Schools should have balanced Coons' gun control views (Nichols & Whipple)

It is [our] understanding that the Appoquinimink School District is planning to sponsor a speech by U.S. Senator Chris Coons Friday morning re his position on gun controls. The event would be scheduled during school hours for 200* AP students and counted as instructional time.

In principle, [we] have no problem with Senator Coons giving such a talk. He is entitled to his views on gun controls, just like anyone else, and students might well learn from his perspective. However, it would be wrong for the ASD to effectively endorse the senator’s position while ignoring the fact that there is considerable sentiment on the other side of the issue.

To balance the scales, we would have suggested the following changes: First, invite a second speaker, to be given equal time, who will explain the origin and rationale of federal and state constitutional protections for gun rights; second, reschedule the event for evening hours with student attendance to be voluntary; and third, permit live questions to be asked at the event rather than using “a list of pre-determined questions.”

John A. Nichols & William Whipple III Middletown

*The headcount was probably 400 students, 200 from each of the two high schools in the ASD. Events to mark Columbine anniversary draw criticism, Jessica Bies, News Journal,
4/20/18.

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