Soon to be Substitute Teaching...Gun Edu. Question


November 17, 2008, 12:04 PM
I live in MD.

I know no school around here does any firearms safety training. My concern is that a quick "4 Rules" discussion after I get through the work left for them could be turned around on me.

Searching for opinions, experiences and precedents. Give em up :)

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Jorg Nysgerrig
November 17, 2008, 12:09 PM
I would stick the subject at hand, especially if you want to continue substitute teaching.

November 17, 2008, 12:18 PM
I second Jorge. . .if it is not part of the official curriculum don't even bring it up. You could do it under the guise of "it's easier to say 'I'm sorry' than it is to get permission."

Depending on the subject you're teaching you could suggest that interested students contact you after class about opportunities for hunter safety courses or shooting sports (intramural if you're lucky, or extramural).

November 17, 2008, 12:35 PM
Do you attend faculty or staff meetings on curricula? If so, that's the place to ask where childhood education in firearms safety is already incorporated into a curriculum, or should be.

November 17, 2008, 12:48 PM
I am a teacher and an avid shooting sports enthusiast

If you value your job as a teacher (substitute or not) do not broach this subject lightly. All it will take is one parent to find out what you were teaching and you will be out on your butt in a blink of an eye-

Gun owners are by and far in the minority of educators. Most view firearms with the typical demonization that the liberal media feeds them.

I am not ashamed of who I am or that I am an avid firearm owner, but I am smart enough to know when not to scream it from the mountaintop.

November 17, 2008, 12:53 PM
You'll probably be labeled a terrorist if you even think about it.

General Geoff
November 17, 2008, 12:57 PM
Firearms safety would fit into health class, but otherwise I'd steer clear.

November 17, 2008, 01:01 PM
I am a substitute teacher (anyone know where I can find a high school Social Studies position??) and I strongly advise you against this. I live in a much more gun friendly state (OH) than you do and I wouldn't consider bringing up anything firearms-related unless it was part of the lesson left for me by the regular classroom teacher.

A full-time salaried employee can get away with aggrevating a few 'anti' parents. As a substitute, one phone call from a particularly loud or well-connected parent might result in you being relieved of your duties, either officially or 'unofficially' (as in, the phone stops ringing in the mornings).

Try to remember, that no matter how much it displeases us, we have voluntarily chosen to work for the state. As such, we check most of our academic freedom at the door, whether we like it or not. Wait until you're under contract with a district to start to make curriculum decisions... and even then, tread lightly.

November 17, 2008, 01:14 PM
Years ago my older brother taught gun safety as an after school thing on school grounds. That has ceased.

I would not even mention firearms unless it is part of the lesson plan. After you substitute a while and get to know the other teachers, you might inquire discretely with another teacher that you know owns firearms or hunts.

November 17, 2008, 03:01 PM
lame. maybe i'll get to a point where i don't need the job and can use it to "martyr" myself lol.

November 17, 2008, 04:13 PM
It depends on where you are teaching. I teach in an area where a lot of my students hunt. In 29 years of teaching I have worked for 9 different principals and they have all been hunters and shooters. I sponsor an Outdoorsman Club and am a certified Hunter Safety Instructor. Any time one of the kids want to know something about shooting or hunting they come to see me.

I think it would be best to get to know the kids and community well before going too far. If the subject were to come up or if someone asks a specific question I think it would be OK to give a short answer, but would not spend a lot of class time discussing topics not related to the subject you are teaching.

Aren't we all
November 17, 2008, 04:42 PM
if it's not brought up then don't mention it.

Also do not show any weakness and expect them to treat you how you want to

be treated. Of they don't that's their problem. If yo don't they will walk all over

you. I'm still in high school I know these things, and don't yell, if you yell you've

already lost.

Good luck.


November 17, 2008, 06:54 PM
Thanks Aren't we all :) that's really good advice. I subbed a few years ago, easy money with lots of down time. I found that the best way to do it was to realize i'm not their normal teacher, they do look at this as a free day. The sooner I realize that the better. Working within that system I came up with the following rules:

There's no such thing as work by yourself unless it's a test.

