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Gov. Walker uses 9/11 response as guide on preventing school shootings

MILWAUKEE -- Gov. Scott Walker is using the country's response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as a guidepost for a plan to prevent school shootings in Wisconsin.

A shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida left 17 dead on Valentine's Day and has sent politicians scrambling for answers. Wisconsin Assembly Republicans have approved grants to pay for armed guards in schools. Democrats have called for tougher gun control measures.

Walker said this week he was working with legislative leaders, school administrators and law enforcement officials to develop a "comprehensive plan" this year. Referencing the 2001 terrorist attacks, the governor said people have since accepted enhanced airport security.

"Today, we have great comfort when we go on an airplane knowing we've had to go through security to ensure our safety. To me, those are the sorts of things we're looking at (for schools)," Walker said.

Walker said he wasn't ready to announce specific proposals.

State Rep. John Jagler, R-Watertown, responded by saying he was interested in improvements to school buildings, including secure entrances, door locking systems, and additional video cameras.

State Rep. Eric Genrich, D-Green Bay, said on Twitter that the cost of armed guards -- the proposal approved by the Assembly -- was "daunting" and could be $2.5 million a year for Green Bay schools.

Rep. John Jagler

It's not clear how much the Walker plan would cost for school districts across the state.

Senator Tammy Baldwin

On Sunday, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin didn't dismiss plans for school building security or armed guards, but said the state needed "much bolder action."

She echoed students who are calling for gun control measures, including universal background checks on gun sales, after the Florida shooting.

"I think there's a lot of folks observing that this time, it's a little different, and I have to say, I hope it's a lot different," Baldwin said.

Walker and Baldwin agree that allowing teachers to carry guns in school shouldn't be part of a safety plan. Walker broke with several other Wisconsin Republicans in taking that position last week.