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The Wauwatosa school board has taken a strong stance against guns on school grounds.

All members of the school board supported and signed a resolution Feb. 8 opposing any legislation that would allow possession of firearms on school grounds by those with a license to carry a concealed weapon.

The resolution is a response to a new Assembly bill in the Wisconsin State Legislature that would allow those with a license to carry a concealed weapon to possess a firearm on school grounds.

"I think overall, the whole concept, having guns near or at school, there's really no benefit to it," said Superintendent Phil Ertl. "I think there's quite a detriment to it."

The state bill would prohibit anyone from knowingly possessing a firearm in school buildings where instruction is provided and if signs have been posted at all entrances notifying those not to enter the building while possessing a firearm.

Ertl said he believes every entrance on school grounds already has a sign posted that no firearms are allowed inside, but said he doesn't think "schools should be a place where you have to post you can't bring guns."

Under the bill, a licensee who violates the prohibition is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor unless the licensee has a malicious intent, in which case they would be guilty of a Class I felony.

"The Wauwatosa School District School Board vehemently opposes any legislation that would allow guns to be possessed in or on School District property by anyone other than law enforcement," the resolution said.

Superintendent Phil Ertl said the bill allows for several problematic loopholes, including access to parking lots or outdoor athletic fields for those with a concealed carry license.

According to the district's resolution, the proposal would likely mean school boards could not prevent permit holders from carrying firearms at events like high school football games or basketball games played in field houses where instruction is not provided.

"We make a lot of conscious decisions when we take our kids to school," Ertl said. "Not having a gun on you can be another conscious decision."

"The Wauwatosa School Board looks to their first responders for their safety and security and believe that to have other people armed in a school or on the grounds of a school who may or may not be prepared and trained in accordance with rigorously thought-out plans jeopardizes the lives of innocent bystanders, police officers and children," the resolution said.

The bill was introduced Feb. 2 and has been referred to the Committee on State Affairs and Government Operations. Ertl said the school board will continue to follow up with lawmakers.

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