is morally repugnant and intolerable, and very likely legally actionable. For Grigg to have perpetuated it with his own malignant outrage and hypocritical claim of being a “self appointed” journalist would be comedic if this issue and his libelous attack on a qualified professional were not so outrageous.

    As to these would-be “journalists’” claims that Dr. Giduck claims to be an expert at all, they have lied. They have found nothing, anywhere, where he has made such a claim. In fact, when introduced at conferences and trainings that statement is often made about him, in response to which the first thing he says is that he is not an expert, but that he has had the opportunity to study these events with true experts, and his only role is to communicate the best information he got from them to America’s police, teachers and government agents to keep our most innocent safe. That’s all he has ever said. I have heard him say it countless times.

    Nevertheless, he is an expert, and a world class one at that. He may not have spent any lengthy time in the U.S. military, but I know first hand of his exposure to the special forces of numerous other countries and what he has learned from them. He has been an instructor to our Green Berets, even including the Delta Force. He works with a founder of SEAL Team Six. He has spent more years traveling the world studying the major mass-hostage sieges conducted by terrorists than any other person, and probably any other government. His doctoral dissertation was on the evolution of terrorist tactics in such attacks, creating a predictive model of what the next such attack will be like. This will soon be released as a book; one that everyone can and should benefit from.

    He has a master’s degree in Russian studies and a Ph.D. in Middle East Studies. Despite that, he has never claimed to be an expert in Islamic studies or Islam at all. The most he has ever said when asked questions about Islam is that he is not an Islamic scholar, but that due to his studies he has read the Koran, Hadiths, etc., has studied some of Muhammed’s life, and may have a little more knowledge than the average person. To claim otherwise is to, once again, defame this man through the publication of lies. Moreover, he did know personally the head of the KGB for St. Petersburg, but has never once claimed to have been “mentored” by him. And as to his in depth analysis of Russian handling of mass-hostage sieges, the fact remains that Russia has had to deal with four of them between 1995 and 2004, more than any other country, and so there is much to learn from their experiences. To take a contrary position smacks of the worst kind of journalistic dilettantism. If, in fact, the “political” position of Grigg and Fuentes was sound, you must ask why they felt the need to make so many false statements and libelously attack a devoted professional to convince everyone?

    America’s police are woefully behind the power curve in dealing with terrorism, we constantly train for the last fight when our opponent is preparing for the next battle. When we tell our police they need to act like soldiers it is because in response to such attacks they will be fighting the militarily trained terrorist. To do this they need to stay alive first. A dead cop can’t save a child. But even in America we have already been outmatched. Cho carried 377 rounds into Norris Hall at VA Tech. Morrison had hundreds of rounds at the Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, CO and Roberts had more than 600 rounds in the Amish School in Nickel Mines, PA. Klebold and Harris, too, had hundreds of rounds at Columbine. Without proper body armor (which no single SRO wears in schools) and enough bullets, how are they to protect your children against that?

    Finally, the article claims that officers did things that, if actually true, in my stepped over the line of legality, in my humble opinion. The answer, however, is not to attack all police for the indiscretions of a few. Fire them and charge the offenders. Bad cops should be dealt with so that the vast majority of police officers can move on and protect our country and its citizens, even yellow journalists like Grigg and Fuentes.

    Major Joseph M. Bail, Jr. (ret.)
    Chester Police Department
    Chester, Pennsylvania

  2. Richard Caster, Joseph Bail, and John Gudick are frauds, over-inflating their “internet personas” and marketing materials to build the business of the Archangel Group. You can find out more here:

    These gentlemen have little standing in the special forces community.

  3. Richard Caster and Joseph Bail both have financial interest in promoting John Giducks false claims. They are part of his inner circle that helps promote his false claims of “Russian training” and “terrorism expert”. Caster and Bail have no experience with terrorism , just like their leader doesn’t. Giduck is no more trained by any elite Russian unit than a Boy Scout is.

    Google John Giduck and read the comments by experienced former and current Special Operations and Law Enforcement officers.

    Follow the money.

