Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, August 14, 2013
An Arizona school district is asking the parents of its middle and high school students to sign an unusual pledge before the new school year begins – one that requires them to never use guns or violence to resolve problems.
The Arizona Daily Independent reported Tuesday that parents of students in the Flowing Wells Unified School District outside Tucson received a copy of the “Student/Parent/Principal Contract for Eliminating Guns and Weapons from School 2013-2014″ in their registration packets for the upcoming school year.
By signing the contract, parents of students in the school district must agree to teach “…including by personal example, my teenager about the dangers and consequences of the misuse of guns and weapons and I will keep any guns and all weapons under lock and away from school grounds and away from my children.”
It also asks them to “carry out my responsibility to teach my children how to settle arguments without resorting to violence, and to encourage him/her to use those ideas when necessary.”
Students and school principals, as the title suggests, will also be required to sign the contract.
There are several problems with the contract on its surface. Arizona has an open-carry law, and while the state does ban open-carry on public school campuses, it’s not uncommon for Arizonans – particularly in rural areas of the state like where Flowing Wells USD is located – to carry guns.
The Daily Independent also noted that the school district has an official junior rifle team.
According to The Daily Caller, many Second Amendment advocates view the contract as a “patronizing attempt to govern behavior in private homes.” Moreover, many parents are hesitant to sign a contract that requires them to lock guns away from teens at all times. The Daily Independent did report, however, that parents and students who refuse to sign the contract won’t suffer any negative consequences, and that only two parents have voiced concerns about the contract so far.
Although it is just getting attention now, the contract was written several years ago according to Flowing Wells USD Superintendent David Baker. Baker told the Daily Independent that its goal is to keep unwanted guns off campus and that he doesn’t believe school officials should be telling parents how to raise their kids.
“It is important that people understand the district in context,” Baker told the Daily Independent. “We have great parents and kids.”