Utah Bill Would Require Middle Schools to Teach Gun Safety
And also to prepare students for active shooters
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2016 6:30 PM CST

(Newser) – Utah's eighth-graders may soon add gun safety and active shooter preparation to their traditional math and English classes. Republican Sen. Todd Weiler introduced the "Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention in Public Schools" bill last month, the Washington Times reports. If passed, it would require schools to teach gun safety and what to do in case of a shooter to all eighth-graders. "I think it's always helpful for children and adults to think through what you would do in a situation before you encounter it," Weiler tells the Salt Lake Tribune. "Unfortunately, it is probably a necessary reality in the society we live in these days." The bill would be funded with $75,000 from the state attorney general's office. If passed, it would be implemented in 2017, the Times reports.

The program wouldn't teach 13-year-olds to use guns; instead instructing them what to do if they come across a gun, the Tribune reports. "There will be no guns in the classrooms," Weiler says. "It's more, if you happen to encounter a gun, this is what you should and shouldn't do." He says the bill was inspired by how many children accidentally shoot someone. According to the Times, the White House made a similar point in a statement Monday: "Too many children are killed or injured by firearms every year, often by accident.” The active-shooter preparation would be secondary to gun safety, Weiler tells the Tribune. "If we're going to talk about guns while we're in school, I think it would be silly not to be able to mention something about an active shooter situation," he says.