The Wall Street Journal has an article that you might mistake for something in The Onion. The federal government has a program that provides surplus military equipment to state and local governments at no cost other than the expense of shipping. A number of public schools have taken advantage of this program to acquire military gear. As the WSJ reported:
Some school districts, including the Los Angeles Unified School District, stocked up on grenade launchers, M-16 rifles and even a multi-ton armored vehicle…
And Matt will be pleased to know that:
In south 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 was given in recent years.
This is a toxic combination of 1) school districts lining up for anything the feds are handing out, 2) the excessive militarization of local police (and apparently school security) forces, and 3) schools focusing on incredibly rare events, like school shootings, as opposed to incredibly common ones, like incarcerating millions of children in schools that fail to serve their needs.
But don’t worry, one school district official explained that “These officers are trained in tactics. Some are former military.” And a Defense Department spokesperson assured that “each state is visited biannually for a program compliance review to further look at records, property and usage.” Well… if these are trained school employees who are inspected by the federal government biannually, I’m sure it will be fine to have SWAT teams with grenade launchers in our schools.
My only question is when will public schools be able to get surplus nukes. I mean, how else will they maintain Mutually Assured Destruction to deter the growing threat of private school choice?