There's no such thing as no talking, only keeping it to a dull roar and not disrupting other classes.

No one likes busy work, do it and then I'll ramble on about something WAY more interesting.

It kept me in work and kept students requesting me and hanging out at lunch to argue.

I was hoping to do a really quick once over with the Four Rules just incase...nothing indepth, no laws...just that simple "hey, guns are dangerous tools. Treat them as loaded and don't point at anything you don't want to destroy." I would hope that that would be seen as a public service and not ran with by crazy people to fire me :(

General Geoff
November 17, 2008, 07:00 PM
ZombieHunter, a quick mention of something like that would best be preceeded by mentioning a recent news article (preferably local) where a kid shot himself accidentally.

I think that might actually fly then, as it would be perceived as genuine concern, and not gun nuttery.

November 17, 2008, 11:54 PM
(Assuming teaching about firearms is ok here...)

You could go into great detail about each Safety Rule. Find former cases. Discuss.

Maybe have each student write an essay on one of the Safety Rules. Have each student pull from a hat for their specific topic (one Safety Rule).

Or maybe have each student write an essay on Rule 1.

I personally think the Rule about muzzle control is the most important at the range. That's a topic of discussion.

There are so many things about which to teach. Just search this site for ideas!

Prince Yamato
November 18, 2008, 01:06 AM
You can teach about guns if you're talking about the second amendment in a history, gov't, or social studies class. Other than that, forget it. It's off topic and you'll probably get fired for it.

November 18, 2008, 03:19 AM
As a substitute teacher (so am I) your one and only job is to accomplish the lesson plan set by the full-time teacher. If you want to keep your job, do nothing else.

November 18, 2008, 03:35 AM
Eddie the Eagle ( is your friend

bill in IN
November 18, 2008, 11:23 AM
I remember the days when the Dean of Boys, a few teachers, students and myself brought in firearms for study and to work on in the shop area of high school. Those days are long gone. I wouldn't stray from the lesson plans.

Rifleman 173
November 18, 2008, 02:49 PM
So... What about an air rifle team? There are still some teams... even here in the Peoples' Republik of Illinois... that shoot competitions AFTER school hours. Some of the competitions are done by mail and called postal contests. ALL students are required to have a permission slip signed by a parent before they can compete and most are either JROTC groups or high school teams. Some of the teams are quite good and go on to regional, state, national and even international competitions. It is actually a fast growing sport for high school students to participate in and achieve some meritorious awards for their schools. Good, clean gun fun and both males and females can be on the same team. And nobody needs to "go to the showers" after the competition because its a clean sport too. Google air rifle teams and think about bringing it up as a legitimate sport.

November 18, 2008, 03:04 PM
If you are substitute teaching a shop class no problem. Replace gun with tool of choice and rules pretty much still apply.

November 18, 2008, 03:54 PM
How the heck would this even come up in class?

I mean, if it does, fine. But BRINGING it up is not a very bright idea. Imagine having to explain why you're discussing the Four Rules in english class.


November 18, 2008, 03:57 PM
1. If you start talking guns in schools without some authorization from the administration.


2. Start talking guns in the teacher's lounge.

You will be perceived as some type of whacko and at the very least will find yourself not being called to substitute. This is anywhere and more likely in a state like Maryland.

Assigning yourself the mission to teach gun education (a noble cause) will make you unemployed as a teacher (unless you have tenure).

If you want to do this wait until you're tenured or have a friend bring it up at a school board meeting. The Eddie Eagle video is great and teaches little kids to not touch a gun if they find one and get an adult but many liberal educators (that's most of them) feel anything from the NRA is bad.

November 18, 2008, 10:10 PM
I'be been teaching high school for a while now. Most students who know me know that I have a CCW and I like to shoot (very small school). LOTS of kids come and see me after school to talk about guns, shooting, and hunting. If I wanted to start an "after school" gun discussion club, or whatever, I'm sure I could pull it off. I just couldn't do it during school. Could I do this in a larger school or an urban school? Probably not.

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