After the Sandy Hook slaughter, NRA Veep Wayne LaPierre called for an armed cop in every school across the length and breadth of this great land. Wrong answer. The correct response: eliminate Bush the Elder’s Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990. (If Second Amendment protections didn’t end at the school doors anyone with a gun could protect kids through force of arms.) As we discovered in our post-Newtown spree killing school simulation, an armed cop in the school is nothing more than a sitting duck. I lie. These “school resource officers” are more than “shoot me first” targets. They’re law enforcement officers. Bored law enforcement officers. What’s an armed school-bound cop to do (besides play with his gun)? Look for trouble! Which, by God, they’re gonna find; from smoking to obstreperous parents. At the risk of sounding like an anti, do we really want armed cops in our schools? [h/t b0bb33z3r]

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93 Responses to Question of the Day: Cops in Schools?

  1. Question of the Day: Cops in Schools?

    Only if they can handle the curriculum, which limits many of them to Middle School and online degree mills.

    • My kindergarten teacher wanted to hold me back because I hated coloring. That was the first time I’ve ever seen my dad chew someone out.

        • I almost didn’t graduate High School because an Art Teacher didn’t like me or my work and was not going to give me my credits for that year. I am now the only person from my graduating class to be making a living as an artist – I have zero respect for authority when it abuses its powers for personal vendetta/agenda.

      • I wouldn’t have let that fat dumb-ass cop even touch me! As soon as he did he would be down and handcuffed himself. It is justifiable defense against assault.

        Assault by a police officer nonetheless!

        • Keep thinking that.

          Even if an officer is 100% wrong, the second you lay hands on them, the law says you’re fucked. So you turned what would eventually be a dismissed case and possibly a win for the good guys into a loss for the good guys, and proof that the LEO was right in doing what he did, as far as the law is concerned. Not saying it’s right, but it is the reality we live in.

      • I was in kindergarten in 1954. I was bored spitless. I already knew how to fingerpaint! And my Mom had home-preschooled me by setting a book in my lap and reading from it, running her finger along the page under each word as she read it. Because I was so bored, and during “nap time,” which I had never had a nap in my little life, I asked, “a nap? Haven’t you got anything to read?”, they gave me an IQ test and I got advanced placement.

        These days when kids do that, they label them ADHD and drug them.

    • Real college isn’t much better. My experience showed that the first 1-3 years (depending on your area of study) is expensive babysitting.

    • LOL – I would agree with you – but no. Power tripping teachers and administrators don’t need their own cops to enforce their rules.

      • But arming them will work out? C’mon we just have to run with what we can get the media to accept we can’t be picky about it they own this corner of the issue.

      • I agree with the original article, but also with Anmut…ARMING some of my High School Teachers could have been DANGEROUS! )-;
        But there is NO DOUBT that the Gun Free Zone regulations are NUTS. If a licensed and permitted parent wants to drop off or pick-up their child from school on the way to or from work, they must leave their weapon at HOME and go BACK home to pick it back up to go thru their day, THEN take their weapon HOME FIRST before getting their child!! NONSENSE!
        Even if you supposedly have the ‘option’ of putting it in your trunk…a LOT of vehicles DON’T HAVE a “trunk”! Minivans and SUV’s included! {The primary vehicles of most families} Nor do motorcycles, as I frequently ride.
        SO, I support allowing parents to be armed, as well as School employees, and ‘allowing’ the school system to employ trained Security Officers or Police if they choose…but not ‘requiring it’. But ONLY if they are well-trained first, and full background checks and are NOT to be ‘included’ in every little spat that happens…as a “Strong-Arm” tactic and ‘threat’ to students or parents…

        • Or privatize the schools along with everything else. It was a mistake to ever let the government get their fangs into the children’s heads in the first place, “education” isn’t even mentioned in the Constitution.
          But I dream, right?

  2. How about we end tax funded education, eliminate “gun free zones” and let the parents and tuition funded schools decide how best to protect their students/customers? Oh, that would be freedom, which is being progressively banned in Amerika.

    • so basically get rid of education? i don’t see any broke single mother in the projects sending her kid to a private school any time soon. and i don’t see any trailer park family being able to teach there kids past second grade math.

