Kids and guns don’t mix, and one elementary school in Georgia needs to write that on the board until it sinks into their thick skulls.
On Wednesday, Holdheide Academy, an elementary school in Woodstock, Georgia, took its students on a field trip. Now, I support field trips, since they’re an excellent way to demonstrate things that can’t be demonstrated in the classroom. Are you learning about evolution? Take a field trip to a natural history museum. Are you learning about the planets and the stars? Take a field trip to a planetarium.
These places exist partially for that reason.
Unfortunately, since this is Georgia we’re talking about here, Holdheide Academy had other plans. Instead of a museum, the school decided to take their second-grade students to Hi-Caliber Firearms. Images of the children in the store, with some of them holding guns, appeared on Facebook shortly afterward.
And that’s when the school really started to catch heat.
The school owner, Tammy Dorston, defended it by saying it was a “wonderful educational experience.” She noted in a Facebook post that parents did sign permission slips, and the kids apparently had a gun safety course before they given the guns, which weren’t loaded:
That sounds all well and good, but they were still guns. They serve no other purpose than to kill, and even if a gun is unloaded, you always treat it as if it’s loaded. Always.
The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) issued a statement regarding the field trip on Friday:
It’s worth noting that the American Academy of Pediatrics essentially agrees with me on this topic, as well:
The absence of guns from children’s homes and communities is the most reliable and effective measure to prevent firearm-related injuries in children and adolescents. Adolescent suicide risk is strongly associated with firearm availability.
I dislike the phrase “common sense,” but this is as close to actual “common sense” as you can get. It’s a damn shame nobody’s listening.