Remember when teachers worried about chewing gum under the desk? The question was “pocket knife” or “putty knife” in removing the problem. How quaint. Apparently the little darlings in the Dallas Independent School District are so poorly behaved the school district is spending $50,000 to train an elite group of DISD police on “body armor, riot shields and helmets, and five M-4 semiautomatic rifles that fire a .223-caliber bullet and carry a 30-round magazine,” according to the Dallas Morning News.
But is all this really necessary? Do school districts really need to have their own police forces, let alone SWAT teams? A nice way to spend money, employee more adults, and make parents think junior is safe. But is junior any safer with in a school district with a police force? Doubtful…
According to the Department of Justice, the incidents of crime at school has been on the decline. Here’s a quote from a DoJ December 2006 press release: “Serious violent victimization rates were lower at school than away from school for each survey year from 1992 through 2004. During the same time the violent crime rate at school dropped by 54 percent and thefts at school dropped by 65 percent. The violent crime rate went from 48 victimizations per 1,000 students 12 to 18 years old to 22 per 1,000 students. The theft rate dropped from 95 per 1,000 students in the same age group to 33 per 1,000.”
So while crime at school is on the decline, spending on M-4 semiautomatic weapons is up. Test scores are stagnant, but the folks selling riot gear are having a good year.