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Guns and School Safety

gunsandschoolsafety

The February 14, 2018, mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was the 9th largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. In the wake of this traumatic event and the large-scale protest by many students and their supporters, national debate has erupted over how to prevent future mass shootings at schools. Constitutional Rights Foundation provides resources here on its Civics on Call page to help students, teachers, administrators, and districts think about the best way forward for their own communities and states.

Guns and School Safety: What Is the Best Way Forward? (Grades 9-12)
In this new classroom lesson, students read a balanced article on the background to the current crisis posed by mass shootings at schools, as well as proposed solutions from across the political spectrum. Next, students participate in a simulation activity in which they act as state legislators trying to design the most effective policy for reduction of gun-violence in their state. 

Guns and School Safety: Civil Conversation (Middle School)
In this lesson, students participate in a civil conversation on an abridged version of the Guns and School Safety: What Is the Best Way Forward? lesson for high school. Civil conversation is a structured, small-group discussion method that gives students the means to do a close reading of the text; analyze facts and multiple points of view; and look for areas of common ground with others. 

Policies on Guns  (Grades 9-12)
From CRF’s Criminal Justice in America textbook, this resource addresses the issue of guns in our society generally. After students read a background on the Second Amendment and the favored policies of gun enthusiasts and gun-control advocates alike, they hold a debate on the merits of the various policies. 

The Challenge of School Violence (Grades 9-12)
This classroom lesson outlines a number of proposed solutions to school violence generally and includes a simulation activity in which students act as a school board attempting to craft an effective local policy. 

Service Learning: A School Violence Prevention Strategy 
This resource for educators, school administrators, and district personnel illustrates ways to get students directly involved in improving safety at their own schools.

Talking Points: Causes of School Violence 
This resource provides an explanation of causes and risks of school violence, including access to weapons, cyber abuse, environmental impact, family environment, personal alienation, and other factors.