Wisconsin lawmaker wants armed volunteers in schools

CREATED Feb 3, 2013 - UPDATED: Feb 3, 2013

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SHOREWOOD - Lawmaker Don Pridemore is backing a controversial proposal.

It would allow citizens to arm themselves and volunteer at schools in hopes of preventing a Newtown-type attack in the future.

"I just think that's sending out the wrong message to kids," parent Shalanna Wright says.

Wright is the mother of a 2nd grader at Lake Bluff Elementary School in Shorewood. She says this isn't the way to improve school safety.

"I just think that guns teach kids the wrong message, especially in school," Wright says.

Pridemore will challenge state Superintendent Tony Evers in the upcoming spring election. He says allowing armed current and former police officers to volunteer their time protecting schools could prevent another incident like what happened in Newtown.

"If the school system had that ability and has the force available, people will think twice," Pridemore says.

"I believe it is [the solution], but it's a local decision," Pridemore says.

The images of Newtown still haunt parent Karina Rangel.

"It was just devastating, just thinking like it could have been my daughter," Rangel says.

She says Pridemore's idea would make her daughter's school safer.

"It would just be another resource where you know your kids are safe and stuff," Rangel says.

Pridemore would also support allowing teachers and administrators to arm themsevles with guns. He's in the process of getting input from several school districts.