Question of the Day: Do We Really Want Armed Guards in Our Schools?

After the Newtown massacre, NRA jefe Wayne LaPierre announced his solution to the problem of school shooters: “We care about our money, so we protect our banks with armed guards. American airports, office buildings, power plants, courthouses — even sports stadiums — are all protected by armed security. We care about the president, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents. Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by armed Capitol Police officers. Yet when it comes to the most beloved, innocent and vulnerable members of the American family — our children — we as a society leave them utterly defenseless, and the monsters and predators of this world know it and exploit it. That must change now . . . We can immediately make America’s schools safer — relying on the brave men and women of America’s police force.” A cop in every pot. I mean school. That didn’t happen. The question is, should it? My problem with that strategy is . . .
A uniformed police officer inside a pubic school might as well wear a T-shirt saying “shoot me first.” The “monsters and predators” of the world aren’t stupid. They will prioritize the “school resource officer” (SRO) as their first target and eliminate the threat to their heinous intentions. As we proved in our post-Newtown school shooting simulation, even if a cop knows he’s about to get whacked – a thoroughly unsustainable supposition – there’s not a lot he can do to stop it. In practice, nothing.

Then what? What’s plan B? The same plan that schools without on-site cops have: hunker down and wait for the cavalry. That’s not a plan. That’s a massacre waiting to happen. That has happened. Several times. The only realistic answer is to have armed teachers. And administrators. And staff. And – wait for it – parents. The simple truth of the matter: the more “good guys with a gun” there are in any location, the less likely an attack. And the better the response.

There’s also a downside to cops in schools. They’re cops. They’re looking for trouble. Smoking in school? Illegal. Smoking dope? Illegal. Pills? Selling pills? Ditto. Underage sex? And then we move from cops enforcing laws to cops enforcing school policies – like no talking on a cell phone in class. Or talking back.

Don’t get me wrong: most SRO’s are good people. Great people. People who would take a bullet for a student, and provide an excellent role model for students. But some aren’t. Do we really want to put cops in schools given the potential dangers – foremost of which is complacency? There’s nothing wrong with protecting kids, obviously. But shouldn’t we be doing it effectively? How about repealing Bush the Elder’s Gun Free School Zone Safety Act for a start? [h/t Eric Owens, The Daily Caller]

comments

  1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    I’d be happy with the repeal of the gun free zone laws, myself. But if we are going to employ a million cops in this country we should probably give them something more useful to do than set up speed traps and plan SWAT raids on poker games.

    1. Looked like the girl has no respect for rules. My son has had his iPhone and a Game Boy confiscated by teachers. Did he refuse to turn them over? No and if he did, when the police got through physically restraining him, I would whip his ass. These punks these days think they can get away with anything and there are no adults to reinforce good behavior. On the contrary, Liberals defend the bad behavior and that is why we will have more dead Michael Browns.

      1. avatar RocketScientist says:

        I can’t tell if you’re serious or sarcastic. If you seriously think a 70-pound child talking on her phone (to find out information about her mother who was in the hospital) warrants multiple police officers to tackle her and restrain her (including kneeling on her head with most of his weight) then I very much hope you are not responsible for the care of any small children or pets. She did not violate any laws. She was not endangering herself or anyone else. she was not even disrupting the learning process (she was in a hallway, not a classroom). She was disobeying an administrative rule and MAYBE being a little rude in the process. Should she have been disciplined? Maybe… a detention or demerit or seems appropriate if so. Being tackled and injured by several grown men? Give me a break.

        1. How do you confiscate a phone from an uncooperative teen without force if they remain defiant all the way up to needing to be tackled? At any point she could have been compliant and what teacher or administrator would not be understanding of an ill mother?

        2. “She was disobeying an administrative rule and MAYBE being a little rude in the process.”

          In my day being rude to adults got your ass whipped. The sad part is she did not learn her lesson and now she is an example to other punks that disobeying school administrators is proper behavior. When you have bratty kids you will realize this. Your generation is responsible for the deaths of Travon Martin and Michel Brown if that is how you defend bad behavior.

        3. avatar Justice06RR says:

          Well, you DON’T tackle them. That would be ASSAULT.

          Bring the defiant/uncooperative Child/Teen to the principal’s office. Call the guardian/adult next of kin. It does not take 3 cops to take down a 70lb young girl; on the other hand a violent 200lb male is a different story.

          If we tackled and treated each uncooperative minor like criminals, it would not go well. Each situation can be handled professionally without UNNECESSARY FORCE — especially to a minor. Detention and Suspension are also non-violent ways to deal with minors.

          Leave the disciplinary “whooping” to the parents — not the cops.

        4. Exactly how do you put them in detention if they don’t want to go?

  2. avatar Scrubula says:

    I would prefer ending the gun free zone (free fire) legislation.
    Obviously students could still get in trouble for bringing weapons. That’s not the point. Allowing staff and teachers to legally concealed carry is the only feasible option. Security guards need salary and equipment. Both of those are expensive, and considering how rare school shootings are, it’s almost a waste of money to hire a security guard for each school.

    Not to mention that 5 armed teachers are more effective than one security officer.

  3. avatar M J Johnson says:

    Why can’t we have armed cops (Cops in the NYC Public Schools aren’t armed), and armed teachers, and armed parents, RF? Why does it have to be either/or?

    1. avatar Nathanael says:

      This. There are schools that certainly should have a cop (or several) on campus (giant inner city high schools with students draw from gang territory, for example). There are small rural school where it’s not practical nor necessary to pay a cop to be there full-time. And just about every school would be better protected if responsible, law-abiding citizens weren’t disarmed before entering the school grounds.

      1. avatar Amok! says:

        +1 to both the above comments

  4. avatar Bunny says:

    We do waste billions on the drug war that could be used elsewhere.

