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UU Youth for Gun Safe Schools

Background

Unitarian Universalists affirm and promote our First Principle honoring the inherent worth and dignity of all people, believes that everyone has a right to flourish and each person has a right to study and learn in school without fear of harm

 

We live in a national culture of gun violence. Collectively, we can collectively shift our cultural paradigms from “suffering in silence” to “active sharing of personal trauma”. Collectively, we can model non-partisan dialogue on public safety for responsible gun ownership. By sharing our lived experiences in testimony to our legislators, we can all grow spiritually and ethically.

 

We hope that our legislative action will result in enhanced public safety for all.

Note: 

This Project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalist Social Responsibility. 

 

UULM-MD is providing this curriculum free of charge,

but donations are always appreciated. 

Curriculum

Our curriculum, UU Youth for Gun Safe Schools, is now available for use in your congregation! Unsecured firearms in the home can lead to accidental deaths or mass school shootings. This curriculum specifically addresses gun-safe storage in homes, and a bill supporting trauma-informed active shooter safety drills in Maryland schools.

What Is It? 

UU Youth for Gun-Safe Schools is a curriculum that contains a parenting section on safe gun storage in the home, and a youth group section on how youth can advocate for legislation that affects their lives in school:

1) many school shooters obtain guns from home that were not secured

2) learn how secure storage of firearms in gun safes can save lives, 

3) learn about trauma-informed active shooter safety drills, 

4) reflect on these topics and meet with advocates for legislation, 

5) craft their own legislative testimony in support of needed legislation.

 

UU Youth for Gun Safe Schools is focused on a bill that would ensure that Active Shooter Drills in schools are done using trauma-informed methods. We recognize this one piece of legislation is multi-faceted. Conversations about this bill require knowledge of a wide range of content and if you have any questions, please email us at info@uulmmd.org so that we can address them. 

Download
the UU Youth for "Gun Safe" Schools Curriculum

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2024 Campaign

 

This year, the Active Shooter Bill was introduced into the Maryland General Assembly and was signed into law on April 25th, 2024.

Here are some resources we used to help get this bill passed! 

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Get Involved

Lawmakers create laws. However, they don’t always know how a law is going to affect their constituents (YOU). There are many ways for you to share your story with your lawmakers:

  • Go to the State House in Annapolis for a “Lobby Day”

  • Write your lawmaker a letter or send them an email and ask them to support (or oppose) a bill.

  • Attend a Hearing and give oral testimony.

  • Post on social media, ask your lawmaker to support (or oppose) a bill. Use a hashtag with the bill number to make sure they see it!

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

Testify!

Check out this testimony from a UU Youth on the Active Shooter Bill From the 2024 House Ways and Means Committee Hearing.

Testimony is about sharing your lived experience with lawmakers to help them, hopefully, create a law that you can live with. Your lived experiences are important, and you are the only person who can share them. As a youth, you probably have direct experience with Lockdown Drills. As a UU, you may have Faith-Based Reasons for supporting legislation.  Before you write your testimony, take a minute and think about what YOU have to offer to the conversation. '

Here are some resources we have created to help you tell your story!

Worksheet to walk you through the testimony writing process.  

Share your story using this online form, if we can use it, our coordinator, Ashley Egan will contact you to work out your final testimony. 

Below is a sample outline where you can write notes for your meeting with your elected off

Check out this interview from a youth about his experience on submitting testimony in 2023. 

Check out this testimony from Melissa of Mom's Demand Action

on the Active Shooter Bill From 2023.

Resources: 

Video Tips! 

Note: While this video was created for the UU Kids for a Livable Planet, the information on creating a video is still great and relevant. 

View the 20 minute version that was released during the campaign here. Show it in its entirety, or consider using one or more of the short individual activities shown below, perhaps in RE classes or even by individual families at home! The invitation to record is optional, of course. A recording could be shown in worship or sent to info@uulmmd.org for possible use in testimonies. 

For More Information:

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us and we will find the answers for you. 

 

Campaign Manager  Email UUKids@UULMMD.org -- to address questions on the curriculum email the campaign manager.

Campaign Issue Lead  Email GunViolencePrevention@UULMMD.org -- to address questions on the legislation or requesting assistance in connecting with partner organizations.

Campaign Coordinator  Email info@UULMMD.org – to ask questions about the legislative process and submit testimony.

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