One of the most important fundamental goals of this school District is to educate our students so that they can attain the necessary skills to achieve academic success and compete in a global economy. Another equally important goal is to keep our students safe and promote any initiative that supports safety at school, at home, and in the community. According to federal statistics, there are guns in approximately half of all households. Children as young as three years may be strong enough to pull the trigger on a handgun. On average, every other day, an American child under the age of 10 is killed or seriously injured by a gun.

Our District highlighted Gun Awareness from November 18 to 22, 2013. Our goal is to educate children, families and the whole community about guns and the danger s of guns if we do not explain to children how to stay safe. Even if we do not own a gun, chances are that we know someone that owns one. Each year, children are seriously injured or die from an unintentional firearm accident which occurred when children were playing with guns.

During the week beginning on Monday, November 18, 2013, all elementary students in grades one through five took a Gun Safety Awareness pledge at school along with us, their teachers, school site administrators, law enforcement, and community stakeholders. We encourage parents/guardians to also take the time to assess your own home situation with regards to gun safety, and also to reinforce the following gun safety tips with your child.

During this week, our students learned about gun safety and what to do if they see a gun or if they know of someone that has a gun. Students were given specific messages about guns and other weapons. However, we need to involve everyone in this message to keep our children safe and secure, not only in schools, but at homes, in our parks and in any other public places. As parents and guardians, you need to take the time to assess your own home situation with regards to gun safety, and also to reinforce the gun safety tips with your child. Teach your children never to touch guns. Make sure they know that guns can be dangerous. Even if you do not own a gun, ask your neighbors, friends, and family if they own a gun before your child visits their homes. If they do, ask questions to determine if the guns are stored safely. If you believe the gun is stored safely in the home, then it is up to you, the parent/guardian, to determine whether or not your child can visit the home. If you do not believe the gun is stored safely, then you may want to keep your child away from the home. Talk with your children about the risk of firearm injury outside the home, in places they may visit or play. If we follow these simple safety tips, we can protect our children and keep them safe.

After all, our children are our most precious resources and we are tasked with the responsibility of keeping them safe. We need them to grow up to be successful and contributing members of our society. Gun Awareness is the responsibility of all of us.