    I get why parents are opposed to teachers having firearms. As irrational as that fear is, I can see their misguided thinking for what it is. What I don’t understand is people who think schools should be gun free zones. What fantasy world do people live in where that’s a good idea? If teachers won’t be armed then every school needs two plain clothes police officers carrying concealed at the very least.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      I had an interesting chat with an anti. She demanded gun-free schools. I referenced Sandy Hook, how they should have had an armed administrator, teacher or coach. Vehemently against. “No!!! No guns in school!” I then step by step outlined what happened that morning. When we got to the part where the principal and assistant got shot I paused.

      “OK. Now multiple calls were made to 911. Why?”
      “So the cops will show up.” ” Why?”
      “To stop the shooter.” “With what?”
      She got a very uncomfortable look on her face. (She actually looked a little like Flat-Face, Dirk)

      It finally started to sink in. “No! No guns in school!”

      She then refused to speak to me any more.

      There’s simply nothing to work with there.

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        You found the point when her brain shorted out.

        1. avatar Jake Tallman says:

          More like she realized he was right, but lacked the intellectual integrity to accept it.

        2. avatar Another Robert says:

          @Jake: Exactly!

        3. avatar Yellow Devil says:

          …which is what happens when an anti-2A Liberal brain shorts out.

  5. avatar OneZero says:

    I totally agree that an SRO would become a target. But SRO’s are an asset. After a recent retail gun theft in my area by a teenager, an SRO looked at the video and instantly recognized the thief.

    1. avatar SleeStac says:

      I think the value of SROs are as deterrents. We know AL choose Sandy Hook because he wouldn’t face resistance. Now if an SRO had been there, maybe he would have chosen another defenseless target.

      To be honest though, I think arming teachers, administrators and parents, is the solution. It seems so clear to me, I do not understand why anyone would be against it.

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        Because of their college training, most teachers and school administrators are totally ignorant of gunz, and thus are deathly afraid of them because they “go off,” just like they said on TV.

  6. avatar M J Johnson says:

    As for the video at the top of the article, well, we only see the tail end of that altercation, don’t we. That’s usually all we ever see. We rarely see what happened at the beginning of the altercation, even if there is a full video (*cough* Ray Rice) because that isn’t sexy enough for the media.

    This girl could have done all sorts of things before the cops took her down, but we don’t know that. And, really, she did break school policy about cell phones…

    1. avatar Lucas D. says:

      See, I’m a little conflicted here, too. On one hand, it really shouldn’t have taken three cops to subdue a teenager with a cell phone. On the other hand, someone who’s flagrantly disregarding a rule about no cell phones and refusing to comply when caught breaking it is such a magnificent dumbass that I can’t feel sorry for. I’m glad she’s not attending that school anymore, but she might as well cut out the middleman and drop out of school altogether, so she can get a head start on the inevitable teen pregnancies and future methamphetamine addiction.

      And before anyone tries to grandstand about civil rights, kindly take that speech you’ve prepared and shove it up your ass. Do you hop on a soapbox and tell your employer that you refuse to obey the rules they’ve laid out? Do you hold noisy conversations in movie theaters and then curse people out when they ask you to knock it off? Do you go 120 miles down every highway because you’re too special for speed limits to apply to you? If you have a working brain installed in your skull, I’m guessing you don’t do any of those things, so please nobody act like this little idiot is some hero for doing what she wasn’t supposed to do.

      Don’t you just love that Millennial attitude on display, though? “I wasn’t even doin’ anything! I just wouldn’t give them my phone!” Good God, stupid and entitled is one hell of a depressing combination.

      The principal shouldn’t have called the cops in the first place; he should have just yanked the damn phone away, smashed it to pieces, and suspended her on the spot.

      1. avatar SleeStac says:

        Calling the cops because the girl wouldn’t give them her cell phone is pathetic. She should have been suspended from school, served an in school suspension or something appropriate to breaking a school rule. She wasn’t commiting a crime and shouldn’t be facing the cops. The administrator that called the police should be fired and replaced by someone with half a clue. Presuming that the girl is going to be a teen mom or a meth addict is also stupid. Lucas, unless you are Nostradamus, you should probably get off you soap box.

        1. avatar Lucas D. says:

          “…unless you are Nostradamus…”

          I just might be, because I predicted somebody would go off half-cocked without reading everything I said, and here you are now. I said the principal shouldn’t have needed to call the cops, but I guess your outrage reflex kicked in before you could get that far.

          I have no sympathy for this kid or any others like her; if you do, that’s your problem. When somebody is so damned dumb that they can’t pick their battles any better than “don’t pull out your cell phone in class and then refuse to comply with faculty when ordered not to,” and then fail to make any connection between their behavior and the consequences it invited, it’s a pretty safe bet they won’t move on to become the next Stephen Hawking. Your taxes will be paying for these imbeciles and their many, many children, so if you’re going to get pissed off about something, it might as well be that.

        2. avatar SleeStac says:

          “I predicted somebody would go off half-cocked without reading everything I said, and here you are now.”

          You need some help, I didn’t go off half cocked or demonstrate outrage. I just thought your rant was a little stupid:

          “but she might as well cut out the middleman and drop out of school altogether, so she can get a head start on the inevitable teen pregnancies and future methamphetamine addiction”

          The anyone who disagree with me speech was pathetic too.

          “And before anyone tries to grandstand about civil rights, kindly take that speech you’ve prepared and shove it up your ass.”

          I’m cutting you a little slack here by calling your rant stupid, there is another name for someone who thinks someone is going to be a teen mom and drug addict without knowing them. Hell, Einstein was thrown out of school when he was younger, how do you know the destiny of this girl.

      2. avatar Jus Bill says:

        They jumped her because they mistook the cell phone for a donut.

  7. avatar Rokurota says:

    Yes. Armed parent volunteers = armed guards.

  8. avatar Richard In WA says:

    Arguing that a uniformed officer is the “shoot me first” target is the same argument the antis use against open carry.
    “Don’t you think the bad guy will see your gun and shoot you first?”

    I see it as a deterrant more than anything. Psychos choose their locations where there are the most victims and least resistance. Even having one or two armed guards would make schools much less attractive targets.

