This week's link of the week comes from the Wall Street Journal, and the title of it pretty much says it all. I swear this should belong in the Onion, but sadly it appears mostly on the level. It sounds like some of these schools are better armed & equipped than some prisons.... and this 'protect our children from every remote and/or minor risk' crap that many Americans mindlessly support is well on its way to turning the schools into 'prison-lite':
Federal Program Supplies Surplus Military Gear to Schools
"A federal program that has drawn criticism in recent weeks for supplying surplus military gear to local police has also provided high-powered rifles, armored vehicles and other equipment to police at public schools, some of whom were unprepared for what they were getting.
In the wake of school shootings in Newtown, Conn., and elsewhere, some school security departments developed SWAT teams, added weapons and called on the federal government to help supply gear. But now, the program is facing renewed scrutiny from both outside observers and schools using it.
The Los Angeles Unified School District stocked up on grenade launchers, M16 rifles and even a multi-ton armored vehicle from the program. But the district is getting rid of the grenade launchers, which it never intended to use to launch grenades or use in a school setting, said Steven Zipperman, chief of the Los Angeles Schools Police Department. The launchers, received in 2001, might have helped other police in the county disperse crowds by shooting rubber munitions, he said.
In July, the district received a massive MRAP armored vehicle. Mr. Zipperman said his department thought it could be useful for evacuations and to save lives in a “sustained incident.”
In Texas, near the Mexican border, the sprawling Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District has 34,700 students and operates its own SWAT team, thanks in part to military gear it received in recent years from the federal program. The gear included two Humvees and a cargo truck, as well as power generators, said district Police Chief Ricardo Perez. The district applied for weapons, too, but wasn’t given any, so instead purchased its own M4 and AR-15 assault-style rifles, he said.
The weapons are given to schools through the 1033 Program, created by Congress in the early 1990s to allow law-enforcement agencies to obtain excess Defense Department supplies, paying only for shipping. The program has transferred $5.1 billion in items, including $4.5 million worth in 2013."
Full Wall Street Journal article here.
Perhaps I should create my own school district, because I sure wouldn't mind having some M16's, grenade launchers, or a mine-resistant armored vehicle....
And for those who are interested in reading more, blogger Mike Krieger, wrote a piece on the article as well: It’s Not Just the Police – The Feds are Also Militarizing Public Schools with Grenade Launchers, M16s and Tanks