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Sen. Krist: Gov. Ricketts wrong on wanting guns for teachers

“Bringing more guns into our classrooms is absolutely not the answer to gun violence”

LINCOLN, NE – Sen. Bob Krist, candidate for Nebraska Governor, said today that arming Nebraska teachers is not the answer to gun violence in our schools.

According to KETV News, during a visit to Holy Name Catholic School Tuesday, Gov. Pete Ricketts was asked about his position on arming teachers in schools. "I'm not opposed to it," Ricketts said, "I think what we want to do is have conversations about it."

“Once again the Governor is simply out of touch with Nebraska parents and teachers who are concerned with gun violence in our schools,” Krist said.

“During my 21-year career in the United States Air Force, I witnessed first hand the horrors of war and the inhumanity and brutality inflicted on innocent civilians by firearms. Bringing more guns into our classrooms is absolutely not the answer to gun violence,” he said.

“Instead of calling for more guns in schools, Gov. Ricketts should have supported real efforts to help with potential violence in our schools like supporting a bill that that would have provided more mental and behavioral health services for school children,” Krist said.

Under LB 998, introduced by Fremont Senator and Krist’s Lt. Governor running mate Lynne Walz, social workers would work with local school personnel to identify children in need of help, then connect those children and their parents with community resources. Gov. Ricketts vetoed the bill.

“I do not understand the reasoning behind the governor’s decision to deny mental health resources to our kids. Frankly it seems like he’s totally out of touch with educators and parents who are struggling to meet the needs of children with mental health issues,” Krist said.

Nebraska State Education Association President Jenni Benson also weighed in on the controversy of arming teachers: “Many of our students have already been traumatized by gun and other violence, and schools are one of the few places where they feel safe. Aside from trained law enforcement, anyone bringing guns into the school environment would reduce the ability of students to learn and to feel safe and secure,” Benson said.

“If elected, I would assign Lt. Governor Walz the priority task of assessing school safety needs in Nebraska in cooperation with the Nebraska State Patrol and local law enforcement,” Krist said.

“I am committed to preserving the rights granted to us in the 2nd Amendment to our Constitution. We also must concentrate on improving preventive measures such as mental health and criminal history,” he said. “And bringing more guns into schools is simply not the answer,” Krist said.

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