“The FBI is developing a website designed to provide awareness about the dangers of violent extremist predators on the Internet,” a spokeswoman for the Bureau told the New York Times on Sunday, “with input from students, educators and community leaders.”
The program was set to launch online as early as Monday, and is likely to proceed despite concerns that the program will lead to further bullying of Arab and Muslim students.
“Teachers in classrooms should not become an extension of law enforcement,” Arjun S. Sethi, an adjunct professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center who specializes in counterterrorism and law enforcement, told the Times.
“The program is based on flawed theories of radicalization, namely that individuals radicalize in the exact same way and it’s entirely discernible,” he said. “But it’s not, and the FBI is basically asking teachers and students to suss these things out.”
The professor also noted that the greatest threat to American school children is gun violence, not Muslim extremism.
Many civil rights and religious leaders also pointed to the Muslim student in Texas who was arrested after bringing a clock he built to school as evidence that teachers do not have the proper training or judgement to identify potential extremists.