Several weeks earlier students had begun organizing a protest campaign planning to shout the word freedom and wear shirts with the same word written across the front at the upcoming rally.
Students of the 8th grade at Spry Middle School in Webster NY were banned from using the word freedom and from wearing shirts bearing the word freedom at a school rally on march 4th , 2011 . Several weeks earlier students began organizing a protest campaign planning to shout the word " freedom " and wear shirts with the word freedom written across the front at the upcoming rally. The protest was in support of a classmate who was suspended , arrested , and put on trial in town cout for having a small amount of marijuana . Just minutes before the rally , principal Dave Swinson took the entire 8th grade class aside and threatened them by saying anyone who says " free , freedom , free Paul , or rasta " or wears the t-shirts with freedom written across the front , will be removed from the rally , suspended , and face " further consequences ". Not to be defeated , the students wore the shirts anyway . They also planned a suprise for the rally . As each class was introduced , there was yelling and screaming , each class trying to out-shout the other . When it came time for the 8th grade the principal made the introduction , everyone awaited the loudest screams of all and ......TOTAL SILENCE ! With a " silent freedom scream " these adult-minded children showed child-like adults the failure of prohibition , the power of protest and the meaning of freedom . A week and a half later on March 15 units of the Webster police and the Monroe County sheriffs office entered Spry middle school , a "gun free zone " , heavily armed with batons , tasers , and loaded handguns . There was no 911 call . There was no complaint . Students were held hostage , forced to remain in one place for almost an hour . Three german shepard police dogs were circulated throughout the hallways , barking aggressively and scaring the children in the classrooms , according to eyewitnesses . Several students were taken away for interrogation and physically searched by adults not related to them . No arrests were made . In a follow-up email principal Swinson told parents of the traumatized children : " the drill went very well , as we expected . "