Kindergarten students brought home NRA pamphlets. Parents fired back at the district.

A school district in Franklin, Tennessee, is facing criticism for passing out gun safety material produced by the NRA.
A school district in Franklin, Tennessee, is facing criticism for passing out gun safety material produced by the NRA. rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.com

A school district in middle Tennessee is facing backlash from parents and gun safety advocates after National Rifle Association gun safety literature was passed out to elementary school students, reports TV station WZTV.

Some parents at Franklin, Tennessee’s Moore Elementary told the station they were “dismayed” at the material, which is part of the NRA Eddie the Eagle GunSafe program. Moore Elementary students are in kindergarten through Grade 4.

“The NRA as an organization has an agenda, even if that’s not included in the actual content they teach children,” parent Elizabeth Madeira told the Tennessean, after her kindergartner brought the material home.

“I’d just be concerned with the motive behind the NRA and distributing their information to schools,” she was quoted saying.

Among those critics is the Safe Tennessee Project, “dedicated to addressing the epidemic of gun related injuries and gun violence in Tennessee,” according to its web site. The project called the NRA’s gun safety program “ineffective...dangerous and irresponsible” in a Facebook post.

“Rather than emphasize to adults the importance of responsible gun storage, the program puts the onus on children to not pick up any guns,” said a press release from the project. “Schools should be encouraging parents to practice safe storage and to always ask how guns are stored any place where their child plays.”

Tennessee led the nation last year in accidental child gun deaths, according to a report by the Childrens Firearm Safety Alliance.

Franklin Special Schools officials noted that fact in a statement sent to TV station WSMV, and defended the district’s gun safety effort for teaching children to beware of guns found anywhere, not just in the home.

“At the same time, we also understand that some members of the community distrust the organization that one of our schools used to convey the gun safety message,” the district told WSMV.

“Although none of the messaging that was provided to our students encourages gun ownership, we will look for other resources going forward to convey the message of gun safety.”

Mark Price: 704-358-5245, @markprice_obs
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