    I also support concealed carry by teachers but only on a willing basis. There are equally many teachers who want to be armed as there are those who are abhorred by the thought.

    Abolish the GFSZA and see what happens. I’m guessing increased violence isn’t it.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      “Abolish the GFSZA and see what happens. I’m guessing increased violence isn’t it.”

      Query: Has school “gun violence” (real, not the MDA version) increased, decreased or stayed the same since that act went into effect?

      GFSZA went into effect in 1990.

      Let’s look at some crappy data supplied by wikipedia for the 20 year periods Jan. 1970-Dec 1989 and Nov. 1990-Oct 2010. This data is plagued by all kinds of problems, such as inclusion of suicides (that don’t involve other victims) and gang shootings in the parking lot, etc.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States#1970s

      Also, BEWARE when looking at WP’s “data” on this. Sometimes they include people killed off-campus but part of a spree and sometimes they don’t. It’s inconsistent. Also, sometimes the numbers in their columns don’t add up to what is reported.

      Final caution: they don’t distinguish between innocent dead and perp dead. There is only one column for “dead.” One has to read to extract that data.

      But…just for grins, and I could have miscounted here or there.

      Jan 1970-Dec 1989:

      Number of Events: 57
      Total Innocent Victims: 256
      Innocent Dead: 62
      Innocent Wounded: 194
      Perpetrators Dead: 16

      Note 1: This includes Kent State and another shooting where cops shot protesters.

      Note 2: This includes a case where 1 perp killed and 78 innocents wounded by a bomb, not shooting, but guns were involved in the case. Taking out the bomb death and injuries,

      Total Innocent Victims (Shooting only): 178
      Innocent Dead: 62
      Innocent Wounded: 116
      Perp Dead: 15

      Nov 1990 – Oct 2010:

      Number of Events: 89
      Total Innocent Victims: 355
      Innocent Dead: 145
      Innocent Wounded: 210
      Perp Dead: 23

      Note 1: Once again, this data includes shootings that do not involve students at all that happen to be “on” school property.

      It remains to be calculated if these changes are statistically significant or not, and there would need to be a LOT more vetting of the data and controls, covariate testing, etc.

      This is JUST a cursory look to see if GFSZA had an obvious positive effect. I think answer to THAT question is a very clear “No.”

    2. avatar keithjohn0 says:

      I agree with the commenter. It seems the history of Israeli school security disproves the statement, “A uniformed police officer inside a pubic school might as well wear a T-shirt saying “shoot me first.” The “monsters and predators” of the world aren’t stupid. They will prioritize the “school resource officer” (SRO) as their first target and eliminate the threat to their heinous intentions.”. History has shown that you don’t even need a trained police officer to have security against an enemy dedicated to wreaking havoc and terror at every opportunity.

  9. avatar mk10108 says:

    Three cops to arrest and confiscate personal property (cell phone) of a student. The PROBLEM is not the violation of policy its the lack of a non police solution. A simple locker in administration that the student controls the key is all that’s needed to enforce the policy and assure the student retains control of her property.

    WHY ARE EDUCATED ADULTS so intrenched in their thought process about policy that they lack creative solutions. Instead the lack leadership by hand off of a simple task to police…who only skill set is control the policy offender, when a simple discussion is all that’s required.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I retired from a school district in CA. Here if a student refuses to cooperate with staff the staff has no other option than to call the police. To lay hands on the student is courting criminal charges. I have seen students disrupt an entire class schedule and the cops have led them out in cuffs.

      1. avatar DJ9 says:

        It’s not just in CA where that happens. I know of NO state where a faculty member could place hands on an uncooperative student of middle-school age or greater, for something like a cell phone violation, and not expect an immediate lawsuit and/or dismissal. It just doesn’t happen any more. Period.

        Blatherings of the type mk10108 is spewing, above, are indicative of never having had to deal with a truly uncooperative/unruly student of the type that is so common nowadays. It reminds me of the crap you hear from liberals/lefties/progressives on foreign policy, telling us that all we have to do is “talk about it”, never realizing or acknowledging that some people (and countries) will simply ignore you unless and until you hold up the stick of force to show them the clear alternative. Even then, in some cases, their ego and/or privileged upbringing won’t allow them to do the right thing, the thing that they (through their parents) agreed to do when they were enrolled at the school — follow ALL the school’s policies.

        She clearly admits to violating the policy in the video, because (bulls#it).

        1. avatar mk10108 says:

          There is no lefty, if we can only talk about the issue and all is well. I only offered an alternative that did not require a police response and never suggested laying hands on a student. Although I suspect, the real reason to call the police and aggressively detain (lay on of hands) and remove the possibility of a lawsuit (bureaucratic hand off).

          I have no problem with teachers or administrators controlling students, or explaining policy. If a student does become disruptive and violent, by all means get the police. If you approach a student, demand a phone and student refuses without providing a simple alternative.

        2. avatar DJ9 says:

          I never called you a lefty, I indicated your blatherings were reminiscent of lefty twaddle trotted-out when force is threatened in dealing with other countries; that tired idea that all you have to do is TALK to them. What makes you think that all avenues of diplomacy were not exhausted prior to calling the police? Teacher says no phones in class and (probably) asks for phone, student says no, and is sent into the hall. Assistant Principal asks for phone, student says no, and starts to walk away. Cops arrive, prevent student from leaving, and do you think this little prima donna suddenly got all cooperative and said, sorry, here, take my phone? I don’t. At some point, she tried to leave, push past, grab, or otherwise touch a cop, and things went downhill from there.

          All because she didn’t want to stop fiddling with her phone in a educational environment, or adhere to the school policy she and her parents were required to agree to (temporarily not using, or giving up a phone while in school) in order for her to be enrolled.

          A failure to publicly enforce this policy (by allowing a student to keep their phone and walk away) would mean the policy would effectively cease to exist, almost immediately.

