Should public schools teach gun safety? Virginia schools may
What with the deep concern in the country that too many kids can’t read or write on grade level, and that most kids don’t know anything about financial literacy or can’t name the first five presidents, guess what subject the Virginia General Assembly wants public elementary schools to teach?
My colleague Rosalind S. Helderman, wrote that the legislature directed the state Board of Education to develop course materials on gun safety that incorporate the guidelines of a National Rifle Association program. Elementary schools in Virginia can then choose to use the program or not.
According to the legislation, the state’s curriculum must "incorporate, among other principles of firearm safety, accident prevention and the rules upon which the Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program offered by the National Rifle Association" is based.
According to the website:
“The Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program is a gun accident prevention program for children in pre-kindergarten through third grade. Using instructional materials including workbooks, an animated video, and student reward stickers, the program’s safety mascot, Eddie Eagle, teaches children that if they find a gun in an unsupervised situation, they should: STOP! Don’t Touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult.”
“The purpose of the Eddie Eagle Program isn’t to teach whether guns are good or bad, but rather to promote the protection and safety of children. The program makes no value judgments about firearms, and no firearms are ever used in the program.
"Like swimming pools, electrical outlets, matchbooks and household poison, they’re treated simply as a fact of everyday life. With firearms found in about half of all American households, it’s a stance that makes sense.”
It certainly makes sense for kids to learn not to touch a gun if they see one and to tell an adult.
But does it make sense for public schools to spend money on teaching gun safety when they are facing dramatic budget cuts -- the Virginia General Assembly just approved a cut of $646 million in public school funding over the next two years -- and are struggling mightily to keep teachers employed?
Or should that be left to parents?
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| April 21, 2010; 3:07 PM ET
Categories: Elementary School, Health | Tags: National Rifle Association, National Rifle Association and gun safety program, Virginia General Assembly and schools, Virginia schools, Virginia schools to teach gun safety, teaching gun safety, the NRA and gun safety
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