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10 Of The Most Heavily Armed School Districts In The US - Listverse

10 Of The Most Heavily Armed School Districts In The US

AirTalk® | Military surplus sent to schools under examination ...

Big Education Ape: A Big Education Ape Brief History of Police in Education News #BlackLivesMatter #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool #CounselorsNotCops! -
On August 12, 2014, video footage emerged out of Ferguson, Missouri: American citizens were facing off against a small-town police department that looked more like an army unit launching a combat mission overseas. Following several days of unrest in the wake of a controversial police shooting, largely peaceful protesters were attacked by officers in military formation, dressed like commandos and armed with fully automatic machine guns. Rotating turrets, mounted on top of enormous armored combat vehicles, fired tear gas, rubber bullets, and flash grenades at unarmed citizens.
In the ensuing days and weeks, the public would learn about the now-controversial government program that civil libertarians had been clamoring about for years—the US Department of Defense’s “Excess Property Program,” colloquially referred to as “1033,” after the section of the congressional National Defense Authorization Act that made it a reality.
In response to a glut of military surplus—combined with concern surrounding several high-profile school shootings and an increasingly militarized approach to the war on drugs—the Department of Defense gave or sold weapons of war to small, local police departments across the country. Suddenly, tiny police departments with just a few officers were training with fully automatic machine guns, gas masks, night vision equipment, armored personnel carriers, rocket launchers, and anti-mine vehicles.
But it didn’t stop there. School districts, large and small, decided to get in on the action, militarizing their school security teams against the possibility of an “active shooter” situation. Here are 10 of the most war-ready school districts in the nation.

10San Diego, California

Photo credit: KPBS
San Diego is known for pristine beaches, laid-back living, beautiful weather—and a six-wheeled, 18-ton Caiman model Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armored vehicle that patrols their schools. Valued at nearly $750,000, the San Diego Unified School District snagged the MRAP for a cool $5,000—just the cost of transporting it to its new home.
The acquisition created a stir in the beach community. Residents worried that the monstrous combat machine could give the impression that San Diego was at war with its students. Officials responded by removing the gun turret, painting the vehicle white, embossing it with a red medical cross, and filling it with medical supplies and (obviously) teddy bears. The parent of one student lamented that the beastly machine “makes Humvees shrivel up with feelings of inadequacy.” Another parent said they would have rather seen the money spent on more “shade trees” on the playground or maybe “another teacher.”

9Los Angeles, California

The Los Angeles Unified School District acquired an MRAP of its own from the 1033 program. It is steel plated, 6 meters (20 ft) long, and weighs more than 14 tons. It was designed to battle insurgents on the streets of Iraq—specifically in situations where the lead vehicle in a convoy was blown up, leaving troops in the middle of the convoy trapped and under attack by gunfire from an elevated position. The district said the vehicle “was obtained as a way to rescue students in the event of a large-scale attack that prevented the Los Angeles Police Department and Sheriff’s Department from responding.” But for now, the MRAP just sits idle.
Not to be outdone by its southern neighbor in San Diego, however, Los Angeles took campus safety to an explosive new level. The city school district beefed up its “readiness” with the acquisition of 61 assault rifles and—just in case—three 40mm M79 grenade launchers that were originally designed for fighting in the jungles of Vietnam.

8Pinellas County, Florida

Pinellas County scored 28 M16 assault rifles from the 1033 program to use in their schools. Use for what, you ask? The police chief stated that if “something’s happening on a campus, you don’t want to have to get up close to shoot.” Can’t argue with that. M16s are military distance rifles touted by the Marines as “pinpoint accurate” even at 550 meters (1,800 ft). M16s can be adapted for semi-automatic firing, fully automatic firing, or firing in three-round bursts.
The .40-caliber semi-automatic pistols the school police formerly had would have required officers to get far too close, which is why the chief had M16s on his wish list before he even found out about the Pentagon’s surplus program. At around $1,000 a pop, they were “cost prohibitive.” But thanks to 1033, the school police can now shoot from afar for just $50 per gun.

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