Parents, teachers discuss arming staff during West Bend School Board meeting
WEST BEND, Wis. (CBS 58) -- How would you react to guns in schools? What if it's only for trained staff? And would it be okay for a parent to conceal carry at pickup and drop-off?
A growing number of school boards are being asked those questions.
First came Germantown. Now it's West Bend. School districts themselves can't permit guns in schools because the state prohibits it. But what they can do is advocate for the law to change.
Uvalde, Texas lost 21 lives to gun violence. It was the 27th school shooting in the U.S. this year and school districts across the country are reacting -- some by training and arming staff.
"It's human nature to seek an answer. We don't have an answer to the school shootings," said Michelle Torder, parent.
Furious and fired up, West Bend parents addressed the school board Monday night as the question of guns in schools has found its way to Wisconsin.
"A gun-free zone makes schools a target and actually invites criminals with guns," said Marietta Bailey, grandparent.
This summer, the Germantown School Board signed a resolution requesting Wisconsin concealed carry weapon statutes be amended to allow a license holder to possess a firearm on school grounds and within school buildings.
Not all West Bend parents want the same.
"Arming school staff is not gonna make her safer at school," said parent Kate McCall.
"As a result, families will pull their children out. Teachers will leave or not apply here," said parent Jason Petterman.
But some do want to pressure Wisconsin lawmakers to repeal the Gun-Free School Zone Act.
"We either need more police presence in our schools or people highly trained to stop a threat in our schools," said parent Bill Schultz.
Germantown's State Representative Dan Knodl's committed to drafting legislation that would put guns in the hands of trained staff.
"I believe it helps with mental health because it's gonna give that peace of mind to students, to staff, to parents, to know that there's somebody on that school ground that could thwart, intercept, nullify immediately, a threat," said Rep. Knodl (R-Germantown).
Similar legislation's been shot down numerous times, typically along party lines.
"Concealed carries on school grounds, it's been introduced almost year after year for various years. And it hasn't gone anywhere and the reason it hasn't gone anywhere is because it's a really, really bad idea," said State Senator LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee).
For now, West Bend School Board members haven't taken action. Discussion has been sent to the policy committee for further debate, but as the violence continues, we're expecting more and more school districts to take up the issue.