Attorney General Brad Schimel outlines plan to make schools safer

Posted at 10:18 PM, Apr 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-24 23:18:13-04

Better security locks and safer, shatterproof windows are all on the list of possibilities to make Wisconsin schools safer.

Attorney General Brad Schimel discussed the $100 million now up for grabs for school safety improvements with TODAY'S TMJ4 on Tuesday.

Schimel says the goal is to update and upgrade school security in buildings, train more staff, especially in trauma-informed care to identify kids who need help and strengthen the bond between schools and law enforcement.

"Our main purpose is to make Wisconsin schools as safe as anywhere," said Schimel.

$100 million is a lot of money but when you break it down to the 3,100 schools in the state that averages about $32,000 per school.

Schimel says some of it will be used for basic needs, "The primary grants are going to get schools to a certain baseline level where all classrooms will have locking doors."

Schimel says the money is not available to pay staff. Instead, schools can opt for more innovative ideas.

"The advance grants that schools will apply at the same time will have all sorts of other things," said Schimel. "Like if they want to put video surveillance systems in, they want to put in communications systems."

Schimel backs giving schools the option to train teachers to carry guns but that's not legal in Wisconsin right now. Democrats suggested the state needs better gun control and mental health laws.

"I don't think the debate about school safety is done," said the Attorney General. "But what we wanted to accomplish was something we could get bipartisan consensus on and we got it passed in about a week and a half."

Schimel wants schools to move fast on the requests so security improvements can be in place by the start of the next school year.