Teaching gun safety in schools creates quandary, raises questions

An interesting debate has emerged in Virginia, now that the Virginia General Assembly has directed the state’s  Board of Education to develop materials for teaching gun safety to elementary school children.

The catch, according to an article in The Washington Post, is just what to incorporate into those lessons. The Assembly wants to include the National Rifle Association’s guidelines.   Some amendments were included in the final version. Virginians for Public Safety — a group that works closely with families of the Virginia Tech shooting victims — does not want the NRA to supply all of the material for the lessons.

And there are larger questions,  some of a more philosophical nature, notes Valerie Strauss of  The Answer Sheet blog.  Does it make sense, she asks,  “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, Strauss points out, adding that many schools are “struggling mightily to keep teachers employed.”

There are plenty of comments about the bill, w hich has generated a fair amount of controversy.

— Liz Willen

POSTED BY ON April 22, 2010