State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers, a Democratic candidate for governor, says in a fundraising email he is so opposed to teachers being able to defend themselves and their students that he is willing to go to jail.

“Instead of acting to reduce gun violence, Republicans want to give guns to teachers,” Evers wrote. “As a lifelong educator, I can say without any hesitation that I’d rather go to jail than arm teachers in our schools.”

There is no current Republican proposal in Wisconsin to “give guns to teachers.” There are proposals to allow teachers that have had the training to allow them to carry guns to defend themselves, including a proposal by state Attorney General Brad Schimel who has even offered to provide training.

However, the current Republican proposal being actively considered, which passed the state Assembly on February 20, is to allow school districts to receive grants for armed guards: 75 percent of a district’s cost in the first year, 50 percent in the second year, and 25 percent in the third. Republicans in the state Senate are also working on a plan and Governor Scott Walker said he will have a plan before March 20.

In addition, Evers is not a lifelong educator. Evers stopped teaching in a classroom in 1978, the same year Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI5) was first elected to Congress. After serving as a principal and a school superintendent, Evers joined the Department of Public Instruction in 1992. He has actually spent the majority of his adult life as an administrator and not as “a lifelong educator.”

According to Evers, “More guns will increase the danger for our kids, not reduce it.” But that’s not true. Had an armed guard been present in Lakeland, FL,  or if the school resource officer did his job, the casualties might have been much less. We know that in the case of the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, TX, an armed civilian (an NRA instructor with an AR-15) stopped the killer.

In fact, the opposite of what Evers said is true. In South Carolina, one would-be mass killer chose the local elementary school for his planned assault because they did not have an armed guard.

“Itll {sic} be like shooting fish in a barrel,” he wrote his friends.

The killer knew exactly how long it would take for the police to respond, figuring he could kill 40-50 children before the police arrived. Fortunately, the killer’s gun jammed, but not before he killed his father and a six-year-old at the school.

“Every classroom should be safe. Every teacher should feel safe. Every student should feel safe,” Evers wrote. But it’s interesting that Evers would actually vow to go to jail rather than allow teachers to defend themselves and their students from a killer. Nobody has proposed jailing the state schools superintendent for having silly ideas about gun control or placing his political ambitions above the welfare of students.

But if he’s really willing to self-impose prison, it’s too bad Evers isn’t willing to go to jail rather than continuing allowing thousands of Wisconsin children to attend failing schools on his watch with no hope that the state schools superintendent will do anything to stop it. Now that’s criminal.