      • I’m sure there would be vouchers for the poor kids and we would probably end up paying the same amount in taxes. On the plus side, you would get to choose between young-earth-creationism schools and politically-correct-cry-in-your-granola schools. When all the kids grow up, we could have an even more divided America…

        Or no vouchers and all of the poor children could become a bigger burden on welfare and/or roam the streets, stealing and begging all day long. After a few generations, they will be completely illiterate and unable to craft those (sometimes)clever cardboard signs.

        • more dividedFree America

          FTFY.

          Or, we could get the Government’s fangs out of The Children’s™ minds and let people take responsibility for their own screaming poop machines. But that kind of concept is outside the liberal paradigm.

  3. The police from my high school were pretty cool guys. They broke up a ton of fights, if anything.

    I say why not? I’d sure rather have someone armed instead of no one.

  4. instigate a “Disorderly Conduct” arrest? You calmly state your position until the cop realizes he doesn’t actually have valid argument so he puts you in jail? Who exactly is intimidating who in this encounter?

    • “Disorderly conduct” is a catch-all charge designed by the assholes who call themselves government to intimidate their subjects and keep them under their control.

  5. Eliminate gun free zones and make hiring former service members a priority. Marines don’t run from gunfire. They run toward it.

    • I’m thinking just eliminate gun free zones. Marines don’t need any help with preferential employment practices. If a Marine still has a sound work ethic, that will speak for itself.

  6. My town has had cops in schools for ten years. The current one is also a swat member. So I guess my answer would be both. Cop on duty. AND allow guns.

  7. No more dependence on a guy with a badge and a gun to make people feel they don’t need to take responsibility for their own self-defense.

    Have the teachers and the parents; teach by example, that being a mature responsible adult includes ones own self defense and also defending the most vulnerable and weak among us; our children.

  8. Guns should be MANDATORY for each & every student starting in junior kindergarten. Shooting should be a class, like gym. No cops @ school! No cops!

    • The JROTC classes at high schools in my area teach marksmanship. They used .22LR when I was in school, but use air rifles now. Each school has a “rifle range” in one of the JROTC rooms. Some of the kids are pretty damned good shots.

  9. It depends on the individual cop who is assigned as the resource officer. Here are two examples from my experience. My daughters both attended a high school in Edison, NJ which had, as their school resource officer, a big strapping, young former college football player. He was kind, friendly and involved with the kids, knew who belonged there and who didn’t, and was enough of an imposing physical presence that no one in his/her right mind would disregard him. The only way around this guy would be to shoot him first, from a distance.
    My second example isn’t so impressive. Where my daughter was teaching in Tampa, the resource officer was a dumpy, out of shape older woman, clearly near retirement, not likely to be able to respond very quickly to an emergency, certainly not the imposing presence cited above. So it’s really about who is assigned to the job and how well that person performs.
    I’m of the opinion that, absent the funding and will to put enough armed, trained personnel in every school to protect them, key leaders in the school should be identified, trained and equipped (armed) to handle the situation until the cavalry arrive. They know the buildings and grounds and who should/shouldn’t be there. Second, the way I understand the law here in Florida, I can carry concealed anywhere I’m legally entitled to be, except for prohibited areas. My idea, which I expressed in an unanswered e-mail to my state representative, would be to remove schools from the prohibited list for anyone who has a legitimate reason for being on the property (dropping off/picking up, attending a meeting or school function).

  10. We had a part time local LEO working as a security guard in my high school back in the day. He was out of uniform, and my eye was untrained at that point to discern whether he carried or not. He was a very small guy with a very large napoleon complex. I often wondered how he could be trusted with a gun, but in that sleepy town the only reason duty ammo was discharged was to dispatch a deer after a vehicle collision.

    While I’m not opposed to uniformed cops, I also would like to see faculty and staff granted the right to carry as the element of surprise becomes tactically advantageous. I also support a repeal of the Gun Free school act, as like most legislation it only punishes law abiding citizens.

  11. I refuse even to consider any proposed solution consisting of more laws, more government spending and more government employees, unless preceded by five other potential solutions not comprised of the above elements.

  12. In general I do not want to pay more taxes for police officers (including their associated expense) in schools. As for security, armed police officers are totally unnecessary if armed parents and staff are in schools.

    More importantly, a known and/or uniformed officer will be the first target of a mass murderer. The mass murderer can simply walk up behind the unsuspecting officer and immediately incapacitate/kill the officer a number of ways … most of which are relatively silent and do not require a firearm. The Washington D.C. Navy Yard shooter had no trouble taking out the armed guards at the onset of his rampage. A school officer is no different.

