Mandatory gun training launched for middle-schoolers: ‘Education out performs fear mongering’

 

(Video screenshot)

Thanks to the wisdom of local school officials, seventh and eighth-grade students in two Iowa school districts will be required to enroll in a mandatory hunter safety course starting next year. But the goal isn’t to just teach the kids about hunting — it’s to educate them about firearms.

“It’s not just about kids that are going to be hunters,” Joel Foster, the superintendent of both Clarksville Community School District and North Butler Community Schools said to station KGAN.

“It’s about all kids learning how to handle a firearm in a safe manner. Any time that a kid might be exposed to a firearm they need to make sure they know how to handle it and make sure it’s safe.”

According to Foster, a local school board member broached the idea during a discussion about school safety. While it’s unclear when exactly the discussion occurred, it likely happened after the tragic mass shooting at Florida’s Stoneman Douglas High School last February.

“We’ve done everything to make (the school) as safe as possible at school with cameras, locks,” Foster added in a statement to The Des Moines Register. “We would like them to be able to deal with a situation that comes up.”

The goal is to prepare students to react to active shooter situations. Studies have confirmed that when it comes to guns safety, both education and experience count for everything.

“During the course, students will use inoperable guns with replica ammunition,” the paper noted. “They will learn how to load and unload ammunition and hold and care for firearms. … They’ll also learn how to safely carry a gun and how to recognize when a firearm is loaded.”

The course will last a week and be taught by Steve Martin, a naturalist with the Butler County Conservation Board. Speaking with KGAN, he said he was happy to teach local kids not only about firearm safety but “ethics and personal responsibility” as well.

While the course is mandatory, parents averse to guns may opt their kids out of it. As for older students in the districts’ high schools, an optional version of the course will be available.

“What we do best is educate our kids,” Foster told Radio Iowa. “We feel if we educate our kids in how to use weapons responsibly, how to respect them, understand it’s not a video game and those sort of things, that maybe we’ll cut down on our chances of having a severe incident.”

He expounded further on this line of thinking during an interview with WNYC Studios.

Listen:

HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE MISSING …

“As a school administrator my first responsibility is to provide a safe learning environment for the students and staff in both of the school districts that I serve,” he said. “In the time that I have been in education I have had to deal with the loss of students in several ways, and regardless of how it happens, it never gets easier to deal with. Each time it occurs it takes a piece of you.”

He added that he was bothered by the scathing attacks he’s faced from radical left-wing political activists like Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action.

“I am really saddened that this is even something that we have to think about discussing within schools (as far as gun safety) but it has become a reality in our society today-I have 5 school age children in one of the school districts myself,” he said.

“What is worse is that people have taken something that is innocent and done out of pure care and concern for our children and attempt to turn it into a political issue. It is not a political issue. Plain and simple, our job is to educate our children-whatever the topic.”

Many on social media agree:

HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE MISSING …

Vivek Saxena

Comments

Latest Articles