McCOOK, Nebraska -- Kids and guns don't mix, especially in Nebraska where guns are in almost every household, said McCook School Resource Officer John Smith Monday night.
Smith, who is also a McCook Police Officer, spoke to the McCook School Board Monday night at the regular meeting and asked that a gun safety program be implemented for first and third graders.
The program,"Eddie Eagle," is designed by the National Rifle Association, funded by a NRA grant and is similar to the anti-drug program, DARE.
It does not promote the NRA or teach that guns are good or bad, Smith explained, but that guns require safety precautions, much like swimming pools or electrical outlets.
Smith shared 2007 statistics with the board about gun accidents, with 122 unintentional fire arm deaths in children and 3,016 non-fatal shootings.
The program is important, he said, "especially in Nebraska, where many people have guns in their homes or in their cars."
"Being a cop, this is an important issue to me," he added.
In response to a question by Diane Lyons, Smith said the program would be taught in first grade and again in third grade, instead of back-to-back grades, to keep the information fresh instead of redundant.
McCook School Superintendent Grant Norgaard asked that the Policy Committee review the program, before it is brought before by the board.
In other action, McCook Schools Business Manager Rick Haney told the board that items no longer needed by the district be declared surplus items.
These include a car lift, four engine stands, steel doors, chalk boards and six basketball backboards with goals.
Haney said there would be additional surplus items that he would bring to the board.
"Positive Comments" included:
* Teresa Thomas: enjoyed Math Night at McCook Elementary, for second and third grade, that drew more than 200 kids and parents.
* Shane Messersmith: The FFA pancake and labor auction was well attended, bringing in more donations than anticipated.
* Sandy Krysl: congratulated the high school girls basketball team for making it to the state championships. "It was fun to watch them jell and peak at the end of the year," she said.
* Larry Shields: commended the FFA students who presented the power point program to the board.
* Rick Haney: heard during school announcements last week about $15 that was found at the high school and turned in to the office. "How many other kids would do that?" he said. 'I'd like to thank that kid." That kind of action showed the caliber of students at MHS.
* Tom Bredvick: also congratulated the girls basketball team in making it to state. He commended the student body who attended the state championships at Lincoln, for their respect and spirit they showed for the team. He said that he overheard other coaches and parents recognizing how much fun the students were having.
* Superintendent Grant Norgaard: in talking with band instructor Donna Priebe, the numbers for band are growing, so that in the near future there may not be enough room in the high school auditorium for concerts. Also commended third grade teachers for the "thinking outside the box" for "Outdoor Education Day."