Here is an ask from the team at Connecticut Against Gun Violence. This one speaks to what is happening in schools across the country. Safe storage of firearms will immediately save lives. Please consider signing the petition and sharing it with your school districts’ superintendents. I have given away gun locks in my health office. School nurses can be part of the solution by offering safe storage equipment by using a harm reduction model of access and education. Imagine having gun locks available at back-to-school night, report card night, and school health fairs.
Students can’t learn, and teachers can’t teach, if they aren’t safe in their schools. School district superintendents and boards of education need to do more than lockdown drills to protect students, teachers and staff from the threat of gun violence. They need to address a root cause of school shootings: the irresponsible behavior of gun owners who don’t securely store their firearms.
Two-thirds of school shooters obtain the gun they used from their home or the home of a relative. There’s no shortage of horrifying statistics, like the fact that some 1 million students ages 12 to 18 report having access to a loaded gun without adult supervision.
That’s why we launched this petition calling on school district superintendents to communicate to parents, educating them about the urgency of safe firearm storage and safe storage laws, and the legal consequences of not securing firearms.
Since the Oxford High School shooting in Michigan, thousands of students in Connecticut (and even more around the country) have been terrorized by threats of violence in school, leading to lockdowns, school closures and widespread student absences in Ansonia, Danbury, Farmington, Greenwich, Hamden, Manchester, New Haven, Norwalk and Norwich.
Although investigations have determined an absence of credible threats, the damage to students’ and educators’ emotional well-being and disruptions to learning is disgraceful. It all links back to easy access to guns and irresponsible gun owners. Every threat is potentially another Sandy Hook, Columbine or Parkland. Regardless of whether the threat turns out to be real, the damage is done. Adding your name to our petition is important to demonstrate the widespread support for taking action now.
Responses from school superintendents asserting that “nothing is more important than the safety and security of our students and staff” need to be backed up with action. Communicating to parents about gun owners’ legal and moral obligation to securely store their firearms is a tangible step towards fulfilling their commitment to safety.
Please sign and share the petition now. If you’d like to volunteer in your town or city to get your school district’s superintendent on board, please click here to sign up. We’re preparing a toolkit with sample communications and instructions to guide your effort.
More guns locked up. Fewer lockdowns.
Jonathan Perloe Communications Director – CT Against Gun Violence
Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN is a Nationally Certified School Nurse (NCSN), currently in her 21st year as a New Jersey school nurse in the Camden City School District. Robin is the Legislative Co-chair for the New Jersey State School Nurses Association. She is proud to be a Johnson & Johnson School Health Leadership Fellow and past Program Mentor. Robin is the honored recipient of multiple awards for her work in school nursing and population health. These awards include, 2019 and 2020 National Association of School Nurses President’s Award, 2018 NCSN School Nurse of the Year, 2017 Johnson & Johnson School Nurse of the Year, and the New Jersey Department of Health 2017 Population Health Hero Award. Robin serves as faculty in the School Nurse Certificate Program at Rutgers University-Camden School of Nursing, where she teaches the next generation of school nurses. She was presented the 2018 Rutgers University – Camden Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award for Part-time Faculty. Robin writes a weekly blog called The Relentless School Nurse. She also writes a monthly column in My American Nurse, the official journal of the American Nurses Association. Robin’s work is included as a case study in The Future of Nursing Report 2020-2030. You can follow Robin on Twitter at @RobinCogan.
View all posts by Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FAAN