Iowa City Community School District passes gun safety resolution

In a meeting on Tuesday, the school board unanimously passed the “Be Smart” resolution, promoting gun safety in homes to prevent death among children.


Grace Kreber

The Iowa City Community School District held a meeting at the professional development center on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2022.

Lillian Poulsen, Senior Reporter

The Iowa City Community School District board unanimously passed the “Be SMART” resolution, designed to help teachers and parents have conversations about gun safety and prevent child gun deaths and injuries, during a meeting Tuesday.

The resolution asked for the school district’s superintendent and staff to update the student handbook about parents’ legal obligations related to the secure storage of firearms.

The Iowa City Community School District will create and distribute a letter to parents about gun safety at the start of each school year and work with law enforcement and health agencies to inform parents about gun safety, according to the resolution.

The Be SMART program — which stands for “secure all guns in your home and vehicles, model responsible behavior around guns, ask about the presence of unsecured guns in other homes, recognize the role of guns in suicide, and tell your peers to be SMART” — campaign was launched to raise awareness that secure gun storage can save children’s lives.

J.P. Claussen, a school board member, said he hopes this resolution will prevent deaths by suicide in the district.

“I appreciate the way they developed this and emphasized safety, without making it political,” Claussen said. “The sheer number of guns in this country shows why everybody needs to be aware of gun safety.”

RELATED: How gun laws have changed since the 1991 fatal shooting at the University of Iowa

In 2020, national firearms sales hit a record high of over 17 million sales, according to CBS News.

Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit organization that advocates for gun control and created the Be SMART campaign, said the risks of gun violence increased with kids spending more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.[

Ruthina Malone, Iowa City Community School District school board vice president, thanked the Moms Demand Action Iowa chapter for bringing the resolution to the school board.

Malone said she hopes Be SMART will prevent accidental shootings in Iowa City.

“As a mom, I always asked about gun safety for my kids when getting to know their friends’ families,” Malone said. “This isn’t a political issue, it’s about keeping people and homes safe.”

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