          If it was up to me, teachers would be given a small, 6-foot range, directed EMP device that could be used to fry any phone they caught being used in class. Students could use their phone as often as they could afford to replace it.

  10. avatar Muddy Waters says:

    My High school and middle school had SRO’s. They did their job well. Mostly breaking up fights, investigating stolen backpacks, and kicking out drunks at the football games. As far as them being “shoot me first” targets, I have no doubt that school shooters PLAN to shoot them first, but putting that into practice, at least at my old school, would mean that the shooter would have to walk through half the building to get to their office without the gun being seen, I’m inclined to think that them focusing on the SRO’s (we had 3 in high school) would allow hundreds of students to escape, and in a gun fight between 3 cops and some 17 year old loser who plays Call of Duty all day, I’m betting on the cops every day.

  11. avatar Robert Inguaggiato says:

    I’d feel much better if the staff that can qualified and I don’t mean just safety background check I mean marksmanship also. I even support paying staff to train that means time at range expense such as ammo , targets and range fees. The other thing is to rezone schools that is to say they would no longer be gun free zones because as we know gun free zones are targets for criminals. Parents that have carry permits should be able to carry on school grounds also.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Parents that have carry permits should be able to carry on school grounds also.

      No. Just remove the prohibition on firearms and then follow state law. In Ohio that means those open carrying require nothing (a right) and those concealed carrying require a license (a privilege). Let the people of the individual states handle it through their own laws.

      1. avatar Robert Inguaggiato says:

        So you’d want untrained personnel carrying firearms to protect your children at school that couldn’t hit a broadside of a barn I don’t think so if they going to have firearms for administration to protect the children I don’t care what age they are they need to be able to hit the intended target. Without training they could be as much a danger as the bad guys your trying to prevent from doing many people harm. Stray shots can be very deadly in a close area with a high population. I did also say that they need to rezone these allowing legal carry. That is not all that can be done to detour criminals from picking them as a target.

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          So you’d want untrained personnel carrying firearms to protect your children at school that couldn’t hit a broadside of a barn

          Yes. Before recently, that is what was.

          Public property and public money combined with compulsory attendance means that government doesn’t have the privilege to disarm the People.

          Administration can require training for employees but cannot require it for everyone else. I really don’t care if our school district requires training or not but lean towards everyone making the choice to carry or not for themselves. If it were up for debate at our school board, I would argue for no training requirements for employees of the district but incentives for those that do undergo training.

          I don’t think so

          Thankfully, it’s not up to you alone.

          if they going to have firearms for administration to protect the children I don’t care what age they are they need to be able to hit the intended target. Without training they could be as much a danger as the bad guys your trying to prevent from doing many people harm. Stray shots can be very deadly in a close area with a high population.

          Working for the school is a voluntary act. The school can require training in order to carry while working there. My initial post was obviously mute on that point.

          I did also say that they need to rezone these allowing legal carry.

          You made a specific statement about licensing. I quoted your words. Are you now stating that you have no problem with unlicensed carry in those states that do not require it by law (this includes open carry in some states)?

          That is not all that can be done to detour criminals from picking them as a target.

          I fail to see where this statement has anything to do with mine.

        2. avatar Robert Inguaggiato says:

          Welcome to Connecticut FYI I do live in an open carry state and one of the most regulated states at the same time one has nothing to do with the other. Here each town is it own entity and do what the will and yes given the cost that we DO PAY TO HAVE FULL TIME OFFICERS AT EACH SCHOOL it would be much CHEEPER to pay some of the staff to train and they are already getting lifetime benefits. I never said pay to train each licensed person that goes on the campus that would be impossible.

        3. avatar John in Ohio says:

          I never said pay to train each licensed person that goes on the campus that would be impossible.

          Neither did I. That notion came straight from your noggin. I don’t believe you are comprehending my posts.

          A simple question… If one (non-employee, i.e. the public) can, under state law, carry openly without further qualification, training, license, etc; do you want them prohibited or otherwise restricted (training, licensing, etc) from carrying in public schools?

        4. avatar Robert Inguaggiato says:

          Before I answer your question let me ask you one first? Do you know what is required to get a permit in this state?

        5. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Do you know what is required to get a permit in this state?

          No, and I fail to see how those specific requirements are germane to this discussion. My statement is, and has been, if permits are not required by state law then they ought not be required to carry at public schools.

        6. avatar Robert Inguaggiato says:

          Wow now I know you’ll never get it.
          So it’s the end because it’s not going to get better for you from here. Just hope you never have to come east of the Delaware River Gap. Have a good night.

        7. avatar John in Ohio says:

          @Robert Inguaggiato: Once again, you duck specific, simple questions. Your deflections were ineffective so you run away. Are you afraid to answer that direct question?

        8. avatar Robert Inguaggiato says:

          No John it’s your ignorance that I’m docking I’m done with you you’re too ignorant to understand anything.

        9. avatar John in Ohio says:

          @Robert Inguaggiato: Then why not answer that question? I answered yours. The question is simple and we will either agree or disagree on the answer.

  12. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    Having uniformed armed officials in school can only be as effective as school administrations allow them to be and the ugly truth is that school administrators suck at just about everything they do. I don’t think I’d want a 20 year old, HS drop-out Austin cop assigned to “guard” my kids. Sorry, I want a better quality of person for that job. Schools are made vulnerable by the kinds of people who work in them and run them. It’s like they have a sign out front that says “Attack Here—No Guns Present”. Having armed guards in school is necessary but having a “guard” who is only slightly less marginalized than a potential shooter is worrisome to me. A better solution is to find teachers who are willing to defend themselves and their kids (despite the best efforts of school administrators, they’re there), give them effective weapons training, and then make sure that several armed personnel are always on each campus. (At anything other than the smallest school, just one armed guard won’t get the job done.) I think these teachers should also be deputized and given real police authority to use in schools. If you want to keep the little darlings in line, having some armed teachers around who can arrest their ass will be a lot more effective than having a regular LEO on campus who is undoubtedly going to find school culture more than a little confusing. For example, take a look at how Trayvon Martin’s school handled his criminal activity. Having regular cops in schools is a really bad idea. Just sayin’.

