Superintendent Joel Foster says 15-year-old Cain Schild’s death last May helped set the curriculum in motion. “It just seemed like the right time, you know we did have the accident here with the young man and his parents were encouraging everyone to take some sort of firearms safety, so it just seemed like the right time and the right thing to do,” Foster says.
Foster is also superintendent for the North Butler school district which joined Clarksville in offering the course. Students use inoperable guns and replica ammunition to learn how to hold and care for firearms. He says although it’s called hunter safety class, the material covers much more than hunting.
“For instance if a young girl is out babysitting, we’d hope that all the adults would lock their weapons up but not in every house do they do that,” Foster say. “You know if a little one brings a gun out, I would like for a teenage girl to be able to be able to handle that, unload it and make sure everybody’s safe.”
Foster says the class is part of the junior high physical education curriculum and is taught by a naturalist from the Butler County Conservation Board. Those who successfully complete the class are eligible to apply for an Iowa hunting license. Parents can opt to have their children sit out, though none of the nearly 100 students took that option.
(Thanks to Pat Blank, Iowa Public Radio/Photo from school website)