The cost of the 'guards in schools' debate

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by Jeffery McShan / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on December 22, 2012 at 1:02 AM

Updated Saturday, Dec 22 at 1:02 AM

HOUSTON -- In wake of the recent Newtown, Conn. school shooting, the head of the NRA is calling for guards to be posted in every school in the nation.

In 1999 when Columbine High School was attacked by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, two armed sheriff’s deputies were on campus that day. Both fired their weapons, but neither were able to stop the shooters who killed 15 and wounded 23 others.

At Waltrip High School on Friday, most parents said they were in favor of putting armed guards on campus.

Since last Friday’s Newtown shooting, more parents seem to be making an effort to learn what their school and school district is doing to keep their children safe.

HISD already has at least one armed police officer on every middle school and high school campus. But, the Houston Police Department estimates to put a full-time officer at all 270 schools, including the elementary campuses, it would cost the district an additional $10-12 million a year.

According to National Public Radio, it would cost an estimated $8 billion nationwide.

Critics of the plan say in chaotic situations, it's often impossible to identify the bad guy -- as one deputy pointed out after Columbine. The officer said bombs were going off in the cafeteria and they had no idea who the bad guys were.

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