In Wisconsin, Bill May Permit Teachers, Aministrators to Carry Weapons

Following three school shootings in the past two weeks, including one in Cazenovia, Wis., state Rep. Frank Lasee, R-Bellevue, announced his plans to introduce a bill permitting teachers, principals, administrators, and school personnel to carry weapons Wednesday.

According to Lasee, similar laws have been enacted in Israel and Thailand after both countries experienced unparalleled levels of violence in their school systems.

"This might not be politically correct, but it has worked effectively in other countries," Lasee said in a statement. Lasee also went on to say he expects the issue to draw criticism from the liberal left.

"In their naive view, if there were no guns there would be no crime and we would all live in a peaceful, safer society and sing kumbiyah together," Lasee said. Several countries have tried this tactic and it has failed every time.

If the bill passes, teachers will not be required to carry guns, but it would be up to individual schools to instate the program. The principal of Madison Memorial High School, Bruce Dahmen said if the bill passes, the district's school board would make the decision.

However, Dahmen said he personally believes arming teachers is a drastic measure. Instead of weapons, Dahmen said the recent school violence demonstrates a need for administrators to build better relationships with their students.

Though Madison's four high schools each have two security guards and an armed officer on duty, Dahmen said what happened in some of our communities could happen in any school, if that was really the purpose behind someone's intentions.

Lasee said the bill would be beneficial because armed gunmen would be uncertain if school personnel were armed and would prevent future school shootings.

However, state Rep. Spencer Black, D-Madison, said the bill would not only fail to prevent future shootings, but could actually increase school violence.

"It will harm school safety because those guns can be taken from the teachers or principals and potentially be used," he said.

Black, a former high school teacher, said he believes assuming the position of armed guardsmen is an inappropriate role for teachers to take.

Though Black said the bill is a truly bad idea, he said he doesn't expect the bill to pass.

"The Legislature passes a lot of goofy things these days, he said. I think this bill is too bad an idea for even the current Legislature to pass."

(C) 2006 The Daily Cardinal via U-WIRE