Local veteran pushes for school safety program

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, a lot of ideas on school safety have been discussed.

Now, one Oklahoma veteran and father of four is pushing for an unpaid volunteer program where veterans would use what they learned in battle should violence erupt.

"I'm tired of seeing kids get shot and killed," said Kris Molskness. "It's gotta stop."

He's spending time at the State Capitol, going door-to-door, telling lawmakers about an exploratory pilot program he and other local vets are working on called "Veterans Protecting Kids."

"We're trained to run headlong into the gunfire to go and help whoever we can," Molskness said.

He says it would be similar to the Federal Air Marshal program. Plainclothes veterans would volunteer in some capacity at the schools - whether it be as an assistant coach, library aid or even someone who has or gets a teaching degree and becomes an assistant teacher.

"It will be like a normal 9 to 5 job for them," Molskness said. "They would be in the building. They'll be in the facility, wherever it's at and heaven forbid, should we ever have another incident, they'll be in place to act."

All the while - they would be prepared to act without weapons.

"Any additional gun that you actually put in the educational environment is too much of a liability, whether it's an accident or something intentional," Molskness said.

He says their initial reaction to would be to get as many kids to safety possible while trying to figure out where the gunfire is coming from. Then they would try to isolate the threat with a non-lethal type of force.

Kris spoke with Representative Mickey Dollens who has been in the safety discussions at the capitol since the shooting in Florida.

"There's a knee-jerk reaction that we must arm teachers right now and we have veterans like Kris who say no, we have other options," Dollens said.

He says he is very interested in the program but has some concerns, primarily making sure all veterans go through strict background checks.
Kris says others have shown similar concern, but insists all applicants would have to go through strict background and mental health checks to ensure volunteers aren't going through PTSD or have any issues that could get in the way of them protecting kids.

"I'm not looking for a glory chaser," Molskness said. "Our organization isn't looking for someone to add another ribbon to their chest. We're looking for someone who is fed up with the situation as it is and has the time to volunteer already. We love this country and we love our kids and it's time to start protecting tomorrow's future today."

For more information on the Veterans Protecting Kids program, you can visit their Facebook page.

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