19 March 2014

Armed Guards in Schools

Every so often I see a request (usually a shared photo on Facebook, like the one below) suggesting that the US needs military personnel patrolling our schools. But it's a horrible thought to me that my children would be going to a school building needing visible armed guards. It indicates the violent type of country we have become, and looks like a solution you'd find in Israel/Palestine, or some other military zone. Are we really at this point in our history?

In our recent past, the government called in armed guards to schools to protect black children from violent and ignorant lawbreakers -- which government act was reprehensible, according to then President Eisenhower, who said "It will be a sad day for this country--both at home and abroad-if school children can safely attend their classes only under the protection of armed guards." Presently, in countries like Israel and Palestine, armed guards are placed at some schools to protect the students from political terrorists, who have a few times in the past used school children for their threats.

Does the US now need the government to call up armed guards to protect our school students, other than a policeman or two in certain school districts, which are located in areas of violence? If so, it seems to me that we are accepting and announcing to the world the fact that the US has become so violent that school students are attending school under fear of terrorist attacks like "3rd world" countries, or countries where ignorant and racist lawbreakers are the norm. But if school shootings are orchestrated by the mentally ill, then are we accepting that the best way to deal with those so diagnosed is to send armed guards to protect children from them rather than addressing their problems? Admittedly, the children of the president of one of the most powerful countries of the world are at risk of terrorism, being kidnapped or threatened in some way while at school, and as such, do actually demand some additional protection. I've also seen tv shows of underworld leaders who employ their own armed guards to protect their children from threats from others during school. Is this kind of protection something the average American child needs? Is our country so depraved? Really?

Just my opinion, and a "knee jerk reaction" to the mental picture that I get from the various pictures of GI Joe and Captain Commando in army fatigues standing on the rooftops of elementary schools in battle gear, watching over little children who are just trying to get an education.