- Associated Press - Friday, April 28, 2017

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) - Mary Beth Fulk teaches a class based on life skills at Fairfield High School: changing a tire, writing a resume and properly handling and shooting a .357 magnum.

This is the second year Fulk has taught the handy work elective class. The gun safety portion is only a couple days of the semester-long elective class.

Fulk said no guns are allowed in the classroom; the shooting is done outside of school time and is not required. Paul Kalmar, a retired law enforcement officer and licensed firearm instructor, oversees the shooting portion.

The Hutchinson News (https://bit.ly/2pstwUb ) reports that parents also must sign permission for the slew of activities, which includes learning how to back up a trailer.

“I thought kids needed some classes that don’t fit into traditional the classroom anymore,” Fulk said.

Superintendent Nathan Reed and Principal Jason Briar both said they’ve received no complaints from parents or guardians about any portion of the class.

“Absolutely, I think it is appropriate,” Briar said. “It’s gun safety; it’s how to handle a gun, how to shoot it properly.”

The gun training includes a classroom portion where students put together a PowerPoint showing the differences between a handgun, shotgun and rifle.

The field portion, completed earlier this month, has included firing an AR-15 rifle and a .38 special pistol. Fulk said 17 students enrolled the first year the class was offered, but only four this semester.

The drop, she said, is because of the number of students who already took the class within the rural high school. FHS had less than 100 students in the 2015-16 school year.

According to the Kansas State Department of Education, state law requires schools to develop policies requiring the expulsion for at least one year of any student determined to be in possession of a weapon at school, on school property or at a school supervised activity.

The policy also permits students to possess a weapon at school, on school property or at a school supervised activity if the possession is connected with a weapons safety course of instruction or a weapons education course approved and authorized by the school, or if the possession is specifically authorized in writing by the chief administrator of the school.

The law was changed last year to exclude air rifles from the definition of weapon.


Information from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, https://www.hutchnews.com

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