Shortly following a DPI proposal on school safety and a Democrat-introduced school safety bill, Governor Walker has announced a special session to consider $100 million dollars for school safety proposals. However, unlike proposals from the DPI that call for long-term solutions aimed at school safety improvements and mental health support for students, Governor Walker’s plan militarizes the school environment.
“Armed guards and airport like security do not create comfortable learning environments,” said Kim Kohlhaas, AFT-Wisconsin President and former educator from Superior, Wisconsin. “After years of funding cuts in public education, our schools are in crisis and starved for resources. Armed guards are going to put students on edge; rather than keep all of us safe.”
The Walker administration plan does not include any funding for additional mental health professionals, such as counselors, social workers, and school psychologists. Instead, the plan focuses on a creating a prison-like environment, with more police and guard presence.
“Educators know that the solutions to school safety don’t lie in more armed guards,” said Kohlhaas. “When we invest resources in making sure our students are mentally and emotionally well, then we will see safer schools and communities.”