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Pulaski teacher reflects on emotional aftermath of Texas school shooting, condemns arming staff

Posted at 10:17 PM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 23:17:23-04

PULASKI, Wis. (NBC 26) — Corinne Galligan is a teacher in the Pulaski school district. She found out from her sister about the mass shooting at a Texas school.

"There are no words," she said. "That could be us at any point in time."

The music instructor at Fairview and Hillcrest Elementary teaches 4K through 5th grade. Galligan says it's taken some time to adjust after the shooting.

"It's like 'okay, get it together,'" she said. "'You've got children coming in.' That's another thought that comes up is 'oh boy, how are we gonna deal with it with the kiddos?'"

She's leaving the job in about a week after nine years to pursue a PhD.

"Sandy Hook was the day before I graduated with my undergrad degree," Galligan said. "So having things bookending my elementary teaching portion of my career is heartbreaking."

Galligan says students practice intruder drills.

On Thursday, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told the AP he's open to arming teachers in Wisconsin.

"I did not go to school to shoot to kill to save my babies," Galligan said. "I also didn't go to get shot and save my babies."

"Having school officials armed is really nothing new," Brian Dorow, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said. "They allow it in other states."

Dorow says all options should be on the table.

"You may find someone on a voluntary basis," he said. "Maybe someone is a teacher and has a former military background, maybe a former law enforcement background."

And he says schools should be 'super' prepared for any potential intruders moving forward.

"We can't become complacent and think this is a way of life for us," Dorow said.

Before she leaves her teaching job, Galligan is advocating for additional mental health support.

"All of us just need to work on coming to the table with solutions and be willing to communicate," she said. "And communicating isn't just talking, it's also listening."