    1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      And to make matters even worse, no cop-shop is going to send its best people out to walk up and down empty hallways. No, no, they’ll have just the right people to send for that dead-end assignment. And guess who they’re going to send?

      1. avatar Jay in Florida says:

        I have to disagree with your statement of not the best.
        The cops Ive met in our schools have been for the most part the more seasoned officers.
        Maybe they have had enough of patrol cars and a beer or 2 too many.
        But they are all dedicated Law enforcement officers 1st.
        With a few younger ones tossed in to have something more in common then a cop the kids grandfathers age.

      2. avatar M J Johnson says:

        Having taught hundreds, if not thousands of NYC police and recruits CPR classes during the past nine years, I disagree with your description of the SRO’s who patrol the schools. They’re not the bottom of the barrel in any way, shape or form. They’re dedicated officers walking a sometimes tough beat and doing a good job despite the circumstances. I suspect the same is true in your city.

      3. avatar JR_in_NC says:

        I’m going to have to disagree, too.

        At the departments I worked, the SRO’s and juvenile cops in general requested that duty because that’s where they wanted to ‘make a difference,’ if that makes sense.

        Sometimes, they were seasoned officers with time on the street and time in investigations, so they were not ‘noobs’ making that decision without the experience to do so.

      4. avatar Garrison Hall says:

        I’m not trying to walk on your shadows guys, but some LEO duties are career killers and this is one of them. All it would have taken to deal with the bratty kid in the video is one experienced principal or vice-principal. If she doesn’t want to give up her phone, she can come sit in the office with it (believe me kids absolutely hate that). If she doesn’t want to do that she can sit in the cafeteria or library. Then, her parents get called in for an ARD (Admission,Retention, Dismissal) meeting and THEN both she and they are gone. Three grown men just HAD to wrestle a four foot seven young girl to the ground over a cellphone? Are you’re gong to tell me these guys aren’t bottom-feeders?

  13. avatar Stacy says:

    My guess is that, given the rarity of school shootings in general, unhinged guards might commit almost as many shootings as the rest prevented. And in any case, we know shooters plan their attacks carefully, so they’d certainly target the guard first.

    The real solution is to allow volunteers among the teachers, administration and parents to carry concealed.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      “My guess is that, given the rarity of school shootings in general, unhinged guards might commit almost as many shootings as the rest prevented. And in any case, we know shooters plan their attacks carefully, so they’d certainly target the guard first.”

      Neither of those is born out in the real world.

      Lots of schools have SRO’s (if you’ll allow me to categorized them as ‘guards’) that don’t become unhinged and shoot up the school.

      Don’t know if there is one single instance of a school spree shooter singling out the SRO or other armed personnel. If you have citations to cases that fit that, I’d like to read them. Even if it HAS happened, it is extremely rare.

      If, on the other hand, it’s your suggestion that non-LEO guards might have lower vetting standards as and a result might go nuts, well, can’t argue with that. It would indeed be a danger.

  14. avatar Hannibal says:

    Most school shooters kill themselves rather than face actual resistance.

  15. avatar Ralph says:

    The incidents at Arapahoe High School and Reynolds High School both show that the SRO does NOT get shot first. In both of those cases, the school shooter got shot a lot sooner than he would if everybody was waiting around for the police to arrive.

    I’m not aware of any cases where the SRO was bumped off so that the shooter could have free reign. And while there are probably cases out there that haven’t attracted my attention, the only school shooting case I know of where the SRO didn’t make a difference was Columbine, where the SRO was returning from a quick bite at Subway.

    SROs have done a pretty good job. They’re no substitute for armed and trained staff, but they are an important part of a viable security plan.

  16. The biggest issue with the SRO concept is that it’s a high cost for a less effective solution. Not that it’s an ineffective solution. Letting staff members CC if already legal to do so (possibly require additional training?) is an extremely low cost and highly effective solution. No equipment cost, no salary cost, and a relatively low training cost even if the schools foot the bill on that rather than the individual.

  17. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    Do we need armed guards or police in our schools ??
    I don’t really know how I feel on that issue.
    Armed teachers or Principles, if trained and they wish too.
    Yes.
    We have here in Palm Beach Country have Deputy Sheriffs in all of our schools for several years. A separate division. Officially the School Police. There haven’t been many if any incidents in our schools in memory and I feel that is due to having an armed fully certified law enforcement officer in the buildings.
    The kids get to know and trust this man or women they see every day and get a good image of our County Police Depts. They, the kids are free to interact with and ask whatever they may need or want of the officer.
    Its good for the kids and good for the police departments image.

  18. avatar Grindstone says:

    Just comply, citizen, and no harm will come to you.

  19. avatar Duzt says:

    Why the f**K were the cops called to confiscate her cell phone! if she wont give it up make her sit in the office till the end of the day or call the parents to come and get her. As for the cops good job following orders to “punish and enslave”. refusing to give up personal property is an arrest able offense now? Putting meat heads like this in every school, bored out of their minds just waiting for something to go down so they can flex their muscle and show they have power over the students is a horrible idea! Or maybe its a great idea if your not really concerned with protecting people and only want to brainwash them. Do as your told or this fat donut pounding slob is gonna stand on your head and mace you!

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      “if she wont give it up make her sit in the office till the end of the day or call the parents to come and get her. “

      You are assuming that the parents care, would show up and/or would do anything about it other than sue the school for wasting their time (or hurting her precious feelings about there phone, etc).

      That may not be a good assumption.

  20. avatar El Mac says:

    @RF, you really are a broken record.

    1. avatar rlc2 says:

      What do you mean?

      1. avatar Ing says:

        El Mac hates RF and complains about everything and everyone here, yet can’t make himself stay away.

        1. avatar El Mac says:

          @Ing, I neither hate RF nor do I complain about other folks on here. I expect more from RF though. I guesss some are satisfied with mediocrity. I am not.

