State representatives pushing for gun safety program in Calcasieu Parish schools

Updated: Jun. 9, 2017 at 10:46 PM CDT
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CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - "I really would like to see something in the school that they have to do: a video or some kind of speech, or have a skit or something in every age group," said Krista Meche, the mother of Gage Meche, the seven-year-old who was accidentally shot at Moss Bluff Elementary School last month.

And Krista's plea has been heard by state representatives Stephen Dwight and Blake Miguez.

"I wanted to do something," said Dwight. "I wanted to do something for the family, and he (Miguez) had already brought something that shared some of my concerns that I had about education on the issues to make sure this doesn't happen again."

Miguez is a world champion pistol shooter who strongly supports the Second Amendment, but back in 2015 he pushed a bill that would provide the "Eddie Eagle Program" for schools to help teach children about gun safety.

"It's really geared towards elementary kids, and it's song-like programs," said Miguez. "It can be taught in as short as 30 minutes or it can be taught up to three or four hours, and it's not required to have a specific class for this. You can incorporate it into existing curriculums like PE class."

Both representatives sent a letter to the Calcasieu Parish Superintendent and school board pushing for this program to be taught in schools. Officials already plan to implement the program in all their elementary schools for this upcoming school year.

"We plan to take advantage of this opportunity to teach our students about gun safety," said Holly Holland public information officer for the Calcasieu Parish School Board. "We want parents to know that when you send your children to school they are in a safe place, and this Eddie Eagle Program is only going to strengthen that, and we are very grateful for the opportunity to teach this to our students."

Miguez hopes that by Calcasieu Parish being the first to enact the program, it will encourage other school districts in Louisiana to do the same, but the main goal of the program ultimately is to save many lives.

"If we can save one life or keep one kid out of the hospital, Representative Dwight and myself's work was all worth it," said Miguez.

Representative Dwight says next session they might look into toughening laws on what people can be charged with if an incident like the Moss Bluff shooting were to happen again.

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