Boston School Police want bulletproof vests, batons and pepper spray “to protect themselves from increasingly brazen students who attack police officers as they break up fights,” reports the Boston Globe.
The officers are fearing more for their safety as violence in the city’s streets spills into the schools, their union president said.
The bid for such equipment worries some school officials. One headmaster said a more heavily equipped police presence would send the wrong message to parents and students and could turn schools into combat zones, a common concern as schools ponder how far they need to go to protect teachers and students.
. . . Unlike their peers around the country, Boston’s school police officers do not carry guns or use Tasers, nightsticks, or mace.
“Kids come in with weapons every day, and we have to wrestle with them,” said Troy Askew, president of the Boston School Police Patrolmen’s Association. “It’s a matter of officer safety. The only thing we have is a radio and a pair of handcuffs.”
The story ran before the Virginia Tech massacre.