    2. avatar Matt in FL says:

      And what does that make you, always following along, nipping at his heels?

      1. avatar El Mac says:

        @Matt in Fl, clearly, I’m not the only one.

  21. avatar jwm says:

    That whole shoot me first meme just doesn’t hold up. The bad guys just divert to softer targets. Hell, even unarmed security has a deterrent effect in the areas they work.

    My experience with SRO’s in the district I worked at was positive. They’re not looking to make criminals out of the kids and they develope a rapport with the kids that leads to a lot of trouble being headed off.

    Should staff and parent volunteers be armed in school? For sure. And an SRO should be there to guide and help train them.

    Only irrational cop hate speaks differently.

    Edit: RF, I know you have a school age daughter in Austin with you. Does she go to public or private school? What sort of security does her school have? Armed? Unarmed? None?

    1. avatar rlc2 says:

      +1. In a mid-sized semi-affluent school district- the PD has something like 5 SROs spread out over 20 total schools. With police pay, benefits, and pensions you simply cannot afford more, but they are worth their weight in gold as the eyes and ears and positive role model, relationship to school principals, PTAs, and the kids, and careful connection to handle juvenile problems by law.

      As to the video- we dont have all the facts. Not taking sides, but my nose sez this has the smell of politics ala Ferguson with La Raza B$ flavor. So lesson learned, again- wait until all the facts come out, before making a judgement.

      AS to the LEDE- No we dont need armed guards, as in the sense of more uniformed cops, or bald headed Shannon Watts dildos in black, either. A much better solution would be to have the local cops conduct CCW training and permits for vetted volutteers- the paid part-time “noon duty” or playground monitor, an assistant prinicipal, senior teacher, whomever passes the background check. And pay them a little extra- teachers take extra classes in the summer to earn degrees or certifications to earn higher per union rules. Incentivize them and let the SROs update them on emergency plans, updates on training, tactics, proper holstering while in the john, proper way to handle a student who wont follow school rules on non-dangerous non-compliance issues like cell-phones, in a quiet way, and no one will be upset, and half of the clueless parents who dont bother to get involved wont even know, or care.

      Its not rocket science- its just “common-sense.”

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Anyone who does NOT pass a background check should not be working in a school, even as a janitor. Everyone who does work in a school should be armed, every day. That would mark an instant end to school shootings.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          I had to be finger printed and background checked for my job at the school district. And for my military service and for my work at the Federal agency and for my work at a state prison and for my current job.

          Somebody want to explain to me why I’m not trustworthy enough, in the eyes of Alameda County CA, to have a ccw?

  22. avatar howard says:

    Here in California many people are not aware that persons with a CCW are exempt from Gun Free School Zone Safety Act. Section 626.9 of the CA Penal Code allows CCW carry in public schools.

    If a school employee would like to carry while at work, then only violation would be school district policy. If enough parents get together and DEMAND school districts change their policy to allow school employee CCW and adopt reasonable carry policy….problem solved. I know…this is a pipe dream here in Kalifornia at least in the blue sections of the State.

    1. avatar rlc2 says:

      Some disagree on whether CCW permits allow you to carry on school grounds.
      see here,
      http://www.shouselaw.com/gun-free-school.html

      scroll down to footnote 15.

      My understanding is you should have a letter from School District saying ok, to be safe, even with CCW.

    2. avatar John M. says:

      IANAL, but the text of the GFSZA specifically exempts those who hold CCW permits* from their relevant states from the 1000 foot zone. School grounds are covered by state or local law for CCW holders.

      *The GFSZA is a de-facto ban on Constitutional Carry for those who live in populated areas, where it’s nigh-on impossible to go about anything but the most trivial business without coming within 1000 feet of a public or private school. This is one of many reasons the GFSZA needs to die soon. IMHO this should be at the top of NRA and GOA’s lists for a new Republican president.

  23. avatar Mike in NC says:

    Somewhere along the line many people made the assumption that a “good guy (or gal) with a gun” had to be the schoolyard equivalent of a beat cop. What is really needed are volunteers from within school staff who can be trained on defensive use of force situations and who will hold no other pseudo law enforcement responsibilities. These people should not just be teachers, however, and should be drawn from the entire school staff.

  24. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    Ugh @ the latest use of the long discredited “shoot me first” meme. We know that spree shooters go out of their way to avoid armed resistance, typically selecting targets without guards and with no-guns policies. Even in college campus shootings where armed officers existed, the killers have usually skulked around selecting unarmed victims, and not launching armed attacks on the campus police station.

    Even in bank robberies, most robbers are actually unarmed. Most of those who are armed do not shoot anyone, let alone shoot the armed security guard. How often are police officers themselves attacked by robbers seeking their expensive equipment? The “shoot me first” is further belied by the daily uneventful open carry of many, many people in a number of OC states.

    Really, if armed officers in schools has a drawback, it isn’t some bogus “shoot me first” fiction. It’s that it reinforces the reckless notion that every problem requires a government solution in the form of more money, more authority and more manpower. Factor in that the original problem of school shootings, if not government-created, is at least government-fostered through so-called gun free schools, and the whole charade is on full parade.

    Worst of all with the armed officers in the schools idea, its atrocious cost effectiveness aside, is that it might actually work. Then it becomes a template for the country as a whole. If civil disarmament and heavy police presence secures the schools, then why couldn’t massive police presence, even nationwide martial law, finally break the back of common street crime?

    Be careful what you wish for and be doubly cautious when seeking governmental assistance.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Really, if armed officers in schools has a drawback, it isn’t some bogus “shoot me first” fiction. It’s that it reinforces the reckless notion that every problem requires a government solution in the form of more money, more authority and more manpower. Factor in that the original problem of school shootings, if not government-created, is at least government-fostered through so-called gun free schools, and the whole charade is on full parade.

      Amen. That reckless notion does the most damage to the thinking of those students bathed in the example from preschool to 12th grade. For them, “shelter in place”, checkpoints, “stop and ID”, and being disarmed “for safety” would be normal and accepted in adult life.

