The article reports:
At Saturday’s event, called Strobridge Elementary Safety Day, a Hayward police officer will demonstrate bicycle and gun safety, and the Alameda County Fire Department is sending a rig and crew to talk about fire safety.
Fingerprinting and photographing of children will be offered, with the information put on CDs for parents to use, if needed, in a missing child case. All youngsters attending will be given a ticket to exchange for a book, Hill said.
Every child who brings a toy gun will get a raffle ticket to win one of four bicycles, Hill said.
Hill said he got the idea for the toy gun exchange from a photographer, Horace Gibson, who takes students’ school pictures and who expressed concern about the spate of shootings of young people by police in Oakland.
Hill said police are rightfully fearful of being shot when they encounter so many armed suspects, and there have been cases nationwide where police mistook a toy gun for a real one.
Sometimes it’s hard just to know where to start. Why are you demonstrating gun safety while you are taking toy guns away from children?
Elementary Principal Charles Hill stated, “If we want older kids to not think guns are cool, we need to start early.” Sir, I realize you are much better educated than I and have had a lot of experience with children, but you have missed some very obvious points. If younger children are taught respect for themselves and for other people (generally speaking, respect for life), and if they are taught morals and values, they are quite likely to conclude that guns used for immoral purposes are not cool without your having to brainwash them. The problem is not the guns–it is the values we are teaching our children. We have taken the Ten Commandments off of the walls of our schools. Regardless of how you feel about the Bible or about religion, those Ten Commandments were a visual reminder to all students that at some point in their lives they were going to have to answer to an authority higher than themselves. You would get better results from having the children recite the Ten Commandments every morning than you would from confiscating a million toy guns.