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Gun self-defense in 4th grade? No, says Colorado education board

The board's 4-3 vote reflected not only the Republicans' issue with the gun debate, but concerns about marijuana, lack of proof that the health standards produce the desired outcomes and issues around the use of cell phones in the classroom.
State Board of Education member Debora Scheffel at a campaign event in 2016. (Photo by Nic Garcia/Chalkbeat)

COLORADO POLITICS - The Colorado Board of Education voted June 13 along party lines to changes in standards for teaching health and physical education, but omitted a proposal to teach fourth graders about the benefits of guns for self-defense.

The proposal was first floated last month by Republican Debora Scheffel, who represents the 4th Congressional District on the board. The idea picked up the support of the other two Republicans on the board: Steve Durham of Colorado Springs and Joyce Rankin of Carbondale.

But some of the board’s Democrats took the opposite view, appearing chagrined at the idea of offering 9- and 10-year-olds what they viewed as a pro-gun curriculum.

The board’s proposed curriculum would “explain the potential dangers of having weapons at home, in school and in the community.” Scheffel’s amendment would have added “and benefits for self-defense.” She explained last month that she was referring to guns in the home as a means of self-defense.

Board Chair and Democrat Angelika Schroeder of Boulder appeared incredulous during last month’s discussion.

“You’re talking about teaching 10-year-olds about self-defense,” Schroeder told Scheffel. “I don’t want my grandson coming to me and asking if I have weapons.” For children, she said, “the education should be around ‘don’t touch the thing.’”

Read more about this at Colorado Politics.