Keep Your Guns Out Of My School. Period.

"It'll be a sad day for this country if children can safely attend their classes only under the protection of armed guards." ~ President Dwight D. Eisenhower (Republican)


Current law in Wisconsin allows for only on-duty law enforcement officers to be able to carry a weapon within 1,000 feet of a school building, but if Republicans get their way, changes could be in effect.

State Representative Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) is trying to reintroduce a bill (which failed last session) that would allow retired and off duty law enforcement officials to carry concealed weapons in and around school premises. Crazier yet, is the statement from Republican State Representative Don Pridemore (running for state superintendent of public instruction) which says he would support school districts arming teachers, staff or volunteers to protect student safety. This thought process is backed by Republican State Senator, Mary Lazich, who "represents" Greendale, and has said she is willing to sign such an irresponsible bill.

I completely understand that is a guaranteed right as an American citizen to bear arms, but the right to bear arms does have its limits. Should anyone be allowed to bear whatever arms they feel necessary, wherever they feel necessary? Should a 79 year old retired cop be able to carry a concealed semi-automatic weapon into a kindergarten class when he picks up his grandson? Should a "volunteer" be able to walk around the playground with a concealed semi-automatic weapon strapped to his inner thigh while my seven year old plays tag with his friends? No. And should I have a say so? Yes. Because I am a damn parent, and this is MY SCHOOL, not an outlet for vigilantes or bored members of the NRA.

BEFORE your right to bear arms, comes the right that my family has to "LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Having anyone except a fully-trained, full-time school resource officer patrol anywhere near my school with a loaded weapon is not my idea of "liberty" or "happiness." And frankly, teaching our children that the best way to deal with gun violence is to bring more guns into the schools - Well, that is pretty damn insane. That is like saying the best way to stop bullying is to become the bully yourself.

The Republican party in Wisconsin doesn't want to let health teachers with four year degrees instruct our children on how to protect themselves if they decide to have sex, or give them the proper understanding of their body, but they are more than willing to allow any volunteer who manages to sit through a four hour conceal/carry class to "protect" our kids with guns. I don't understand the logic. In fact, if you own or carry a gun, you are more likely to become a victim of gun violence.

The most recent studies show that if you own a gun, you are 4.5 times MORE likely to be a victim of gun violence. So now the question is, "Do we really want to put our children at 4.5 times more risk of being the victims of gun violence to satisfy a politician's desire to get an "A" rating from the NRA? 

In just this past year in Greendale we have had an armed robbery of an apartment where the thieves were after the resident's stash of guns (including a semi-automatic rifle with a grenade launcher), multiple calls for domestic violence where household guns were involved in threats against their spouse, and a case where an off duty police officer accidentally dropped his service weapon while at Southridge mall and injured a local high school student. 

I would think that the last thing any responsible parent or teacher wants more of in, or around their children's school, is guns. But don't take my word for it - Take the word of a teacher, who has a few thoughts about how teachers should be armed:

"You want to arm me? Good. Then arm me with a school psychologist at my school who has time to do more than test and sit in meetings about testing. 

Arm me with enough counselors so we can build skills to prevent violence, have meaningful discussions with students about their future and not merely frantically adjust student schedules like a Jenga game. 

Arm me with social workers who can thoughtfully attend to a student's and her family's needs so I. Can. Teach.

Arm me with enough school nurses so that they are accessible to every child and can work as a team with me rather than operate their offices as de facto urgent care centers.

Arm me with more days on the calendar for teaching and learning and fewer days for standardized testing.

Arm me with class sizes that allow my colleagues and me to know both our students and their families well.

Arm my colleagues and me with the time it takes to improve together and the time it takes to give great feedback to students about their work and progress.

Until you arm me to the hilt with what it will take to meet the needs of an increasingly vulnerable student population, I respectfully request you keep your opinions on schools and our safety to yourself NRA. Knock it off." 

see blog here


I understand that mildy "trained" teachers carrying guns in a school is very different than retired or off duty officers carrying guns in schools, or is it? 

Unlike the teachers, the majority of these officers will have NO IDEA who most of the staff, kids or parents of that school are. They will not recognize or know the "troubled' students from the non-troubled students. They might not know a dad picking up his daughter from a pervert in a mini van. They will also likely not know the layout of the school buildings or grounds, entrances and exits, or the office staff.

But most importantly, none of these retired law enforcement officers will be required to take courses dealing with youth, which is what they will be doing, and with a loaded, concealed weapon. 

Greendale high school (as do most high schools) has a full-time, on-duty resource officer attached to the school. The officer is trained to deal with youth and is familiar with the school personnel, student population and grounds. If one school resource officer is not enough, fine, add more - with that funding come from the state or the funds budgeted for law enforcement, not the public schools.

