School Climate & Safety

Md. Governor Vetoes Bill Requiring Schools To Teach Gun Safety

May 23, 2001 1 min read

Gov. Parris N. Glendening of Maryland last week vetoed a bill that would have made Maryland the first state to require gun-safety education for elementary and secondary students.

In a veto message, the second-term Democrat said that compromises made largely to satisfy gun owners and the National Rifle Association “are so egregious they undermine the overall intent” of the bill.

He said the bill “would create the clear appearance of the state encouraging young people to handle weapons and potentially furthering their interest [in firearms] in a time when we are trying to fight the scourge of gun violence.”

But Mr. Glendening also said that he supported gun-safety programs for the schools. Meanwhile, Sen. Barbara A. Hoffman, a Baltimore Democrat and the measure’s sponsor in the Senate, pledged to work with the governor next year on a bill he could sign.

“I understand the governor’s position,” she said, “although I think a year’s delay is unfortunate.”

Mr. Glendening had heard from many teachers opposed to the bill, said Debra Williams-Garner, a spokeswoman for the Maryland State Teachers Association, an affiliate of the National Education Association. She said their worries centered on the possibility that teachers might have to accompany children to a firing range, and that the NRA might have a hand in the gun- safety course each of Maryland’s 24 school systems would have had to adopt under the proposed law.

A lobbyist for the NRA saw the governor’s veto as disappointing. “This bill was about exposing students to the dangers of and responsibilities inherent in being in the presence of firearms,” said Greg Costa, the Maryland lobbyist for the NRA. “For him to use his veto as a vehicle to attack the NRA is just shameless politics.”

The bill would have required districts to find places for gun-safety education in the K-12 curriculum, but would have left the exact design of the lessons up to the districts. Districts could also have chosen between offering gun-safety or hunting-safety instruction in grades 7-12. In the final version of the bill, a requirement that the lessons come from “multiple sources” was dropped, raising the possibility that a district could adopt the NRA’S Eddie Eagle gun-safety program without alteration.

—Bess Keller & Lisa Fine

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the May 23, 2001 edition of Education Week as Md. Governor Vetoes Bill Requiring Schools To Teach Gun Safety

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How Schools Can Implement Safe In-Person Learning
In order for in-person schooling to resume, it will be necessary to instill a sense of confidence that it is safe to return. BD is hosting a virtual panel discussing the benefits of asymptomatic screening
Content provided by BD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
How Districts Are Centering Relationships and Systemic SEL for Back to School 21-22
As educators and leaders consider how SEL fits into their reopening and back-to-school plans, it must go beyond an SEL curriculum. SEL is part of who we are as educators and students, as well as
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
The Fall K-3 Classroom: What the data imply about composition, challenges and opportunities
The data tracking learning loss among the nation’s schoolchildren confirms that things are bad and getting worse. The data also tells another story — one with serious implications for the hoped for learning recovery initiatives
Content provided by Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School Climate & Safety Sponsor
Putting safety first: COVID-19 testing in schools
Are schools ready to offer a post-pandemic place to learn?
Content provided by BD
School Climate & Safety What the Research Says Teens Are Driving COVID-19 Surges. Can Schools Counteract That?
Teenagers and young adults are now driving COVID-19 cases in some states, and experts say schools may be critical in preventing outbreaks.
4 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Climate & Safety Opinion Empowering Teachers and Parents to Speak Up on School Safety
Rick Hess shares practical suggestions from Max Eden on how to ensure school discipline reforms are indeed keeping students and staff safe.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Climate & Safety Audio Driving the School Bus, Waiting for a Vaccine
A veteran bus driver holds out hope he won't get COVID-19 while awaiting his first vaccination.
3 min read
Eric Griffith, 55, poses for a portrait in front of a school bus in Jacksonville, Fla. on Thursday, March 18, 2021. Griffith, who has been a school bus driver for 20 years, delivered meals and educational materials during the first couple months of the coronavirus pandemic when schools shifted to remote learning.
Eric Griffith has been a bus driver for Duval County schools in Jacksonville, Fla., for 20 years. He's been driving students all year and hopes to get his coronavirus vaccine soon.
Charlotte Kesl for Education Week