John Oliver delivered an impassioned plea on tonight’s Last Week Tonight in opposition of the inevitable rise of support for increased police presence on school campuses.
In the wake of the Uvalde shooting several weeks ago, Oliver took conservative pundits to task over their solutions to the increase of school shootings.
Despite the presence of police officers on both the campuses of Robb Elementary School and Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where shootings cumulatively took the lives of over 30 students, Fox News personalities endorsed a variety of measures in lieu of gun control. One even advocated for the use of artistic ballistic blankets to be hung on school windows.
“What are you talking about? ‘Use a blanket’ is not a strategy for stopping deaths during a school shooting,” Oliver said. “It’s barely a solution for ‘there’s a bird in the house.’”
Though he personally believes the only thing to do is to legislate meaningful gun control, Oliver spent the rest of the segment dispelling the notion that increased police presence will actually prevent school shootings.
Citing a 2019 study from the Journal Of Adolescent Health, no evidence could be found across 179 school shootings that campus police lessened the severity of a incidents.
On the whole, Oliver showed that school police, an entity that has arrested a total of 54,321 students in a calendar year, often misdirect their power towards the disabled and students of color, mentioning an example of an autistic teenager being arrested for carving his name into the sidewalk.
Oliver advocated to channel school police funding towards more counselors, nurses and resources that protect students.
“When we throw more cops into schools as an easy way out of that difficult and necessary conversation, we not only fail to keep our kids safe from gun violence we condemn them to a system that criminalizes the very essence of childhood,” Oliver said.
“Kids deserve to be annoying without being arrested, to be sad and angry without being body slammed. They deserve to have tantrums, throw carrots, do science experiments, talk s*** and carve their names into stuff without risking being in the back of a police car.”
“They definitely deserve better than the fundamental lie the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy who can arrest a five year old.”