RUSD school board candidate, Kristie Formolo has carved out an unusual niche for herself on her campaign Facebook page as the "pro-gun" candidate.
Given the number of challenges currently facing the Racine school district - it's an edgy decision.
About a week and a half ago, we pointed out that Formolo was a strong supporter of Assembly Rep. Don Pridemore, currently running for State School Superintendent. We found it compelling because Pridemore had just come out with a statement regarding his support for allowing school staff and volunteers to carry handguns in elementary schools - not retired or off duty police officers - volunteers.
It's a rather controversial position.
Ms. Formolo wrote to us thanking us for giving Pridemore a plug - apparently unaware of our target audience. This is what she said:
"For the record, I do support teachers, principals and staff being able to protect themselves and the children in our schools. This can be as simple as taking self-defense classes or taking a gun safety class. Our Racine High Schools have had armed law enforcement in some of our schools for at least 20 years. I don't recall a single incident where one of the officer's guns discharged and injured a student. Since most Elementary and Middle schools don’t have armed security, utilizing retired law enforcement officers or retired military might be an innovative way to help protect these most vulnerable children. It may also help to keep the costs down and it is definitely something that Wisconsin and local school districts should be actively pursuing."This was a bit of a weasel in our opinion. Pridemore said staff and volunteers - not security guards. So we wrote her back and asked her clarify if she supported arming school staff and volunteers in elementary schools - Formolo did not respond.
Formolo has a total of seven posts on her campaign page including her endorsement of Pridemore, five are rather generic and one is totally weird - it's a video created by Mills Fleet Farm Owner, Stewart Mills as a message to his state representatives that is one part Fleet Farm target range commercial and one part 2nd Amendment rant.
After you get through eight minutes of Mills trying to prove that duck rifles are more dangerous than an AR-15 (right?!), Mills get down to his bullet points (bullet- get it?):
- We as a people must stand together and reject any erosion of our 2nd Amendment rights.
- Gun free zones are killing our kids.
- We need to put armed security in our schools now.
We imagine Mr. Mills would very must like to be the vendor of all those arms...but you get the point.
While he's at it, Mills throws in a few bones about taxes and taking away our guns - standard paranoia stuff.
Once again Formolo goes with the guns on her campaign Facebook page and has expanded the discussion to include the elimination of gun free zones on school property. We checked the other candidates webpages and no one else is talking about arming janitors or anyone else - clearly Formolo has carved a spot out for herself and it's a lot more interesting than mill rates and test scores.
Let's get this conversation going shall we?