NewsLocal News


Parents weigh-in on Wisconsin Attorney General's push to arm teachers

Posted at 10:45 PM, Feb 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-21 13:50:56-05

The Florida school shooting has a lot of people looking for solutions. One idea from Wisconsin's Attorney General would be to give guns to teachers.

Republican Brad Schimel says he'll provide gun training forteachers if state lawmakers agree. He also thinks each school district should be able to choose for itself whether to arm teachers.

"We recognize that while we cannot stop all bad things from happening, there are steps we can take," Schimel said. "The best defense we can have is to be ready, and have some people in each school specially trained."

The question is, would giving guns to teachers make parents feel more confident that their children are safe at school?

"I think it's absurd to arm our teachers," said Kelly Cantwell, of Milwaukee, who has a kindergartner and third-grader. "I feel like that makes it a more unsafe environment for our kids. I want there to be fewer guns and less access to them. I feel like as soon as you start putting more guns in, there's more of a chance for accidental deaths."

Others feel the exact opposite.

"The deterrent factor would be huge," said Nik Clark, a parent and gun advocate. "Anyone who wanted to do harm would know that some teachers in the school are armed. When it's a life or death situation, the teacher is the last line of defense. They don't have to carry the gun at all times. They could have a biometrics lock box that is activated by their fingerprints, so they were the only ones who could access it in an emergency. I'd be disappointed if there are not teachers in every school who are willing to go through training."

Schimel says he's ready to provide training to teachers.

"I'll tell you this, I will make sure the Department of Justice trains them," he said. "And not just minor training. We'll put them through scenario training, and repeat it so that it comes something they're comfortable with. One of the most important things is avoiding the panic instinct."

Schimel's Democratic opponent for Attorney General, Josh Kaul, says it's alarming that anyone would think arming teachers is a good idea. 

State lawmakers are in the last days of their legislative session, so it's unlikely they will take up this issue this time around.