School Safety in the United States: One Year After Parkland

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Main idea of the lesson: Young people provide an essential voice in the ongoing conversation to increase school safety and reduce gun violence in American schools.  

Time to complete: one or two class periods (with optional extension activities)   

Enduring Understandings:  

  • Gun violence affects different communities in different ways, such as higher rates of homicide in urban areas and higher rates of suicide and unintentional shootings in rural areas.  

  • All forms of freedom come with responsibility and considerations of safety. Responsible gun ownership, such as safe storage, can prevent and reduce the rates of gun violence in our communities.   

  • Laws such as “extreme risk laws” can be explored to demonstrate what works best to reduce and prevent gun violence in schools.  

  • Many young people view reducing gun violence as one of the primary issues of their generation.  

Essential Questions:  

  • How do different communities experience gun violence? 

  • How do responsibility and safety affect the right to bear arms? 

  • What effect do data and case studies have on efforts to reduce gun violence?  

  • What role do young people play in the ongoing conversation about school safety?  


Sarah Lerner, author/editor of Parkland Speaks, Journalism Teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School 

Emily Muellenberg, Social Studies Teacher, Highlands Ranch High School, Colorado. Sponsor of CO Team ENOUGH. 

Julie Stern, author of Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding; content lead for Share My Lesson 

Enjoy this lesson on school safety?

Check out more free lesson plans and resources on Share My Lessson in the Top 2019 Free Lessons: The Best of Share My Lesson collection.

Parkland, One Year Later

 #8 Top Partner Lesson of 2019

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February 2019
Such an important lesson teach in today's school climate.
February 2019
So important to have this school safety lesson plan and powerpoint available, as we remember and reflect on the one year anniversary of the tragedy in Parkland.
February 2019
This is a comprehensive lesson plan created by three incredible educators. This lesson is a must have conversation for your students as we continue to discuss and advocate for better policies to protect kids in schools, at home and in the community.