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School Districts Across Nation Receive Surplus Military Gear for Police

School police departments across the country have received a large amount of free military surplus gear from the Pentagon, and several school districts are giving some of the equipment back. 

At least 26 school districts across the nation have participated in the Pentagon's surplus program, receiving military gear from mine-resistant armored vehicles to grenades and M16 rifles, according to a recent Associated Press story published in the Washington Times. Due to criticism from people across the country, schools are giving the equipment back. 

"Nearly two dozen education and civil liberties groups sent a letter earlier this week to the Pentagon and the Justice and Education departments urging a stop to transfers of military weapons to school police," the article said. The Los Angeles Unified School District also said it would remove the three grenade launchers it acquired under the program in 2001. The district said they got rid of them because they “are not essential life-saving items within the scope, duties and mission of the district’s police force."

Schools in Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Nevada, Texas, and Utah are among those states that received military gear. State records also show that five California districts have also received gear. 

Jill Poe, police chief of Southern California's Baldwin Park School District said she will be returning three M16 rifles required under her predecessor. Poe said she had no idea how her district ended up with the weapons.

Read the full story.

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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