    Parents and staff carrying concealed is the answer. A mass murderer would have no idea how many armed people would be on site much less where they would be. Most importantly, an armed parent or staff member could engage a mass murderer in seconds versus the 20 minutes or so that it took police to respond to Sandy Hook Elementary.

  13. “At the risk of sounding like an anti, do we really want armed cops in our schools?”

    Sure, they should be permitted to be armed, just as should be the administrators, teachers and parents of the kids attending the school in question.

  14. No. They often concern themselves with pot and other stupid stuff teenagers do.

    Just allow teachers to carry. If they wanna carry, they should be able to.

    Police are not necessary in most schools.

  15. I’m not a fan of cops in schools. Most are “law enforcement” officers, at least in today’s world, and that means their primary action on encountering something is to identify a broken law and to initiate an arrest if warranted. We’ve got cops in all middle and high schools in my area and when you look at about 90% of the arrests they make it is because someone was talking back to a teacher and some assistant principal didn’t want to deal with it. Pretty much standard teenager crap.

    When I was a kid, most cops were truly “peace” officers. I crossed more than one line while I was a kid that involved having a cop tell me to go home and tell my parents what I’d been up to because he was going to call them tonight and they really ought to hear it from me first. That is the most substantially successful behavior modification I’ve ever experienced, except maybe for toilet training.

    Now, they just arrest everyone and let the judges sort it out. This is NOT an attitude I think we need in school. Besides, too many cops I know focus on arrest and not protection. I strongly think the right idea is to hire proper sheepdogs – armed people who have demonstrated that protection instinct, strong preference for prior military. The kind of people who will notice a kid sneaking around and tell them to get their ass back to class while never loosing sight of that doorway behind them.

    • +1

      In my experience, many school cops were just bullies with a badge. At our school, the cop was notorious for harassing students over any clothing that had even the slightest reference to sex, drugs, alcohol, or guns. He would make them turn it inside out, or put masking tape over the offending language/images. Also, my brother was drawing a battleship or something, and the cop wadded up the paper and threw it in the trash because something on the drawing “looked like a gun.”

      This kind of crap is just going to teach kids one lesson: cops are idiots who enforce stupid rules.

      If there is a cop in a school, it should be made crystal clear to him/her that their job is to prevent violence, not deal with recalcitrant or smart-mouthed students. That’s the job of teachers and principals.

      • This kind of crap is just going to teach kids one lesson: cops are idiots who enforce stupid rules.

        They’re going to learn that lesson sooner or later. It might as well be in grade school.

  16. In the event of a school shooting, there will be cops at school. The question is how far away you want them to be when they learn of the shooting, and how much time the shooter gets to do his dirty work unopposed.

    The idea that a bunch of random volunteers will provide meaningful security can be disposed of by simply attending a PTA meeting or a kids’ sporting event and paying attention to the behavior and the politics. Volunteers show up when they want to, work as long as they want to, leave when they want to, bring equipment/uniforms when they want to (if they remember), and quit with no notice or recourse when they want to. There are a lot of dedicated, trustworthy volunteers in the world; and a lot of flaky idiots who only care about themselves and their kids.

    • No one suggested volunteers. Allow school personnel to carry. You gain substantially more than you would with a police officer. A single police officer (and we will only be able to afford one) is an isolated conspicuous target. Mass shooters are known to plan their attacks in detail way in advance, and hence a uniformed officer will be target priority one. An unknown number of nondescript armed school personnel is a diffuse, unidentified threat, that cannot be adequately planned for. This alone is more of a deterrent than a single uniformed officer. Then there are the economic factors. The single cop is more expensive than any number private citizens exercising their rights.

  17. Hey RF, do you think Texas is heading toward or away from allowing armed teachers? I might be heading down there for student teaching.

  18. If you want to start a private school and keep out ‘Liberals’ simply state that the teachers will have to pass a criminal background check, must have a CCW and May be armed

  19. the public schools have degenerated into a distopian nightmare of government authority. send your kids there at your risk and their peril. homeschool . or if you can’t , send them to a porichial.

  20. Why would leave the protection of children to someone whose job description has been held by the courts to NOT include protecting people?

