Armored Textbooks: A School Security Solution?
Bill Crozier, candidate for State Superintendent of Schools in Oklahoma, wants to put used textbooks under students' desks that can be used as shields in case of armed attack:
A candidate for state superintendent of schools said Thursday he wants thick used textbooks placed under every student's desk so they can use them for self-defense during school shootings.Don't miss Crozier's latest idea: After a trip out to the shooting range, Crozier is in favor of putting bullet-resistant Kevlar covers on the kids' texts.
"People might think it's kind of weird, crazy," said Republican Bill Crozier of Union City, a teacher and former Air Force security officer. "It is a practical thing; it's something you can do. It might be a way to deflect those bullets until police go there."
Crozier and a group of aides produced a 10-minute video Tuesday in which they shoot math, language and telephone books with a variety of weapons, including an AK-47 assault rifle and a 9mm pistol. The rifle bullet penetrated two books, including a calculus textbook, but the pistol bullet was stopped by a single book.
Crozier said the demonstration shows that a student could effectively use a textbook as protection in a school shooting.
An Oklahoma Highway Patrol spokesman was skeptical.
"He probably needs to take a look at some ballistics tests," Lt. Pete Norwood said. "There are some rifles not even Webster's Dictionary will stop."
Crozier said he got the idea after the April 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. The idea gained momentum after a December 1999 school shooting in Fort Gibson when a 13-year-old boy wounded five fellow students. Crozier noted that a bullet lodged in books in one student's backpack.
"You don't know where they're going to happen. You don't know when they're going to happen. There ought to be some kind of plan to react to it," Crozier said.
Six girls and a principal were killed in a recent string of shootings in Colorado, Wisconsin and at an Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania.
Crozier faces incumbent Sandy Garrett, a Democrat, in the Nov. 7 general election. A spokeswoman for Garrett's campaign, Kimberly Hawkins Sanders, said Garrett had no comment on Crozier's idea.
Somehow, I just don't think that Kevlar book covers would be of much help should an actual armed intruder attack a school. Putting that money into effective staff training just might make a difference.