    2. avatar Stinkeye says:

      I agree wholeheartedly. The worst thing about “a cop in every school” isn’t that it’s an overly-expensive, marginally-effective solution (which it is). It’s the subconscious reinforcement for the kids that only the government can protect them. It would be a much, much better lesson for them to see the teachers and staff taking responsibility for the safety of themselves and those around them.

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        Add “and everyone else” to your statement and I would completely agree with you. It’s just as important, perhaps even moreso, that parents and visitors not be disarmed either.

        1. avatar Stinkeye says:

          Agreed.

    3. avatar John M. says:

      Well put.

    4. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Please remember my alma mater, Va Tech. The fruitcake killed a couple people, I think in a gun free zone, not sure. But then, he went downtown (not a gun free zone) and spent a good deal of time behaving himself while he collected the wherewithal (chain, locks, etc) so that he could lock armed responders out of an entire building inside a GFZ, allowing him to murder as long as he liked. The evidence is overwhelming that he was very aware of the GFZ and how to use it. And since all he murdered were strangers, ask yourself why he did not simply start shooting while downtown. My guess is that if an armed guard had been inside the building on a regular basis, he would have taken his business elsewhere. He did not begin his spree by targeting armed campus police.

  25. avatar jdb says:

    Oh! Oh! I’ve got an idea! Scrap public education! It’s been a race to the bottom in terms of educational quality ever since mass, government funded public education came on the scene about a hundred years ago. During that time the morality of our nation has tanked, quality of elected officials has tanked, the ability to read has tanked.
    Common denominator across the years? Public schools.
    As long as the government funds schools it’s going to be a political tool of the elite.

    Here’s a New York City, and State, Teacher of the Year’s history of modern public eduction:
    http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/index.htm

    Of course, this means personal sacrifice – but I’m planning to homeschool both of my children. It’s the price of freedom.

    1. avatar John M. says:

      Yes. Homeschool, people. They’re your kids, not the state’s. It’s work, but it’s worth it.

  26. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    So an armed guard is a target? Banks, grocery stores and jewelry don’t think that. A lot of school shooters don’t have the stones to take out anyone with a gun. How many KILL themselves with the least bit of resistance? The more the merrier as far as good guys with guns.

  27. avatar John in Ohio says:

    One of the damaging collateral effects of having armed guards in schools, especially agents of government, is that it further reinforces the errant notion in young minds that government is the source of power and is our keeper. They get far too much statist indoctrination already. End “gun free zones” at schools. Let students learn by example that the People are the source of genuine power in our nation and that each individual is responsible for their own safety. They will learn that Mom, Dad, Aunt, Uncle, Grandma, Grandpa, and even neighbor Joe care about their safety because they choose to be armed and don’t allow government to infringe upon the crucial right to keep and bear arms.

  28. avatar Frank Masotti says:

    Typical entitlement society. They think the rules do not apply to them. Noone would have been shot over this. Armed “guards” are for people coming in with firearms not cell phones.

  29. avatar Jus Bill says:

    The alternative is the “San Diego School System Approach to Security” – an MRAP and SWAT (with full “Operator Gear ™ and grenade launcher) parked in front of every school. Courtesy of the 1033 Program, of course.

  30. avatar Ing says:

    I guess I have to be the one to say it: “inside a pubic school…” My favorite typo ever.
    🙂

    1. avatar Robert Inguaggiato says:

      Why out of all the school and other no gun zone mass shootings dose the whole dam country have to use Newtown for the fight over gun violence ? It was not the first and we can only hope it is the last.

  31. avatar Mercutio says:

    Do we want them? No.
    Better to ask if we need them…..

  32. avatar LarryinTX says:

    Armed guards would be too expensive. Armed teachers, perhaps due to increased pay for teachers who carry, would be massively cheaper and have the salutary effect of getting teachers some real idea of what guns are rather than the crap they’re taught in teaching colleges.

  33. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I want armed parents and staff in schools.

    1. avatar jdb says:

      I want to end publicly funded education. Private schools can do whatever they want.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        That works for me!!!

  34. avatar Kyle in CT says:

    I know this is a bit anal, but:

    This is Calvary:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvary

    This is cavalry:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cavalry

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      I did that to my 9th-grade English teacher. Unfortunately, it caused the rest of the class to break out in such a verbal follow-up response that I had to go up to her after class and apologize. She got me back when she signed my yearbook tho…

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        This is why we can’t have nice things. 😀

  35. avatar DerryM says:

    The Gun Free School Zone Safety Act ought to be repealed because it exerts Federal Control over what should be local jurisdiction. This should be in the hands of Parents and School Administrators to do (or not do) as they decide. Then the survival or death/maiming of their children is their responsibility, and theirs alone.

    We now must add to the few “crazies” we have seen in the past a very real threat from ISIS, who will strike at our children on U.S. Soil sooner now than later as their war on America escalates.

    No universal plan seems to be perfect, but it would be better to put your best guess into place than continue to do nothing. We can learn from experience. Better that the next group of dead children we have lose their lives to some eventually worthwhile purpose, than to the endless bloviation and inertia about what will or will not work as did the Children of Sandy Hook.

  36. avatar Cinncinatus says:

    The video at the head of this article is a complete non-event in my opinion. The girl was approached by the police who [I surmize] began the dialog by saying “Miss, put your phone away and talk with me”. She wouldn’t, and the dialog progressed to “Miss, put your phone away and talk with me, or I’m putting you in handcuffs”. She wouldn’t, and so the cops proceeded to take her to the ground and cuff her up. The angry man in the video who says that “It doesn’t take three cops” is making a completely baseless statement. It takes as many as the situation warrants. I’ve seen plenty of 4’10” girls who can put up one hell of a fight…so what if three cops were involved in taking her to the ground…That fact most likely guaranteed that she was placed in custody in a way that was safe and relatively pain-free with no lasting injury other than damaged pride. The girl should have cooperated with the cops, should have cooperated with the principal, should have cooperated with the teacher in the beginning…the girl was incapable of doing this. Big deal.

