Thursday, September 18, 2014

Deasy didn't start L.A.'s school militarization, but he didn't end it either.

Fred Klonsky
Readers have begun to ask me about LAUSD's acquisition of machine guns, grenade launchers and armored military vehicles and its connection with current embattled Supt. John Deasy. Deasy is already up to his ears, and ought to be, over his discriminatory suspension policies, the district's wild expansion of privately-run charter schools, and the ongoing ipad scandal.  But some have suggested that Deasy should get a pass on the militarization scandal because most of the combat equipment came to the district back in 2001, back when Deasy was still trying to scam a phony doctorate from the University of Louisville. I don't agree.
Adm. David Brewer III

In 2001, the district was led by former Governor of Colorado and Democratic Party chairman Roy Romer. It was Romer, himself a former U.S. Air Force legal officer, who made the original deal with the Pentagon to accept used military battlefield equipment under the 1033 Program, created by Congress in the early 1990s. The program was originally intended to bolster the crowd control capacities of local police departments in the face of impending civil unrest. But soon public school districts' security departments joined in the arms race.

Romer left L.A. in 2006, replaced by David L. Brewer III, a former Navy Vice-Admiral who served as head of the Navy's Education and Training Division and was in charge of the SeaLift Command. With no previous educational management experience, Brewer lasted only a year and a month. Then came Ray Cortines who was appointed acting superintendent after the school board decided to buy out Admiral Brewer's contract. And so it went right up to Deasy. The point being that L.A.'s school district has spent the past dozen years accumulating weapons of mass destruction. Deasy is only the latest to keep and build the stockpile. 

Deasy didn't start the militarization of L.A. schools. But he hasn't ended it either. 

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