Don Pridemore and Mary Lazich apparently think that bored and retired cops and vigilantes should show up in our kid's schools with a concealed weapon and play poker in the corner of the study hall until a bad guy shows up with their own gun, or worse yet, walk around looking for someone suspicious, whatever the hell that means. That line of "thinking" is crazy.

I have nothing against police officers - Half of the guys I played football with in high school became police officers. Some of them I would trust with my life, others I wouldn't trust to sit my dog, much less walk around my kids' school hallway with a loaded weapon, especially if they do not have the proper training or demeanor for such duty. Patrolling the mean streets of the city is FAR, FAR different than patrolling an elementary school. Would you want an off-duty teacher to patrol your neighborhood, come into your home without permission and start tutoring your kid because the teacher thought they needed it?

Yes, as a gun owner, you have the right to defend yourself - But as citizens, the right that my children have to their own life supersedes your right to carry a gun. And by putting more people with more guns in more places with children, you only succeed in threatening the right my children have to their life.

"It'll be a sad day for this country if children can safely attend their classes only under the protection of armed guards." ~ President Dwight D. Eisenhower (Republican) & Five Star WWII General

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

J. B. Schmidt February 09, 2013 at 01:54 AM
@Jason Are you planning on sending your children to GHS with that armed officer? As it appears it already has become a 'into a hunting ground for vigilantes' based on your assumption that killers are attacked to areas where there are armed guards. By the way can you provide proof for that? You also failed to address anything I discussed. What is your answer to the killer stopped in Atlanta (or was that kid magnetically attracted to the gun)? How many counselors are needed to prevent Aurora and Sandy Hook when I can tell you that in Atlanta a single armed guard was needed? Lastly, can you provide the details on you '4.5 times' number because I believe it is based on on only possession, not strict ownership. I would like to see the study.
Jason Patzfahl February 09, 2013 at 03:38 PM
Because depending on how far Republicans go, teachers or armed volunteers will be in the same building as our kids, thus making them, along with themselves, 4.5 times more likely to draw gun violence in. Since it seems that the people committing these crimes don't fear death, why would the thought of someone else with a gun even deter them? They will just bring more guns with more rounds - if that's possible... And no, I don't want vigilantes or patrolling with 100 semi-automatic weapons to match that of the possible shooter. And you won't find one parent, student or teacher from Sandyhook saying they wish they had vigilantes patrolling their school. In fact, many have spoken out in favor of stricter gun laws.
Jason Patzfahl February 09, 2013 at 03:48 PM
@ JB ~ A full-time armed resource officer is NOT a vigilante - far from it, and they are trained PROPERLY (see story above). I am not familiar with the Atlanta story, but I am familiar with: Newton United http://newtown.patch.com/articles/newtown-united-grassroots-group-seeks-to-reduce-gun-violence I am also familiar with Jeanne Assam, the off duty police officer responsible for stopping a mass shooting in a Colorado church before it got worse - who has spoken out IN FAVOR of stricter gun laws. ~ She was familiar with ALL of the church goers, a member of the church, and not a vigilante volunteer. If we need more armed resource officer attached to schools, fine, but they must be on duty law officers trained to deal with youth on a full time basis so that they and the staff and students are very familiar with each other.
J. B. Schmidt February 09, 2013 at 06:07 PM
@Jason What kind of training does an officer need to deal with kids? An officer would be there for safety. His training needs to be in protecting when danger strikes. The school staff needs to be the ones identifying troubled students and ensuring they are given proper attention. The biggest problem within the school system is 1) we can't call out the troubled kids for fear of labeling; which then leads to 2) aggressively going after meaningless things like paper guns, hands as guns or pretend grenades that are meant to hold back fictional evil forces (all recent news stories). We want to give them condoms with proper 'how to' instructions, but pretend guns and violence are off limits. We attack bullying, but as parents allow games that give you points aggressive behavior. We want our public schools to be chapels of saintly living, while houses are pumped full of the raw sewage erupting from our flat screens. More counseling in the schools while the American family remains broken is like trying to increase your cars performance by properly inflating the tires and not addressing the seized engine. We as adults (as in the article you provided) want kids to make the move (ie bring in their violent games), but how many are ready to step in, be the bad guy and forbid them? The answer does not exist in what the school can or should do; but, it exists in families where parents understand that while everything may be permissible, not everything is acceptable.
CowDung February 10, 2013 at 12:16 AM
Jason: Is the gun-victim of violence statistic causation or correlation? I think you are assuming causation, even though you should know that correlation does not necessarily imply causation. You keep throwing that 'vigilante' term out there. Is there any proposal by any elected officials that actually calls for 'vigilantes' rather than people trained to act as guards at the schools?


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