    They are criminal enforcement – and will go around looking for criminals to en-force themselves upon.

    Then there is the financial problem. Would it be smarter to pay a lot of money to invest your security in a single gun/single target, or to let all gun-owners exercise their rights and gain many guns/many targets for free? You don’t have to have a degree in cost/benefit analysis to figure this one out

    • I think the the case you’re referring to is Warren v. DC. In that case, SCOTUS ruled that the police have no obligation to protect you unless a special relationship exists. There’s an easy solution to that. Put an armed officer in the school and make it their specific job to “protect students from any and all bodily harm” and authorize them to “use the highest level of force necessary to protect the individuals placed under their protection.”

      Boom. Special relationship established, and now the officer in question is liable.

      • The only reason I think that sounds like a good idea is because with that job description, no cop would take the gig.

        Besides, that is not the only case that has held that cops have no duty to protect you. And no police union would agree to those terms – so it would have to be an off duty cop moon-lighting.

  21. Very rarely do I find that I completely agree with a position either here or anywhere really. But in this case, I completely agree with RF. I think there is a lot of downside to having cops in schools. I’d prefer to have school employees conceal carry. I think that would be the best all around.

  22. So we all agree, for the most part, that Gun Free School Zones are stupid.

    But, in reality, does anyone think there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that GFSZ laws will ever be repealed? I hope they are, but once a law is in place, we all know it’s 10X harder to eliminate it (that’s why it’s better to fight it up front unless they sneak it in at night i.e. SAFE act).

    • It’s going to be hard because of the “boxing in” tactics that progressives use. If you proposed eliminating GFZs, they would squeal “you want school shooters to just be able to walk in with guns?? Hey everybody, did you hear that?? He thinks school shooters have a ‘right’ to carry assault weapons into schools!” See how they box you in to that position?

      You can observe progressives doing this in many other areas of debate. Take arts funding, for instance. Walk up to any progressive and say that federal arts funding should be eliminated (seeing as how it only comprises a tiny fraction of arts funding anyway) and the first thing out of their mouths will probably be something like “why do you want to live in a society without art?”

      Bastiat had a quote that was something like “the socialists accuse us of not wanting people to eat when we say that the state should not raise grain.”

  23. My experience with SRO’s(I retired from a CA public school) is that they get to know staff, parents, and students. Every day, in many different ways they head off trouble. When I started with the district they had no SRO’s. 1 kid killing another with a knife changed that.

    As for the argumnet that the SRO will be easily dealt with by a mass shooter. How many pro gun people have stated that mass shooters in schools are the outlier? You’re more likely to get hit by lightning or hit the lottery than to be caught in a mass shooting at school.

    My propasol after Newton was to have an SRO at each high school. Have vetted parents and staff members armed at all schools, k thru 12, and let the sro’s co-ordinate, schedule and help train the volunteers.

  24. My kid goes to a school that has had resource officers since before Sandy Hook. They are county mounties, of course. Not because there was a problem with students, or with teachers or parents, but because the county PTA and administration felt it would be a good idea.

    The halls are filled with colorful decorations, as befitting an elementary school.
    The deputies are all trained as a deputy would be, but also have additional training in child psychology, and parental interaction, should it ever be needed.

    There has been only one instance in the past three years of the deputy being needed for security reasons, and that was when two kids on my daughters bus got in a fight. The bus driver called it in, and continued with the kids involved in the front seats of the bus. 5 minutes later, the deputy came up behind the bus, siren wailing, lights on, and pulled them over. Once she had handled the problem, she gave the bus an escort for the rest of the trip delivering kids home.

    Sure, the bus was 30 minutes late getting my kid home, but that story will stick with those kids forever. I knew what was going on before the bus even got to the house, as the school sent out a mass text, then verified it by calling the parents of every child on the bus.

    Armed law enforcement in the schools are not what you should consider. Law Enforcement is armed. It’s part of the job. I like my kid seeing that uniform every day. I like that the Deputy Resource Officer is a volunteer position. (With a waiting list.) And I love that our local Chief of Police works with the Sheriff’s Office so well. (He even directs traffic himself, after school. Every day.) When properly done, placing the right resource officers in schools is a great benefit.

    Oh, and the guy in the video with the badge? He’s a douche.

