Advocacy groups praise Jacksonville schools gun safety resolution

Duval County Public Schools officials want to get the word out about gun safety after a record year shootings on school grounds across the country.

The school board passed a resolution this week expressing its support for gun safety. The resolution directs Superintendent Diana Greene to communicate to local parents and guardians the importance of securing firearms safely each year.

Exact details about what type of communication Greene will send were not immediately available, but options mentioned included a potential letter or flyer. The communication will be distributed by the schools in the first quarter of each school year.

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The adoption of the resolution follows an incident last week where a Fletcher High School student taken into custody after bringing a toy handgun to campus. Last month, Duval Schools reported at least three incidents involving firearms and arrests during the 2021-22 school year.

“Time and time again, we have seen the tragedy that can occur when children get their hands on unsafe guns,” said Moms Demand Action Florida chapter volunteer Katie Hathaway. out of school, and we encourage leaders across Florida to follow suit.

In the resolution, the board and Greene pledge to continue working with local nonprofits, law enforcement and health agencies to emphasize a parent’s obligation to secure firearms safely when inside the home.

The resolution cites 24 accidental shootings that occurred in Florida last year, including five in Duval County. A Times-Union analysis showed that in 2021, young victims between the ages of 11 and 20 made up the bulk of the city third worst rate of homicide victims.

Students and recent alumni have also applauded the Duval Schools stance on gun safety.

Isabella Ensign, a current student at Florida State University who leads the state chapter of Florida Students Demand Action, said the board’s resolution is a step in the right direction.

“Due to weak gun laws, students like me were forced to grow up in fear of gun violence,” she said. “We won’t stop fighting until future generations can go to school without this fear. Resolutions like this can help keep us safe, and we need every county in the state to step up and do the same.

Emily Bloch is an education reporter for the Florida Times-Union. Follow her on Twitter Where Send him an email. sign up for her newsletter.

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