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Posted: 3/6/2001 9:23:33 AM EDT

CNNfyi.com - Maryland school district adds guns safety to curriculum - March 6, 2001
Maryland school district adds guns safety to curriculum

Health teacher Diane Steppling teaches a gun education lesson
at East Middle School in Carroll County, Maryland
March 6, 2001
Web posted at: 11:46 AM EST (1646 GMT)

From Jonathan Aiken
CNN Correspondent

WESTMINSTER, Maryland (CNN) -- A school district's mandatory gun
safety lesson has piqued the interest of a half-dozen states and
prompted state legislators to propose laws requiring all schools in
the state to offer the information.
But some experts say a gun safety program void of message
reinforcement at home is incomplete.
Carroll County schools in Maryland had already warned pupils about
the dangers of guns. But last August, the rural district -- 25 miles
northwest of Baltimore -- became the nation's first to make gun
safety a required lesson within its health and life classes from
kindergarten to 12th grade.
"We don't look at it as a polarizing effect on the community --
whether it's pro-gun, anti gun," said Bill Piercy, Carroll County
schools' assistant supervisor of staff development and health
education. "We look at it as a health and safety issue and that's
how we treat it in our classes."
The message is a simple one: "If you find a gun, stay clam. Leave.
Tell an adult right away."
The amount of time spent on the lesson, which is part of the
district's health curriculum, varies by grade level. In
kindergarten, students might get 15 to 30 minutes of instruction on
gun safety. But in 7th grade, curriculum writers proposed that
students get the lesson in one or two class periods during their
Stress and Coping Skills unit.
Seventh-graders dissect scenarios looking at the emotions and
consequences that come from contact with a firearm.
     The National Rifle Association's Eddie Eagle education
School officials met with parents, teachers, law enforcement
representatives and counselors to develop the lesson. It is modeled
after the National Rifle Association's Eddie Eagle program. But
Eddie Eagle is for students in kindergarten through sixth grade, and
the district wanted a program that would extend through 12th grade.
While state legislators are eager to have other schools duplicate
Carroll County's gun safety courses, limited research suggests
children who go through gun safety classes are just as likely to be
curious about a firearm as children who haven't had those lessons.
And some would like to see adult involvement beyond teachers.
"I have not seen evidence of significant, parental involvement in
the current gun safety education aimed at children in schools," said
Daniel Webster, assistant professor at the John Hopkins School of
Public Safety. "I think that is where I would like to see the
greatest improvement."

© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Link Posted: 3/6/2001 9:33:19 AM EDT
Just wait until HCI promotes their version of "gun safety" training.

There should be a re-creation of school shooting programs.  
Link Posted: 3/6/2001 9:52:09 AM EDT
I have not heard of this until now, surprising.  It will be interesting to see how it is carried out.
Link Posted: 3/6/2001 10:00:21 AM EDT
"limited research suggests
children who go through gun safety classes are just as likely to be
curious about a firearm as children who haven't had those lessons"

I bet research also shows that children who've had sex education are just as likely to be curious about sex too![sex]

Sex education may make sex safer, and so might gun education.
Link Posted: 3/6/2001 10:05:06 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/6/2001 10:35:14 AM EDT
Yes, it's true.  I live in Carroll County and my kids have been taught gun safety in school (and at home!).

Link Posted: 3/6/2001 10:40:01 AM EDT
Thats probably a good idea.  I hope they get good results.
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