LA school district returns grenade launchers; keeps armored vehicle, M16s

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Unified School District is returning three grenade launchers it received from a federal program, but will keep other heavy-duty weapons and equipment it was granted.

According to a statement released by LAUSD, it is giving back the grenade launchers because they are not essential for school police.

However, the district said it would retain dozens of M16 assault rifles and a mine-resistant armored vehicle valued at $730,000.

"While we recognize, this armored vehicle is 'military-grade,' it is nevertheless a life-saving piece of equipment that the District would not otherwise have. We will continue to keep it in our inventory as we evaluate our best options for ensuring we have the most appropriate life-saving rescue vehicle in our current inventory," the statement read.

LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia was not available to comment further on the matter.

In the meantime, some parents believe the weapons are necessary to save lives in dangerous situations but others think the weapons are excessive.

"I can't imagine if they'd ever use it at an elementary school, but really, for any students it doesn't seem necessary," LAUSD parent Suzie Haddad said.

Another parent, Victoria Wallace, said there could be a situation that would require military equipment but that she is on the fence with the issue.

"I'm sure there may be, sadly, some unfortunate situations where they could possibly need something like that," Wallace said. "In this day and age there are so many crazy people, I don't know, it's a tricky (question)."

LAUSD obtained the weapons through the Department of Defense Excess Property Program, which doles out unneeded military equipment to police departments at little-to-no cost.
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