In the month since the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, many schools have bulked up security through metal detectors and armed guards (including some around Philly). But it’s been unclear at what cost. According to the Washington Post, the Butler County school system, just north of Pittsburgh, has quickly pushed for and received hundreds of thousands in funding for armed police officers, despite a $7 million deficit.
Butler County had cut 75 teaching and administrative positions in the past five years because of a shrinking budget, but now the district of 7,500 students couldn’t hire armed guards fast enough. It had added a new insurance policy and $230,000 to the annual security budget in order to arm and employ at least 22 former state troopers — enough to station at least one guard at each school and every after-school event. In a town where hunting guns hang on the wall of the prosecutor’s office and the rifle team has won championships, the decision to arm guards had elicited a single protest. One family boycotted school for a day before returning the next.
For an illuminating look at what school life could become for many kids and teachers post-Sandy Hook, check out the whole piece. [Washington Post]