July 23, 2014

‘Stop! Don’t touch!’ Senate bill would require gun safety training for K-3 kids in Missouri (VIDEO / AUDIO)

Gun legislation has been introduced in yet another form in the Missouri legislature as “Eddie Eagle” and the National Rifle Association make their case to a Senate General Laws Committee.

Sen. Dan Brown (R-Rolla) says teachers and students should know what to do if an armed intruder threatens. The training would be mandatory for students in Kindergarten through third grade each year, and would include, in part, an NRA program features a cartoon character named Eddie Eagle.

 

But Sen. Jamilah Nasheed (D-St. Louis) says she understands gun violence in schools is a big concern, but that her district needs much more in the way of improving schools for students than gun safety training. She says she’ll support the bill in committee if Brown amends the bill to say St. Louis schools would not be mandated to teach the program.

“We need to figure out how to deal with kids when they’re angry, upset and hungry when they come inside those schools every day instead of training them how to deal with a situation of this magnitude,” she says. “We need to teach these kids how to learn,” pointing out that St. Louis pubic schools are below proficiency in math and reading.

We have eighth graders reading at a third grade level, she says.

Brown says whether or not the bill goes anywhere, he thinks it draws awareness to an important issue, which is the need to teach children how to be safe around guns.

AUDIO: Sen. Brown presents his bill (4:36)

AUDIO: Sen. Nasheed speaks against the bill (1:56)

The summary for Senate Bill 75 is as follows:

This act establishes the Active Shooter and Intruder Response Training for Schools Program (ASIRT). By July 1, 2014, each school district and charter school must train teachers and school employees on how to respond to students with information about a threatening situation and how to address a potentially dangerous or armed intruder or active shooter in the school or on school property. Training must be conducted on an annual basis. Initial training must be eight hours in length and continuing training must be four hours in length. All school personnel must annually participate in a simulated active shooter and intruder response drill conducted by law enforcement professionals, as described in the act. Program instructors must be certified by the Department of Public Safety’s Peace Officers Standards Training Commission. (Section 170.315)

Each school district and charter school must annually teach the Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program to first grade students, or use a substantially similar or successor program of the same qualifications. The purpose of the program will be to promote safety and protection of children and emphasize how students should respond if they encounter a firearm. School personnel and program instructors must not make value judgments about firearms. Firearms are prohibited from the teaching of the program. Students with disabilities will participate to the extent appropriate. (Section 171.410)