Iowa Schools Add Firearm Safety to P.E. Curriculum

The rest of the United States could take a lesson from Iowa right now! Two school districts in eastern Iowa have added a mandatory class on hunting safety to their P.E. curriculum.

In the Clarksville and North Butler school districts, middle school students will start taking 10 hours of hunters educations starting in the spring.

KOMO News reports:

Superintendent Joel Foster, who spends time between both school districts, says the idea was brought up by a school board member nearly a year ago during a discussion on school safety. The two districts are partnering with Butler County Conservation to have trained instructors teach the week-long course.

The idea is to train students how to safely handle a firearm to prevent an accidental shooting in their homes or prevent major tragedy inside the schools.

“It’s not just about kids that are going to be hunters,” Foster said. “It’s about all kids learning how to handle a firearm in a safe manner. Any time that a kid might be exposed to a firearm they need to make sure they know how to handle it and make sure it’s safe.”

Foster says if a student were to find an unsecured, loaded gun, they should know how to safely handle the situation.

Conservation naturalist Steve Martin says they are happy to work with the school to teach not only firearm safety, but “ethics and personal responsibility.”

No live ammunition or firearms will be used in class; Martin says only inert weapons will be used in the classroom setting, though he adds students will have to take a field day as part of the course.

For high school students in the two districts, there will be an optional class on hunters safety, and parents may opt their students out of the course.

Foster says this is not meant to be a controversial or political move, but instead an educational opportunity for their students. He says he’s only received positive feedback so far, including from parents.

Bruce Burroughs, who lives in Greene where North Butler Jr./Sr. High is located, says he’s happy to see this course added. “It’ll save lives and it’ll teach people respect for weapons.”

Since adding the curriculum, Foster said he has received interested from all over the country. "I received a phone call from a state representative in Vermont and he asked how we pushed it through because it's something he'd like to see happen out there,” he said. “I've got emails from teachers in other places that want to add it into their curriculum."

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