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What Obama’s New Military-Equipment Rules Mean for K-12 School Police

Last week, President Obama issued an executive order to regulate the use of military equipment within local police departments, as part of an ongoing effort to address police violence in communities of color. Images of officers rolling through the streets of Ferguson – and, more recently, Baltimore – in armored tanks pushed the issue of police militarization into the national spotlight. But it’s not just police departments that have been outfitted with military weapons. Through the Department of Defense’s 1033 program, created in 1997, K-12 school districts across the country have received equipment like mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles, grenade launchers, assault rifles and an outfitted SWAT team. One district in Utah alone received a dozen AR-15s, the weapon notoriously used in the Sandy Hook school shooting.