Apparently Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association has yielded to the “WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING TO KEEP THE CHILDREN SAFE” shouters in the media and has thrown them the bone of calling for the presence of an armed guard in every school in the country. I hate to be the drunken uncle pissing in the coy pond at the backyard party of life, but it simply isn’t a practicable suggestion. Yes, yes, there are LOTS of retired police, firemen, and military who could step into that role, but let’s examine it for just a minute.
What IS the role, and what are the responsibilities. The role is to be the armed guard at the school. Now what does he or she do? I suppose primarily they would stand by the main entrance before and after school being watchful. Are they also responsible for assisting with day to day discipline issues or are they like Paladin…. just the hired gun?
Many of the schools are large and quite strung out with several floors and many outside doors. Which door does the guard choose to protect, because someone bent on mayhem will not follow the rules and wait to be “buzzed in” at the front door. They also won’t wait to be cleared through a metal detector. In a large school the perpetrator could smash through the over head door in a shop or maintenance area with an automobile and a guard in the upper hallway would never know and might not find out until much damage had been done.
Outside of being procedurally impractical lets examine the cost. According to The Center For Education Reform there are over 132,000 K-12 schools in the U.S.. Each school would require at least two guards to cover for absences. additionally, many are secondary schools with after school activities. Recently I was at a school sporting event where the last students didn’t leave the school until 10:00 pm. Perhaps the school districts can just take the function over and take care of scheduling like they do for substitute teachers. Each school district would have a new Administrative Director Of School Security and would handle normal daily assignments as well as requests for personnel to cover after school activities. Perhaps school clubs …. like the French Club could be asked to pay for security for their weekly meetings…. provided there wasn’t already staff on duty covering basketball practice.
And now for the cold blooded part: conservatively, it is reasonable to estimate that at least 300,000 armed guards with an annual benefit load of $50,000 would be necessary to accomplish the task. It comes to $15 Billion….. with a B. $15 Billon Dollars to protect our children against the unpredictable and random acts of madmen. $15 Billion Dollars wasted, because there IS NO protecting yourself against the random acts of the insane among us.
But that’s just what an average guy thinks.
http://www.edreform.com/2012/04/k-12-facts/ The center for education reform
According to The Center For Education Reform there are over 132,000 K-12 schools in the U.S.