Deseret News
Letter to the editor

As a kindergarten teacher in Salt Lake City, I spoke in favor of an Extreme Risk Protection Order last year and am thrilled that Rep. Stephen Handy is running HB209 this year. A red flag law like HB209 protects schools and students like mine not only from school shootings but from unstable situations within their own homes, some with already shattered lives from violence and suicide.

Similar laws have passed nationwide, with strong polling that most Americans support the removal of guns from people who demonstrate they are a danger to themselves or others. Groups have even show that in mass shootings there are warning signs nearly half the time. In the states where they have passed, there has been no issue with it.

7 comments on this story

The Utah Legislature should protect the kindergarteners I teach, just like I do. As I sit in community circle with these tender 5- and 6-year-olds and they ask me why I have to protect them, why do we practice lockdown and lockout drills, why do things that scare them happen in their own homes and communities, I sit with them and I wonder how you would answer those questions. What I am grateful for is, in the words of one of my 5-year-olds, "It's OK because you will take care of us, right, Mrs. Lawrence?" She asks, but she already believes. Still I answer, "Yes, I will." And my hope is that you will too. I implore support for HB209 by Rep. Handy.

Stacie Lawrence

Salt Lake City