Letter - Schools should take role in advocating gun safety

Like any parent, I am accustomed to receiving a lot of emails from my kids’ school – many of which relate to safety. Whether the communications relate to crossing the street, bundling up during the winter or staying home when sick, it is clear our schools are invested in students’ welfare.

Why, then, don’t schools communicate with parents about the No. 1 cause of death among children in the U.S.? This danger is not the flu, crossing at a crosswalk or forgetting a scarf – it is firearms. Every year, 350 children in America gain access to a firearm and unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else, according to Be SMART. If schools care about our children, they should educate parents about securing firearms in the home.

But we all know why schools neglect this one topic. Guns are political. Imagine the outroar if schools took a side in the gun debate.

But schools don’t need to take a side. Every parent in the district should agree that keeping kids safe is paramount and that firearms are lethal. Informing parents about the importance of securing guns is common sense and should not be controversial.

4.6 million children in the US live in a household with a least one loaded, unlocked gun. Some of these children reside in our district. Schools should be doing everything they can to protect these children — and all our children who unwittingly visit homes with unsecured guns — from this real threat. Let’s encourage our schools to ignore the politics and protect our kids. — Elizabeth Schieber, Hinsdale