To: Katy Anthes, Superintendent of Education, Angelika Schroeder, State Board Chair, Joyce Rankin, State Board Vice Chair, Jane Goff, State Board Member CD7, Deb Scheffel, State Board Member CD4, Rebecca McClellan, State Board Member CD6, St...

Keep the pro-gun agenda out of our classrooms

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On June 13th the Colorado State Board of Education will vote on health standards for K-12 Students including a Republican amendment to require 4th grade teachers to teach about the benefits of gun ownership, rather than just the dangers. Colorado fourth grade students deserve to live in healthy violence free relationships. Guns in the home drastically increases the risk of injury and death, therefore it is vital that students understand the dangers of having weapons in the home. This information should not be glossed over by promoting gun ownership in the Colorado Academic Standards.

Why is this important?

On April 20, 1999, 13 people were killed and 21 were injured at Columbine High School in Jefferson County Colorado. Rather than this representing a one time or rare event, school shootings have continued in the United States. According to the Washington Post, over 187,000 students in 193 schools have experienced a school shooting since this tragic event. This does not include the thousands of children who have died due to accidental gun discharge, domestic violence, or private suicide since 1999. While parents vastly underestimate their children’s access to guns in the home, even in cases where firearms are adequately locked and stored, it is far more likely that gun owners will turn their weapons on themselves or their family than it is that they will ever use them in self-defense. It is vital that students learn early about the dangers of guns in the home and how to prevent conflicts from escalating into violence.

To that end revisions to the Colorado Academic Standards expected outcomes of fourth grade health standards includes the expectation that students can “explain the potential dangers of having weapons at home, in school, and in the community”. While this is a common-sense standard that will help reduce incidences of firearm related injury and death, Republican members of the State Board of Education, who have final approval authority over these standards, have suggested an amendment to these standards that includes the benefits of gun ownership. Needless to say, this is not an amendment that has the best interests of students at heart, rather it is a cynical political ploy to promote the progun agenda that has led to the United States having the highest number of firearm related injuries and deaths in the world.

I ask that the State Board of Education put student safety above political posturing and reject any amendments to the Colorado Health Standards that promotes gun ownership, particularly to students between the ages of 9 and 11. It is completely inappropriate in light of school shootings and ubiquitous gun violence to promote the so-called benefits of gun ownership within our public schools.

Reasons for signing

  • As a 4th grade teacher in Colorado, I am completely against this bill. I am in the majority. Trust teachers with the education of our children.
  • This is truly not an Avenue for conflict resolution.
  • I get to choose what I want to teach my children about guns and gun safety.

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