The recent school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut has led some to call for armed security guards in public schools across the nation. Wayne LaPierre, vice president of the National Rifle Association, said during a press conference that Congress should “act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation.” Vice President Joe Biden has led discussions that have included the so-called school safety initiative, which according to the Washington Post “would make federal dollars available to schools that want to hire police officers and install surveillance equipment.” That has in part been the collective response to the tragic events in Connecticut. Create a police state on campus.
There is evidence that having armed security guards on public school campuses does more harm than good. According to one report when schools ramp up police presence and other security measures in response to a shooting or other violent act, such as in Colorado, “it resulted in more students getting arrested for minor misbehaviors, more students being pushed out of school, and a declining sense of safety in schools.” Another report found that in Los Angeles new data shows that police from the city’s biggest school district are “continuing to ticket thousands of young students, especially minorities, at disproportionate rates that critics charge are putting them on a track for dropping out.”
Uprising Radio reports that across the nation several schools have increased armed security on campus. In Houston and Los Angeles campuses have been visited by state troopers and police officers. In Maricopa County, Arizona, County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, has enlisted 500 volunteers to patrol 59 schools without consulting students or school officials beforehand. An investigation by CBS revealed that among the 500 volunteers several had convictions of drug possession, sex crimes against children, and impersonating an officer, in addition to other offenses.
This new found focus on creating a police state on campus means big business from private security companies and defense contractors. In Butler, Pennsylvania the defense contractor Ibis Tek is marketing everything from bullet proof glass windows that stop bullets from a AK-47 semiautomatic rifle to Kevlar pad shaped to fit inside a child‘s backpack which the company claims will stop a .357-caliber bullet. Ibis Tek has received over $246 million worth in government contracts since 2003, and $207,713,839 in contracts from the Department of Defense.
Then there is Pinkerton Government Services, a private security guard and detective agency which is a subsidiary of one of the nation’s largest private security firms Securitas. After LaPierre proposed putting a security guard on every campus, he place former Congressman Asa Hutchinson in charge of developing the plan. As reported by Mother Jones, Hutchinson sits on the board of directors of Pinkerton and if their plan was put into place, Securitas, a firm Hutchinson once lobbied for in Washington, would be in the position to profit greatly. Police states don’t come cheap.