  4. John Giducks is a fraud. He claims US army SF this is a lie. Richard caster and Joseph Bail support these false claims. They are either ignorant or complicant. I thnk both

    • Let me respond to a number of accusations posted on this site. I will address them factually and not emotionally.
      1) “Richard Caster has a financial interest in promoting John Giduck.” Response: I have never received any compensation from him nor Archangel Group. If I can ever be of service to Archangel Group in the area of school safety and security, I would be proud to do so.
      2)Make no mistake about it, John Giduck is an expert in terrorism. If not, why would such highly regarded individuals such as Lt. Col. (ret.) Dave Grossman constantly support his work? You must study your enemy in order to defeat him. Study means research, getting into the mind of your enemy and informing all of us of your findings. Yes John is a researcher, author and historian. He has taken these talents and has chosen to focus on the issue of international and domestic terrorism. This is incredibly valuable data for civilians, military and law enforcement.
      3) “Caster and Bail have no experience in terrorism.” I cannot respond for Police Commission Bail, however have I ever fought terrorism as a member of a Special Forces unit?. NO., I never claimed or even hinted that I had. I make no excuses that my passion in the world of domestic and international terrorism centers on my concern for the millions of children who attend our nation’s schools each day. Having spent over forty years in that arena and working closely with first responders and school based law enforcement officers, my focus has been on safety of children whether it be natural or man-made threats. Giduck’s research, as well as Grossman and others, has had a tremendous impact on my education in this area. I remain very active and committed in getting the word out to the schools of our nation.
      4) Someone has made the claim that I am “ignorant.” I do not know how to respond to that accusation by someone I never met.
      5) To the critics, it appears that NO ONE can speak to terrorism unless they have actually gone into battle to fight this ideology. I highly respect those that have done so and continue to do so. However, does that mean if you are a highly trained special forces operative and NEVER have gone into battle, you have no validity in speaking about terrorism? Are you suggesting that the only individuals who are experts in this highly complex topic of terrorism are those soldiers who have done battle?

      The internet has allowed us to have an open and honest debate on issues. However, it also allows attacks on individuals allowing anyone to say anything they want behind an “ID.” To the critics; read John’s books; do your own research and then attack his reports and conclusions. I stated in an earlier post; I have heard Giduck speak many, many times and never has he stated or implied he was trained and served in a unit of the United States Special Forces. If John were a trained U.S. Special Forces soldier, would his research and writing be any more accurate?
      Research is research. It does not care about anything other than your ability and training to gather good accurate data, analyze it and put it into a critically important form that will benefit many who read it.

  5. Dick Castor is lying in his response above. He is paid by Arch Angel. He also has no tactical background yet passes himself off as someone others should take tactical advice from. Regarding his buddy John Giduck- Giduck has advertising comments on his very own website where former SF is claimed and years of advertising material have been posted that claim him to be former SF or Ranger. He has never refuted one and now when challenged on it he still refuses to make the statement he that he has no background other than a run of the mill researcher.

    Dick Castor has claimed in public that Giduck is a warrior and other words that indicate something way beyond him believing that Giduck is something other than an opportunist and academic. Follow the money and it’s evident how Castor has gained as have Joseph Bail and many others.

    And yes Dick, if your hero Giduck had actually fought the enemy he’d have more credibility. As it stand he has never done anything operational and his claims to have attended any real Soviet CT training are false as well, no matter how many made up certificate he posts online. He isn’t just selling simple “research” as you now try to frame it. He’s selling a phoney aura in order to help market his research, much of which has been challenged by people who have more experience than he will ever have.

  6. In contrast to the “across the board” lack of qualifications and credentials of a number of “self appointed” journalists and what they have written with regard to the presence and training of School Resource Officers in general, and John Giduck in particular, I think it important to preface my comments with my own professional and academic history.

    I served 22 years in the Air Force as an electronics technician and technical investigator; I was assigned as a Special Agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigation as a Captain, where I gained extensive experience in conducting world-wide criminal and counterintelligence investigations and operations as well as teaching classes on substantive techniques. Since retirement from that career, I have spent the past 35 years as a classroom teacher in the criminal justice department of five different universities, including organization, design and operation of three different online baccalaureate and graduate programs in criminal justice. I have testified before Congress, written professional monographs and contributed substantive essays relating to conducting and managing law enforcement education, teaching both by lecture and practical (hands – on) methods. I have also assisted in collecting and assembling the material and syllabi for use in the well-received training seminars presented by Dr. John Giduck and others.