    • Putting uniformed, badged cops in schools is a very bad idea. It programs the kids to submit to authority and makes the school feel more like a prison. Not to mention they’d have the power to bust kids for pot, which is the parents’ job. Just remove the gun-free zone lunacy, and offer safety training for every school employee who wants to carry.

  25. The SRO in my high school circa 2000 was found to be sleeping with a 17 y/o junior student. Not even legal age.

    It never made the news, but it was a small town so everyone knew what was up and why he was suddenly excused from the position and the force without much explanation.

    Great influence he was…

  26. There’s an easy solution to this and many other problems in the schools.

    First, fire most, if not all, of the teachers. If they can’t score above 1200 on the SAT, cold turkey, let ’em go. In MA and other states, over a third of the teachers couldn’t pass the tests their districts required of eighth graders. There’s tons of utterly incompetent teachers in the schools, and it shows.

    Next, get rid of all the cops in the schools. There is no problem in society that is improved by adding cops today. We wanted to “solve” the problem of airline security, so we created the TSA. Now we’re both insecure and given involuntary proctological examinations. If established trends are followed in the schools, pretty soon there will be cops molesting kids and calling it “security.”

    Now, to replace both of these over-paid, under-performing groups of civil “servants” at the same time, bring in inactive duty Marines to teach. Both problems solved in one stroke. While they’re at it, the Marines will probably solve the problem of overweight kids, too.

  27. It’s not clear to me why the officer inserted himself into a discussion between a parent and school administrators. Did they call for the officer’s help? Or did he just interpret the discussion a certain way because the guy was big?

  28. This is something I happened to hold an unpopular opinion about when the NRA was calling for officers in schools after Sandy Hook. When schools are gun free zones and the only people that the children see armed or know can be armed are agents of government, then the children learn at an early age that it is proper to rely solely upon government for self defense. This is then re-enforced in subsequent years because that’s what they see. Also, some public school officials and faculty already have too high of an opinion of their own power when it comes to other people’s children. Giving them armed guards will only exacerbate the problem. I’ve seen an urban school with armed officers when I was a young adult and temporary legal guardian of my kid sister. It negatively changes the way schools treat everyone.

    Don’t enforce the mistaken notion to children that government will be their sole protector. Don’t enforce the mistaken notion to some school officials that government owns the children. Eliminate ‘gun free zones’.

  29. I might be more concerned about police interfering in normal school operations if the schools themselves weren’t so busy making idiotic ‘zero-tolerance’ rules already…

  30. Ya ,we do want armed cops in our schools, not teachers who once in a while practice.But they need to be like air marshall’s, incognito.You protect banks and Federal building with armed security ,but our most valuable resource we leave hanging out there with marginal security and totally untrained personell with ineffective response techniques.This is because most liberals are anti gun and when a mental case with a gun shows up they are sitting ducks,police get there AFTER the fact.
    plain clothes armed security could defuse a situation RIGHT NOW! BUT THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS NEVER LEARN AND THEY AVOID THE TOPIC,so get ready for more events cause they are not doing anything effective to counter the threat,Stupid Idiots ,like Shannon Watts and MOM’S DEMAND ACTION or whatever they call themselves are CLULESS FOOLS if the think banning guns does one thing to save any lives.I

    • No, I don’t like this. Who’s the guy who’s just loitering around? If a teacher can’t be trusted to get trained and protect the kids then they’re in the wrong job. And since the school has custody of the kids, it’s their responsibility to keep them safe.

  31. Agreed that uniformed cops are a minimal deterrent. Columbine was planned for over a year, and the on-campus cop was easily discouraged by two shooters directing fire at him and his marked vehicle. He took cover and waited for back-up, and the back-up waited for SWAT, etc. etc. while the slaughter continued without interruption.
    If a school can’t get at least 1/3 of the faculty and staff trained — and willing — to respond to the slim but real possibility of a school shooting, then it’s time to make some revisions in staffing.

    Nobody should know who those armed guards are. Let any would-be killers find that:

    “It is not the lion you see that will kill you — it’s the lion you don’t see.”

  32. Gun safe (safes) with a few revolvers (six/eight shot 357/38) in each. If there is a problem, a couple self trained school officials not known to the students run to the safe (safes) and then handle the problem while the authorities are on the way. End of story.

    • “while the authorities are on the way”

      Or in the parking lot waiting for SWAT or 20 minutes to pass. Whichever comes first.

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