The Massachusetts chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement applauding the Pittsfield City Schools’ Committee vote last night to adopt a resolution requiring Pittsfield public schools to distribute information to parents and caretakers about the critical role of secure firearm storage in keeping children and schools safe from gun violence. This resolution will cover approximately 5,000 students across the district.
“This is a proactive, evidence based solution which will have a significant effect on reducing gun violence in schools and communities,” said Vicki Zacharewicz, a volunteer with the Massachusetts chapter of Moms Demand Action. “By educating parents on the importance of secure storage we empower our entire community to keep young people safe from far-too-common tragedies of traumatizing instances of gun violence in schools.”
Beginning next school year, more than 8.6 million students across the country will live in a district that requires schools to educate parents about the importance of secure firearm storage in keeping students safe — more than quadruple the number of students covered as recently as December 2021. Over the past three years, volunteers with Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, in partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, have successfully urged school boards across the country to enact such notification policies, including districts in Alaska, Arkansas, Nevada, Washington, Massachusetts, Vermont, Texas, California, Arizona, Oregon, New Mexico, Florida, Virginia, Michigan, and Colorado.
The Be SMART program helps parents and other adults normalize conversations about gun safety and take responsible actions that can prevent child gun deaths and injuries, youth suicide, and gunfire on school grounds.
The program encourages parents and adults to:
- Secure all guns in their 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
- Tell your peers to be SMART
For more information on secure firearm storage and the most effective ways to protect children from unsecured firearms, visit BeSMARTforkids.org. Additional information about unintentional shootings by children can be found here, facts and resources about child gun suicide can be found here, and information about gunfire on school grounds can be found here.