    Many (most?) of the blogs such as the one posted by William Grigg have as their main quality an exhibition by the author of his willingness to write with pseudo insight about things of which he has no demonstrated knowledge. I have read some of Grigg’s postings, but none of them illustrates that he has any useful knowledge about the subjects he is savaging. The main characteristic of his – and many other – “law enforcement-oriented” blogs relates to the clearly demonstrated lack of knowledge regarding the mission, purpose and focus of law enforcement in general, particularly the SWAT, SRO, ERF and other teams organized to respond to events that require a prompt, effective and knowledgeable response.

    Under the protection of the Constitution, anyone is free to write and publish a blog about anything, constrained only by legal prohibitions established by libel and slander laws. As near as I can determine from the research I have completed on Grigg, the “knowledge and experience” base he exhibits in his anti-law enforcement blog is largely self-generated (hypocritically “self-appointed”) and the presence of the blog owes more to “freedom of the press” established by the First Amendment rather than any useful insights into or knowledge about the details of police work.

    When evaluating writings such as these, it is well to recall one of the many comments made by George Orwell, i.e. “For a creative writer possession of the truth is less important than emotional sincerity.” There is little doubt that Grigg functions from a position of emotional commitment, certainly emotional vitriol, maybe even sincerity; however, as a creative writer there is more than a bit of question about whether he is in “…possession of the truth…” In fact, if the reader of his blog is interested in learning about the specifics of the issues he has presented – assumptions at best, and willful prevarications at worst – the best course of action is for his comments to be accepted as the perspective of a single committed ideologue – but to beware of using them as the basis for anything other than revealing his mindset when he wrote what he wrote!

    Annette Fuentes seems to have written her book from the possession of somewhat better information, but it is also infused with emotional demagoguery, and she, too, deviates dramatically from what she would know to be the facts if she had truly been party to what Dr. John Giduck actually says when training police. Indeed, the rallying cry of “You are no longer peace officers” is a willful, false and arguably libelous deviation from what she would have known to be the truth of what Dr. Giduck says, just as she knows for a fact that despite his credentials he has never claimed for himself the title of “expert” at anything. Nor has he ever said that he was “mentored” by a former KGB director. When speaking to police Dr. Giduck addresses the fact that when the next terror attacks occur in the U.S., or if something such as the Beslan school siege in Russia should be executed here, that the people of America – the parents reading this blog – are going to turn to the police for an immediate response.

    When the parents and the teachers and the children claimed by Fuentes and Grigg to be oppressed by the police dial 911, one thing is abundantly certain: Fuentes and Grigg are not coming to save them. Dr. Giduck says that when our police get thrown into a battle against well trained, heavily armed, murderous terrorists (as at Beslan, Russia and Mumbai, India), at that point they “…are no longer going to be peace officers administering the law to a civilian population. [They] are going to be soldiers in a war, and [they] are going to have to be prepared psychologically to fight it as soldiers in a war.” That is the exact statement he has made, hundreds if not thousands of times, without deviation. That is the sole context in which he has made it.

    If Fuentes had actually been in one of his training sessions as she claims, she would have heard exactly that, and to have reported and published anything different is at best disingenuous. Her entire book should be viewed with substantial reservation when seeking to obtain “…possession of the truth.” Even the short comment she made on her publishers web page seem to be whole cloth patterned from the Stalcup and Craze falsehoods published last March in an issue of Washington Monthly .

  7. I think that if Dr. Giduck had merely identified himself as a researcher and attorney from the outset, rather than claiming to be a “Green Beret,” or permitting others to describe him as a “Special Forces officer,” then his credibility would not be under such scrutiny.

    The problem is that Dr. Giduck has engaged in a sustained pattern of questionable conduct that undermines any value that his research might have, and this is truly unfortunate.

    • Dr. Richard J. Caster
    • Posted February 14, 2012 at 3:42 pm
    • Permalink
    • Reply

    Mr. Jablomi,

    Let me thank you for the civility of your post. It is rare to find someone who will professionally and succinctly state his position. It has been well established that Dr. Giduck did not serve in any U.S. Special Forces unit. You did state your concern that his “questionable conduct” undermined his research.

    Let me refer you to I believe if you read all of his credentials listed, which are documented, you may have a change in position on his credibility to write on the topics he has selected as well as the training he has conducted.

