An innovative multi-disciplinary gun violence curriculum that includes learning about the second amendment, surveying gun violence victims in their own neighborhoods and writing opinion pieces using policy and data analysis has been helping students in Oakland, California, understand gun violence in their community. Two teachers, shocked by the shooting death of a student, developed the three-month curriculum in 2016 in partnership with Vision Quilt and used it for four years. During the pandemic, they created an in-depth digital toolkit that includes case studies, lesson plans for math and history, and strategies for addressing childrens’ social-emotional needs. Several US schools are interested in adopting the curriculum next semester. “Instead of arming teachers, we’re trying to arm students and teachers with education,” says Vision Quilt executive director Cathy DeForest. After completing the course, 88% of students said they knew more about gun violence and its causes and 91% intended to prevent gun violence in their community, family or school.

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