9/18/14 School Violence

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This 1970 cover of Newsweek magazine summed up the mood of the nation after Ohio National Guardsmen shot — and killed — four during an anti-war demonstration at Kent State College.

America vowed that never again would excessive force be used in an academic setting.

How have things changed since then?

We’ve swapped 19- and 20-year old college kids and National Guardsmen armed with M-14 rifles.  For adolescent students and school police officers riding 14-ton M-RAP armored vehicles.

The San Diego school district has acquired a three-quarter million dollar M-RAP —  mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle — from the Pentagon.

So has the L.A. school district.  Except its M-RAP has attached grenade launchers.

There are other schools with these armored vehicles.

The Dallas school district has a SWAT team.

99.9% of the time we’re talking about children.  Teachers.  And parents.

Think campus cops wouldn’t overreact? Cell phone video captured three –vcount ’em three — Houston school officers as they pinned down a 4-foot 10-inch 70-pound 10th grader . . . jamming her face into the floor in order to seize . . . her cell phone. Three-grown men.  One. Tiny. Girl.

You’d think officers assigned to a school would be properly trained to work with children — even unruly ones. Rather than pummel them.

Instead of expecting officers to peacefully defuse situations, some school districts are arming them with military-grade fire power.

And it’s wrong.

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