An Arizona school district is asking parents to help prevent school gun violence by signing a contract promising to lock their weapons.
Flowing Wells Unified School District near Tucson recently sent home the gun violence contract as part of its 2013-2014 registration packet, according to the Arizona Daily Independent, a conservative website. The contract, posted online by the Gun Owners of Arizona, is titled the “Student/Parent/Principal Contract For Eliminating Guns And Weapons From School 2013–2014.”
The contract requires students to agree that they will not bring guns to school or carry another individual’s gun, and requires parents to pledge that they will lock their guns away from their children and educate them on dangers of gun violence.
“I will carry out my responsibility to teach my children how to settle arguments without resorting to violence, to encourage him/her to use those ideas when necessary, and to follow school guidelines for reporting guns and weapons they see on campus to an appropriate adult,” reads the contract.
The contract requires the school principal to support conflict resolution instruction and report weapons violations to law enforcement authorities.
At least two parents have expressed concern about the contract. The parents face no repercussions if they do not sign, according to the Arizona Daily Independent.
Flowing Wells superintendent Dr. David Baker told the website that the district did not mean to overstep its boundaries with the contract. He said it was sent home to parents by mistake. The school district has not responded to The Huffington Post’s requests for comment.
Commenters on the Gun Owners of Arizona Facebook page condemned the contract.
“Who are they to ask this of parents? Stick to reading, writing, and arithmetic......that's what they're paid to teach,” wrote a commenter, Paul White.
An article on the conservative education site Education Action News slammed the contract. “This smells like the handiwork of politically liberal educators. It’s become clear in recent months, since the Newtown tragedy, that teachers unions and many other educators hate all forms of weapons and would welcome any law making them illegal,” the article says.
In 2012, the Law Center To Prevent Gun Violence, a California-based nonprofit, ranked Arizona in the top 10 states with the weakest gun laws. Arizona also was among the top 10 U.S. states with the highest gun death rates, according to the group.