  37. avatar sota says:

    If given the opportunity I would volunteer to be an armed “school resource officer”, and would be willing to pay for any reasonable “training” required. Heck I’d even throw in the bonus of being a rotating “teacher’s assistant” so I’d be in a random room each day I was there, making my presence as one blending in than standing out as “that guy with a GUN at the front door!” We could make it work.

    Oh… and I’d do it for free. My time, my money, my effort. All to help make sure my kid and all the kids at the school are safe.

  38. avatar H.R. says:

    Uniformed cops outside schools are clearly identifiable too. Should we go to a completely plain-clothes policy for all police forces in the nation?

    I do still think teachers should have the option to be armed though. Right now, schools are great big soft targets. An entire school is a “shoot me first” zone. Once you get through the doors of most schools (doors that are often made of nothing more than plate glass), you’ll have a free run to do whatever you want until police get on the scene. A dedicated SRO is at least something to make it a harder target, a few armed teachers couldn’t hurt.

  39. avatar Alan Rose says:

    I would welcome it if my school system and/or LEO agency would establish a cadre of armed parents to provide security. Who better to safeguard the students than their parents? Have a base of training, establish rules. One parent per day should be sufficient at a minimum, and put up signage that there are “parental non uniformed armed guards on random patrol.”

    As for this lovely young lady, as Ron White said, “I don’t know how many guys they thought they needed to take me down, but I know how many they were going to use.” The LEOs used a disparity of force to make a safe detention.

  40. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Aw shucks, schools should be gun free zones so when the armed psych shows up, he can just shoot all the faculty and students while they cower in place in a corner of the classroom. This will raise the body count and present more opportunities to pass reasonable and sensible gun legislator for the children. Yeah, if we ban the shoulder thingie that goes up, that will really protect the kids.

  41. avatar Anonymous says:

    Yea, I’m a little confused on how a cop goes from enforcing laws to enforcing school policy. Is refusal to turn over your phone to a teacher an arrestable offense?? Why are schools seizing personal property (which are not dangerous at all) and requiring families pay money to get the property back? Sounds like a fairly corrupt system.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      It is corrupt and represents mission creep for law enforcement. I wouldn’t be surprised if some states have or will criminalize “disrupting and educational environment.”

      Our local school system had a neat little scam going until I hired an attorney and put a kink in the plan. School systems across Ohio had been investigated for cooking attendance records to boost their passing rates. Ohio law requires public school education to be provided until a student’s 21st year of age. Ohio truancy law only applies to minors.This means that students who are 18 years of age and older cannot be truant under the law. Even the Ohio School Board Association hammers this point home in brochures and information to school boards. The school board in question was a member of the association. The school had a variety of remedies for adult students who were not attending class but were not disrupting the educational environment, however, withdrawing the students without their consent was not one of those legal remedies. The school would withdraw these students without their consent. The school knew what they were doing was illegal because I made them aware of it on numerous occasions. The scam went like this if a student protested the illegal withdraw… A counselor at school was secretly a sworn officer with the local city police department. He would swear out a truancy complaint against the student. The local municipal judge would release the student from county jail on an OR bond with the stipulation that they miss no school and aren’t even tardy once. Sometimes he even tacked on reporting probation (which would generate fees for the probation authority). The school would then wait until the student was tardy or missed a day, even with a doctor’s note, and then involuntarily withdraw the student from school. The court could then find them in violation of the OR bond terms and a probation violation (if placed under probation). The judge, school system, law enforcement, prosecutor, etc all knew that this was unlawful because I knew practically all of these individuals personally and had warned them multiple times. The original charge of truancy wouldn’t stick because it didn’t fit under Ohio law as the students were adults. But, the students, often impoverished and living through couch surfing or in the homeless shelter in order to finish high school, usually took a plea bargain to make the case in court go away. The attendance records were cleaned to increase passing stats for the school. The local system generated revenue. The students got screwed over. As I stated, I eventually got fed up and hired an attorney who had argued before the Ohio Supreme Court in previous cases. I laid out the entire strategy and hired the attorney essentially for his letterhead and credentials. The illegal activity by the school system was stopped. Unfortunately, nobody in the system was held accountable and many students were illegally put through the wringer. This is one of several examples of the types of issues I’ve had to wrestle with in the Ohio public school systems. Like many organizations, if they are allowed to get away with something, they will continue to do it. There is very little accountability.

  42. avatar Neil D says:

    RocketScientist: “I can’t tell if you’re serious or sarcastic.” Come on, attitudes like yours are a big part of the problem with kids like this. She obviously was not hurt. You can see that when she is giving her statement. For people to protest about this spoiled brat being abused is ridiculous. She did not follow the rules and would not give up her phone after being asked to many times, from what I gather. Looks like one officer holding her down and 2 watching not 3 holding her down. Rewarding this girl or protesting over her treatment is stupid and misses the point. She broke the rules and refused to comply with them when asked. If it were up to me I would suspend her from school for not following the rules and refusing to hand over her phone when asked. BTW, how are the other students recording the whole thing when their cell phones are also not supposed to be in their possession at school?

  43. avatar Neil D says:

    Anonymous: “Why are schools seizing personal property (which are not dangerous at all) and requiring families pay money to get the property back?” Really? Would you want your child in school, trying to learn with a bunch of other students playing on their cell phones in class? How about getting answers to a test on their cell phones? Taking pictures in the bathroom or the locker room and posting them on Facebook or Youtube? There are many legitimate reasons why students should not have their cell phones in class or in specific areas in their schools. None of which are abusive to their rights as far as I can see. How about the rights of the other students? Should they have to put up with someone like this that obviously does not want to follow the rules? I say NO way.

  44. avatar Wow says:

    So because she wouldn’t consent to her private property being confiscated without cause, they put their knee on her head? That’s called assault…those thugs should remember what goes around comes around.

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