NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE
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Sen. Steve Erdman

Sen. Steve Erdman

District 47

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Straight Talk From Steve…

March 2nd, 2018

I care deeply about the safety of children in our public schools. In no way do I wish to put any of our children into a situation where they might be harmed. I believe our public schools should be safe places for children to learn. As the recent terroristic threat inscribed on a bathroom stall at Creek Valley High School in Chappell so aptly demonstrates, schools in Nebraska’s Panhandle are not immune from the same kind of violence which recently occurred down in Florida.

Finding a sensible way to protect children in our public schools will not likely be found in the hysteria which has resulted in the aftermath of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The facts of the matter are that automatic weapons, such as machine guns, silencers, and sawed off shotguns have been banned in our country ever since the National Firearms Act of 1934. Bump stocks do not turn rifles into automatic weapons, and “assault rifle” is nothing more than a term that activists use who want to ban more guns. Had the FBI and local law enforcement acted upon the warnings previously given to them about Nicolas Cruz, the entire incident in Florida never would have occurred.

Banning more guns does not solve the problem of school violence. Consider, for instance, that on April 9, 2014 16-year-old sophomore student, Alex Hribal, ran through the hallways of his Murrysville, Pennsylvania high school, stabbing 20 students and one security officer in the stomach with two eight-inch kitchen knives. Four students suffered life-threatening injuries that day. One student barely escaped death when the knife that pierced him came dangerously close to his heart. So, banning guns makes as much sense as banning kitchen knives, and ignores the deeper issues related to school violence.

The problem of school violence is really a parental, cultural, moral and spiritual problem. Thirty years ago, students did not shoot up their schools even though they had more access to guns than students do today. Earlier in our nation’s history, parents were more involved in their students’ lives and morality and faith were taught and encouraged in our public schools, and the Judeo-Christian worldview was woven throughout our curriculum. For instance, in his 1904 textbook entitled, “The Elements of English Grammar” William F. Webster included these four sentences in a simple student exercise on identifying nouns: “Cathedrals are impressive,” “God is in His world,” “Silence is a great peacemaker,” and “The finest churches are made of stone.” These kinds of sentences can no longer can be found in our students’ textbooks.

The ethics which dominate in our public schools today are global warming, diversity, and gay rights. Because traditional morality and spirituality are so lacking in today’s curriculum, some educators have now begun to tell their students not to murder their classmates and not to rape women. However, traditional education never had to say such things, because we were taught from the beginning to be kind, to be respectful of others, and to always act like a lady or a gentleman.

In his remarks this week about the passing of Rev. Billy Graham, President Donald Trump said, “Faith promotes love, hope, charity, kindness, mutual respect, and civility. It has always been an important part of America.” He was right. So, what America’s youth need most today are healthy, loving families, spiritual revival, and moral awakening.

Sen. Steve Erdman

District 47
Room #12th Floor
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2616
Email: serdman@leg.ne.gov
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