Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Do Schools Really Need Army Tanks?

The San Diego School District is ready for
trouble.  They have a tank much like this
ready to, I don't know, invade their own schools.  
Kids these days.

You need an elite military operation to keep them under control.

That's what you'd think, anyway, by recent revelations that schools are buying enough military hardware to make Vladimir Putin blush.

A prime example is the 18-ton mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle, or MRAP,  that the San Diego Unified School District recently bought.

You know, because of all those improvised explosive devices those snotty nosed kids are always leaving strewn around.

And Bonus! The MRAP was government surplus, so the San Diego Unified School district got this behemoth for the low, low price of $5,000, says KPBS, the San Diego area public radio station.

What a deal!

According to KPBS, San Diego Unified School District Police Chief Ruben Littlejohn said the MRAP is not at ALL militaristic. Oh no, not at all.

He said weapons were removed from the MRAP and replaced with medical supplies, teddy bears and other comforts in case there is an emergency at one of the district's schools.

Because the best way to help an injured or scared little kid is to blast through with an army tank. Sorry. I mean a pretty MRAP.

I'm glad this is coming to light, because it's all so silly and maybe we can get somebody to put a stop to this.

There's at least one sane San Diego School Trustee, Scott Barnett who says the tank, sorry, warm fuzzy MRAP is a huge waste and mistake. 

Meanwhile, we learn that the Los Angeles school district has invested in grenade launchers says the Los Angeles Times.

 Oh joy!

The school district also has automatic weapons and a tank just like San Diego, says the L.A. Times.  The school district says they have no intention of using the grenade launchers on students, say, when they start a food fight in the cafeteria.

I'm don't think I'm that reassured.

They just have the grenade launchers on hand in case the police department wants to borrow them. Um, then why don't you just give them to the police?  It would just eliminate the middle man during an emergency.

Talking Points Memo says a lot of school districts are getting military hardware from the Pentagon. School districts in Texas, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Nevada and Utah have received military equipment.

One school district in Edinburg, Texas has a full SWAT team ready to go.

Maybe all this military stuff is at the ready in case the Student Council declares independence and the school districts want to put down the rebellion?

Look, I get it. School administrators across the nation are understandably freaked out by school shootings like that awful one in Newtown, Connecticut back in 2012.  They want to be ready in case something really bad happens.

Will kids feel more secure, though, if they feel like they're in an armed camp, primed for war, instead of a school?  Will some troubled kid see all this military hardware and declare his own war, with his own gun?

I know it's harder, and much more uncertain, to discourage violence, or at least flag the right person to prevent anyone from picking up a gun at a school and opening fire.  In the worst case scenario, if a school shooting starts, will the military gear actually help?

I wonder if we should be teaching kids that we're perpetually on a war footing, and they ought to be afraid, too.

Teaching kids to be afraid all through life cows them, and discourages them from exploring, thinking, trying things, taking risks.

Or maybe these war-ready school districts WANT people to grow up to be easily controlled, obedient and never think for themselves?

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