Editor’s Note: This post was updated on February 3, 2020, after the original article published on December 20, 2018, contained misleading information. This original article failed to mention or indicate that parents may opt their kids out of these gun safety courses. The titling and copy have been edited to reflect the clear lines and rules of the Clarksville and North Butler school districts. As always, here at Rare, we are committed to accurate reporting and always want to be transparent with our readers by providing the correct information.
Two rural Iowa school districts have updated their school curriculum, requiring middle school students to take a firearms safety course this spring. Students from Clarksville and North Butler school districts will learn how to safely handle a gun during a physical education course, focused on hunter safety.
The superintendent for both districts, Joel Foster, said these courses will be done in hopes to prepare students to react in the event of an active shooter situation and put an end to unwanted gun violence. In the United States, a total of 328 people have died in the 207 mass shooting this year alone, injuring another 1,251.
During the course, students will use inoperable guns with replica ammunition. They will learn how to load and unload ammunition, how to hold and care for firearms and how to safely carry a gun. Students will also learn how to recognize when a firearm is loaded.
These gun safety courses are said to offer an alternative to “sitting on your hands and not doing anything” while being practical to handle things in the best possible way if something occurs. School officials believe that through education, children will learn that guns aren’t’ toys.
The hunter safety course is expected to last a week and will be taught by a naturalist from the Butler County Conservation Board. Of course, parents do have the option to have their children sit out on the lesson. But, according to Foster, he has had no negative feedback from parents after releasing the blog post on the district’s website.
The course will require for all seventh and eighth-graders in the North Butler district and all eighth-graders in Clarksville district. Students will have the option of taking a similar safety course during the evening. Personally, I can see why this could be a great idea, especially after all the school shooting that occurred this year. Teaching children that guns aren’t toys, and showing them that can seriously harm anyone around them could put an end to so many accidents. My advice? Maybe make these safety courses for high school students as well, I’m sure they could learn a lesson or two.