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Supporters rally behind teacher arrested for gun at school

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May 24, 2013|by Brian Heap | Factfinder 12 Investigator

(WICHITA, Kan.) — With clipboard in hand, Kimberly Lowmiller trolled garage sales in a west Wichita neighborhood Friday.

She wasn't looking for bargains.  She was looking for signatures.

"My friend, Daniel.  I don't know if you heard about him on the news," she said to a stranger.

Lowmiller asked Wichitans to sign a petition to keep her friend Daniel Nagel employed as a teacher.  Nagel was suspended earlier this week after another employee at White Elementary saw him with a gun.
 
"We all have brain farts, you know and do silly things," Lowmiller said.  "I think his heart was in the right place."

Lowmiller believes Nagel armed himself to keep students safe.  She thinks a suspension is punishment enough.

"There's some crazy people out there, I'm sure.  But Daniel's not one of them," she said.

Reaction has been mixed since Nagel's arrest Monday.  And not everyone Lowmiller encountered was comfortable signing her petition.

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"He knew the rules and he broke them and so there should be no leeway there," said Chris Whalen.
            
A parent from White Elementary has started a supportive online petition.  Stacy Barngrover hopes "Stand with Dan" will not only save Nagel's job, but create some new laws in Kansas.

For now, the law is clear there are no guns allowed on campus.  Nagel's future with the school district is unclear.  He is scheduled to appear in court June 11th for a misdemeanor gun charge.

Supporters rally behind teacher arrested for gun at school
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