Wisconsin’s Democratic attorney general candidate and Republican incumbent debated school safety, untested rape kits and medical marijuana Sunday night.
Democratic candidate Josh Kaul and current attorney general Brad Schimel discussed the idea of gun-free zones in schools — a current hot topic. Schimel said local officials should determine whether or not to arm teachers, not the state. He added teachers should receive firearm training if their school districts allow it.
“I don’t want students in any city in Wisconsin to go to a school where teachers are armed,” Kaul said. “It introduces a danger that is not present right now. It’s not safe for our kids.”
Kaul said he supports gun-free zones but does not support training teachers to carry guns within school grounds — he said only police officers should have firearms. He said arming teachers promotes a dangerous environment within the education system and causes unnecessary tension.
During the debate, Kaul also criticized Schimel for allowing a backlog of over 7,000 untested rape kits to accumulate in 2015.
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“The goal here is not simply to test these kits, it’s to get justice for survivors of sexual assault and there’s a lot of work left to be done to get justice,” Kaul said.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Schimel received backlash over a recent campaign advertisement where he said he has since worked to reduce the excess of untested rape kits.
However, less than half of these sexual assault charges have seen progress, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“On top of all the work we’ve done to solve the testing problem, we’ve also put in plan a procedure that’s going to make sure that this never happens again,” Schimel said.
Schimel and Kaul also remain divided over the issue of medical marijuana legalization. In the debate, Schimel said medical marijuana will increase danger, especially on Wisconsin roads.
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Kaul said legalizing medical marijuana will promote revenue across the state, emphasizing that studies suggest it is a safer alternative to opioids.
A recent Marquette Law School poll reported Schimel to be leading slightly as midterm elections approach. The incumbent holds 47 percent of support while Kaul has 43 percent.