Criminal Justice professors examine proposed ‘school shield’ policy

Two faculty members in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology have just published an article in a national journal critiquing the National Rifle Association’s “National School Shield” proposal to place armed guards in every U.S. school.

Professors Angela D. Crews and Gordon A. Crews, along with co-author Dr. Catherine E. Burton of The Citadel,  wrote “The Only Thing That Stops a Guy with a Bad Policy is a Guy with a Good Policy:  An examination of the NRA’s ‘National School Shield’ Proposal” for the March issue of the American Journal of Criminal Justice.

“We believe this is timely, given all the current debate surrounding this issue,” said Dr. Angela Crews.

Earlier this month the Crews  were in Washington, D.C., where they met with W.Va. U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin and members of his legislative staff regarding current research they are doing on school violence through their private consulting firm, Themis Center for Justice Policy, Practice and Research.

In their article, the authors examine the NRA’s proposal for an education and training emergency response program called The National School Shield which advocates the placement of armed security in schools. The authors examined the proposal’s key elements from a public policy perspective and determined that the NRA program would be expensive in terms of both implementation and civil and/or criminal liability, would increase juvenile contact with the criminal justice system, would increase the potential for injuries and deaths from firearms, and would potentially only seem to increase profits for those invested in security industries.

The article concluded that more potentially effective and safe policy alternatives are offered.

The Crews presented the initial results of their research at the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences annual conference which began  March 21 in Dallas, Texas.  The also participated in the recent Firearms Forum, which was sponsored by the Marshall University Student Government Association.