Since 9/11, leaders in western societies have been able to arouse hate and fear by waving the flag of terrorism. If one claims violating individual rights is necessary to save one’s society, then many will be swayed to go along with denial of their liberties. The city of Copenhagen has decided too many of its youth are being drawn into extremist organizations so it has decided to enlist the assistance of teachers by having them spy on their own students. According to Jacob Hougaard, who works on integration, “The terror threat is real and we have a duty to make an effort. It’s thought provoking when you see that just in this last year, the police arrested a terror cell in Copenhagen, where young men were planning to manufacture bombs. This form of extremism is disturbing.”
More than 800 teachers will be trained to spot signs of extremism and a hotline will be set up so they can discuss their concerns and suspicions with a professional. The Union of Teachers in Copenhagen is disturbed at the implication of having teachers report on students to police authorities.
If a single student is reported to authorities and then tells his peers what happened, the offending teacher will never again be trusted by students. Trust between student and teacher is vital if the troubled child is to find an adult role model. Big Brother is watching in 1984 but hopefully not in 2008.