Wisconsin educators say arming teachers with guns is not a solution to school shootings

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Arming teachers with guns to keep schools safe is something state educators and anti-violence advocates are reacting to following Speaker Robin Vos' proposal on the matter.

This comes in the wake of this week's school shooting in Texas as solutions to mass gun violence are being debated across the board.

Wisconsin's top GOP Rep, Robin Vos said he would be open to the idea of arming teachers in Schools. Gov. Tony Evers was not in agreement with the idea and said he did not feel teachers would be either.

CBS 58 asked some Wisconsin educators about the idea of arming teachers.

"Absolutely not. Absolutely unsafe. It is not a sound road to go down in any way. Educators cannot and should never be armed in their classrooms or schools," said Amy Mizialko, President of the Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association.

Other Wisconsin educators said putting more guns in schools is not the answer.

"I think it's a horrible idea. I do not think we should arm teachers. I think we should trust teachers to do what they are trained to do. which is to teach our children," said Abigail Swetz, Communications Director for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Swetz says safety in schools has always been a priority. "We're doing a lot and it is never going to be enough until we have robust gun law reform in our state and in our country," said Swetz.

She says more guns in schools is a dangerous plan. "I think of so many worrisome, unintended consequences to something like arming teachers. The people who are suggesting it do not have the lived experience of being in a classroom," said Swetz. Anti-violence advocates agree and say Vos isn't the first to suggest arming teachers.

Jeri Bonavia, Executive Director for the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort Educational Fund says arming teachers is as bad of an idea now as it was years ago. "This idea was born in the aftermath of Sandy Hook. It has become a favorite talking point of the NRA (National Rifle Association)," she said.

"In their reaction to Sandy Hook they were searching for a solution that wouldn't decrease gun sales. They couldn't come out with an idea like ban assault weapons or limit the types of firearms that 18 year-olds can buy," said Bonavia.

She also says there's no research to support the idea that arming teachers would actually make schools safer and says the idea could really be dangerous in places like Milwaukee where gun violence is already an issue outside of schools.

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