While the militarization of police departments has been getting some scrutiny, what has not received much media attention is that some school districts are also purchasing heavy weaponry under the same program in which the government gives away its military hardware.
This website reveals the names of some school districts that have taken possession of an astounding array of deadly weapons. The Los Angeles school district has obtained 61 M16 assault rifles, three grenade launchers, and a mine-resistant protective vehicle. What is the last item? It refers to what is known as an MRAP.
Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected is an American term for vehicles that are designed specifically to withstand improvised explosive device (IED) attacks and ambushes.
I can see why they would need grenade launchers. Young children can get very cranky, especially when they have not had their naps, and can run wild. And since they are so small and can move fast, they are not easy to pick off with M16 assault rifles. A grenade would be much more effective.
School officials have tried to downplay the revelations.
[Steve Zipperman, chief of L.A. Unified’s police department] assured me that the school police never had any intention of lobbing grenades at anyone, ever, and that they would not be used against students to launch anything.
Why am I not reassured?