  8. I have a quick question for you Dick, what do YOU think about John Giduck taking a women who hired two friends to kill her cop husband and then took her on a vacation to the Caribbean on the dead officers life insurance?

      • Dr. Richard J. Caster
      • Posted February 22, 2012 at 5:54 pm
      • Permalink
      • Reply

      Terrorologist, can and will you supply corroborating evidence that, in fact, John Giduck did such a thing? I will respond that anyone hiring anyone to kill law enforcement officers, whether successful or not, should be considered for the death penally, if permitted in that state, or life in prison with no chance of parole.

    • Research on this has led me to find that the deceased police officer was an abuser of steroids and wives. He admitted killing his first wife with nothing being done until a new district attorney launched an investigation and, in fact, proved the cop had killed his first wife. He was a known wife abuser bringing home pictures of murder victims while telling his second wife he may kill her that way.

      The first DA brought murder and conspiracy charges against the woman only to have the woman acquitted based upon her being brutalized by her husband. She did plea for someone to kill him to stop the abuse and someone obliged.

      With the above facts, it appears you have chosen to defend this deceased officer and his actions and have chosen to condemn Giduck for his actions in helping this woman. Let’s simply leave it at that.

        • terrorologist
        • Posted February 24, 2012 at 6:06 pm
        • Permalink

        Can and will you supply corroborating evidence that? I showed mine!

        • terrorologist
        • Posted February 24, 2012 at 6:09 pm
        • Permalink

        Oh, and by the way only a true coward would speak ill of the dead to protect his $

        You are a poltroon!

  9. And just another small point, why has John Giduck so far failed to adress why he was booted out of the military?

  10. “1) “Richard Caster has a financial interest in promoting John Giduck.” Response: I have never received any compensation from him nor Archangel Group. If I can ever be of service to Archangel Group in the area of school safety and security, I would be proud to do so.”

    Mr. Caster…you wrote the above on Jan 26., 2012 according to the blog timestamp next to your comment

    I find this interesting since on 18 January 2012, there is a post saying that you were named Consultant/Instructor for Archangel Group

    In short, you are obfuscating your relationship with Archangel. This only bolsters the claim that john Giduck’s strongest supporters are on his payroll.

    BTW, I think that I hear Dennis Yaklich sending you his regards and thanking you for your support of John Giduck and Donna Yaklich. you know…the way that one cop to another.

    • My consultant/instructor work with Archangel Group has netted me “zero” income. Your assumption is that all consultation and instructor work translates into income. That is a false assumption on your part.

        • Miso Horn Knee
        • Posted February 26, 2012 at 12:03 am
        • Permalink

        Nice redirect. seems very well-practiced. Kudos.

        Still doesn’t change that you have a financial relationship in place with Archangel that you choose not to highlight in order to maintain credibility. Whether you have been paid from that relationship or not is irrelevant.

        I also like how you blame the murder victim who happens to be a cop for know…being murdered and then go on to describe a trip to Jamaica with the woman who murdered him and his attorney as “helping her”.

        Nice touch. You actually teach cops stuff?

        • Pingerdoodle
        • Posted May 20, 2012 at 12:36 pm
        • Permalink

        One has to wonder how proud you are of having a close friend and fellow Archangel Group colleague, John Giduck, who has close ties to a group that the Washington Times says may have bombed a U.S. Embassy.

        You seem to be just be filled with pride to be associated with people such as this.

  11. UPDATE: John Giduck has now been listed on the POW Network as a PHONY!!!

    Maybe you’re next Dick…

  12. Dick Castor is a funny man. No compenstion? Really Dick? You’re almost as good at deflection and semantics as your hero John Giduck is.

    It’s a shame your other lies are so easily deconstructed since they are repeated perfectly over and over. For someone who worked in the Ohio School system, you sure are lacking in intelligence. John Giduck was censored for his conduct with his cop killer lover Donna. No official document or evidence was presented to paint the murdered law enforcemnt officer in the light you are painting him. You are a disgrace and law enforcement nationwide needs to know how quickly and easily you will stain a murdered officer in order to protect your cash cow and associate John Giduck.

    Richard Castor will vilify law enforcement if it helps him advance his agenda to protect John Giducks lies.

    Nice one, Dick.

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