Staten Island’s NRA Flare: Council Senselessly Votes for Putting Armed Guards in Schools


When Wayne LaPierre spoke to the world in the wake of Newtown, viewers and media folk alike gawked at the NRA chieftain’s worldview. Twitter was abuzz with anger as LaPierre proposed fighting guns with guns, swiftly condemning video games and the rest of society for the violence at hand. Not to mention the handful of “NRA Killing Our Kids” protestors that interrupted the speaker. Except, on the ground, the reaction was a bit different.

Several school districts across the country have been seriously considering this idea. Just last week, Voice writer Jason Lewis reported on the public schools in the Marlboro Township of New Jersey. There, the district’s Board of Education has instructed the local police to implement a 90-day pilot system where armed guards would hold down the educational fort. It’s currently in week two of operation.
And, now, the controversial move has hit a bit closer to home: Last night, the 10-member Staten Island Educational Council voted for a similar program, in which 300 to 500 retired NYPD officials would monitor the hallways dressed as ordinary (armed) civilians. The proposal will run as a recommendation to Education Chancellor Dennis Walcott and his department. But, regardless if it passed or not, the idea was DOA.
“It’s not going to happen,” Walcott told Fox 5’s Good Day New York yesterday. “We’d love a conversation. But armed guards, retired guards being hired in our schools? Not going to happen.” And that’s a fact.
As seen, Walcott is dutifully opposed to arming retirees for post-Newtown protection so the recommendation’s fate is the office shredder. Also, guess who has the final say in the end? The mayor who received control over the department a decade ago. And, all of the mayors in America, Bloomberg is the least likely to even dare consider having this armed force exist in his realm of jurisdiction. This is the guy whose busy advising the vice president on gun control.
However, the vote exists more as an indication of where some local conversations are heading: Community Educational Council 31 pitched the idea as parent-friendly and, according to the Daily News, it had a damn good amount of their support. The status of the armed guards as ex-cops certainly helped, too. And we already mentioned the Work In Progress in New Jersey before.
Oh, we forgot. Add to that list: school districts in Phoenix and Los Angeles.
Looks like this little blip is sticking around for a while.