BHS, WHS Students join National School Walkout; State’s top cops weigh in

Posted at 11 a.m. on March 14, 2018

The Brillion News

A handful of students from Brillion High School joined in on the National School Walkout on Wednesday to demand stricter gun laws and an end to school massacres.

In Wrightstown, about two dozen students held a vigil in a small courtyard behind the high school, and later, held a brainstorming meeting with school staff to discuss concerns about school safety and recent mass shootings.

At Hilbert High School, seniors and Superintendent Tony Sweere developed a short assembly that was held this (Wednesday) morning. Names and ages of the students and teachers killed in Florida were read, and these was a discussion about how to prevent a school shooting incident.

There was no walk out at Hilbert, nor at Reedsville High School, where students did not take the initiative to hold a walkout. The school would have allowed one if the students wished, said Superintendent Tony Butturini.

At Brillion High School, with a Brillion Police Department squad car sitting off to the side, the students stood outside of the high school, along with Principal Pete Kittel, in 17 minutes of silence, for the 17 victims in last month’s school massacre in Parkland, Florida.

Wrightstown High Principal Scott Thompson said that the school faculty has drilled a mass casualty scenario, but without any students in the building. He said a mock shooting incident, with students, will be drilled in April so that students know what to do to save their lives and those of their friends, teachers and classmates.

IN RESPONSE TO INTEREST ABOUT RECENT MASS SHOOTING INCIDENTS, The Brillion News will be opening a discussion on the topic for community input on its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Brillion-News-Lake-to-Lake-Shopper-121151884576651/

STATE POLICE CHIEFS WEIGH IN

The Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association sent a letter to the governor and state lawmakers, giving its recommendations for addressing mass casualty incidents in schools.

The recommendations, in brief, are:

Violence in schools cannot be solved with arming teachers.  This is not their field of expertise and we believe more harm than good would come of this. • Sufficient funds should be allocated to increase the number of school resource officers who are fully trained law enforcement officers and not merely armed security guards, who do not come close to law enforcement training standards. • Sufficient funds should be allocated for school security improvements. Improvements needed include: a single secure access point, securely locked exits throughout the school, security cameras which law enforcement can view in real time, metal detectors, school resource officers, and alarm systems on emergency exits and all classroom doors. School districts should be allowed to exceed state-imposed revenue limits for security related expenditures. • Sufficient funds should be allocated for mental health services for teachers, students, and kids who need help. While policymakers have spent sufficient time studying the broken mental health service delivery system, there has been no comprehensive and sustainable effort to address the insufficient funding for the crushing demands of those in need of mental health services. Provide funds for training, including trauma informed care for teachers, guidance counselors, and school coaches so they can recognize potentially violent behavior from students. Currently, there is “no one” responsible for follow-up with troubled individuals. Additional educational resources for expelled students should be considered. The current system is underfunded, and operations are independent of one another, which is why critical communication is intermittent, uncoordinated, and sporadic. • Increase funding for more anti-bullying programs in our schools so those students who see the use of a gun as a method to take out their frustration learn better coping skills and maintain school environments that are compassionate about differences. • Provide authority and additional funding for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to develop rules to help schools implement school safety plans that include guidelines that specify procedures for emergency prevention and mitigation. • Require schools to submit their building blue print plans to local law enforcement agencies to be used as a tactical tool, if ever needed. • Provide sufficient funding for school crisis teams to evaluate threats in schools before they become actual threats. • Require Universal Background Checks for all gun purchases. • Mandate mental health background checks for anyone under the age of 21 to assess whether someone is having mental health difficulties and should not be allowed to purchase a hand gun. Add Florida language signed into law last week that bans people deemed “mentally defective” or who have been committed to a mental institution from owning or possessing firearms until a court grants relief. • Create a lethal violence protective order (LVPO) process in Wisconsin that mirrors existing temporary restraining order (TRO) and injunction processes through our courts, just as Florida just passed last week. This will create a process for family members and law enforcement to petition a court to have someone’s guns taken away if that person poses a lethal threat to themselves or others. • Reinstate a 48-hour waiting period for gun purchases that was repealed in 2015 or extend to 72 hours or three days, just like Florida law that passed last week.

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