Bill would require schools to teach gun safety to elementary - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Bill would require schools to teach gun safety to elementary school students

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SCOTT CITY, MO (KFVS) -

In the wake of another school shooting, Missouri lawmakers are working to come up with a way to make schools safer.

One Missouri Senator thinks he has the solution.

The proposal requires training for teachers and school employees on how to respond if a student gives them information on a threatening situation--or if there is a dangerous intruder in the school.

Missouri Senator Dan Brown's bill also requires public schools to teach gun safety programs to first grade students.

The program doesn't teach kids how to use guns, but instead what to do if they find one.

Carie Boswell is a first grade teacher at Scott City Elementary School and says she thinks teaching kids about gun safety is necessary.

"You can't assume that parents are teaching their kids these things," said Carie Boswell, Scott City teacher. "From having taught for so many years, you come to realize that there's a lot of things you think are being taught, and they're not. So I think it's probably going to be left up to the schools, to step in and try to educate children to keep them safe"

The program uses a cartoon eagle, Eddie Eagle, to help teach about gun safety.

The eagle cartoons have already been used in classrooms to teach kids how to be safe around water and fire.

Missouri Senator Dan Brown introduced Senate Bill 75.

The bill requires Missouri public elementary and secondary schools to provide training for teachers and school employees on what to do if a student gives them information on a threatening situation or if there is a dangerous intruder in the school.

It will also require the schools to teach gun safety to first grade students. The bill suggests Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program, but allows schools to use a similar program with the same qualifications.

The program doesn't teach kids how to use guns, but instead what to do if they find one.

"Stop, don't touch, leave the area, tell an adult," sings Eddie Eagle in the NRA provided video.

A catchy tune and friendly cartoon characters might be the way Missouri public schools teach kids about gun safety.

"You don't know who's going to come up on something, whether it's in a home, outside at the park, playing in the neighborhood, you just don't know," said Boswell.

Boswell believes teaching gun safety to youngsters is a good idea.

"Kids need to be taught, just like anything else what to do if they find something," said Boswell.

"They just need to know, how to be around guns," said Kaleigh Graff.

Scott City parents like Graff, said they agree.

"We constantly teach our two children the rights and wrongs about guns," said Graff.

"When I was in school they had that, I never had a problem with it, they made you understand guns are dangerous and can hurt people," said James Kennedy.

"If a kid goes to another kids house, and there's guns there, that way he will have some education of hey I don't need to mess with that," said Kenneth Ledure.

Kenneth Ledure said he teaches his kids gun safety at home, but thinks it's a course that should also be in school.

"I think it would be great, we teach safety to our kids, and some kids don't get that at home, so I think it would be a great deal," said Ledure.

Schools will not be able to use actual guns or firearms in teaching safety.

"You're giving them the tools they need to be safe in a very dangerous world," said Boswell.

But not everyone agrees. St. Louis Senator Jamilah Nasheed said schools in St. Louis need to focus on student learning, not gun safety. She said there are 8th graders at a 3rd grade reading level.

"You know guns aren't for child's play, you must not touch, no how, no way," said Eddie Eagle.

The bill still needs lawmakers' approval before it would go into effect.

You can read Senate Bill 75 here.

Copyright 2013 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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