The Little Rock School District (LRSD) announced today that it is replacing nearly every teacher in the district with members of the Navy SEALs Special Forces group. A contract between LRSD and the Navy would allow SEALs to teach in the district without license, creating a safer environment for students. SEALs, which stands for Sea, Air, Land teams, are highly trained military personnel used in a variety of technical operations around the world including counter-terrorism missions.
The move to an all SEAL faculty comes after a ruling by the Arkansas Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies that revoked the Clarksville School Districts ability to train and arm teachers at their schools. Previously, the Board issued private security permits that would allow certain trained teachers to carry and conceal firearms while on campus. However, after an advisory opinion from Attorney General Dustin McDaniel stated that school districts could not be considered private security firms, the board reversed their decision.
In response to this decision, many school districts began looking for other ways to keep students safe while they are at school. It was at this point that the Department of the Navy, in charge of the Navy SEAL program, approached LRSD with a unique idea.
“The military has a real image problem right now.” Said Rear Admiral Carl Kowalski, in charge of public affairs for the Department of the Navy. “Between drones strikes, sexual assault cases, and everything else, the American people just don’t like the military as much as they use too. We are hoping this program helps show a softer side of the Navy, one that’s more then repelling down cliffs, blasting away from the hip with an assault rifle.”
The contract specifies that members of various SEAL teams will replace teachers at the High School and Middle School level, while on site platoons will station themselves permanently at the various Elementary Schools in the district. The SEALs will still remain on active duty, meaning that a school or even the entire district is subject to spontaneous shutdown if the SEALs are called on a mission. Due to the already rigorous training schedule, the SEALs are also not receiving any educational training before being put into their new positions.
Many have criticized the measure as an over reaction to the need for student protection but LRSD Superintendent Dr. Morris Holmes hailed the new program as a land mark in school safety. “These guys are highly trained killers. They don’t let anything get in their way from completing a mission. And I think that is exactly the type of personnel we need guarding are children so they can be safe for the future.” When asked about the lack of educational training among members of the Navy SEALs, Dr. Holmes had this to say. “Look, they may not know how to teach Biology, or Math, or History, or anything but taking apart a M4 rifle, but they know how to spot an IED. And I believe that our students safety comes well before their education.”
While the school board plans to continue to use their regular non-Special Forces teachers for the time being, the new SEAL program could go into effect as early as January of next year, just as soon as a catchy theme song and pre-movie commercial are created.