GUILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Guns are the leading cause of death for children and teens in the United States. Now, one Connecticut mother is taking a huge step to keep children safe, by introducing a pilot program about gun safety and violence prevention. 

Kristin Song says the new lesson plans would mark the first time they’re seeing the effects of Ethan’s Law in classrooms since the legislation was signed in 2019. 

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“It is not an anti-gun lesson plan. It is specifically to save children. Period,” Song said. 

Ethan’s Law is named after Kristin’s son, Ethan, who was killed with an unsecured gun at a friend’s house in 2017. The law mandates safe gun storage around children and guidelines about teaching gun safety. 

Song partnered with Robin Fox, a social and emotional educator, to create the lesson plans for the gun safety curriculum. Fox said she spent two years consulting with government leaders, parents, educators and gun owners.  

“It’s a nonpolitical guide that just deals with safe storage, non-defensive communication, and understanding your brain a little bit more,” Fox said. 

Lessons include team building and role-playing exercises to help students learn how to regulate their emotions, have better communication, and recognize possible threats.   

“If things start to get heated, [if] people start to get defensive; how do I react in a way that can defuse that?” Fox said.  

Steven Hernandez is the executive director of Connecticut’s Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity, and Opportunity. He says the pilot program is innovative and it is already appealing to school districts across the country.  

“It is the first of its kind that I’ve ever seen,” Hernandez said. “That’s why we’re seeing interest, not only around the state but also in our sister states around us and around the country.” 

Dr. Paul Freeman, superintendent of Guilford Public Schools, says they plan on incorporating the lessons into their existing health and wellness curriculum.  

“I prefer to think of it as being proactive and making sure that when somebody needs help when someone’s going to make a bad decision, we as a community see that and react to that and provide that kind of help,” Freeman said.  

Hernandez says each school district can decide whether to adopt the material. Leaders can also pick and choose from the lessons. 

“This toolkit really is not one-size-fits-all but is accessible to everybody,” Hernandez said. 

Song says the more accessibility, the more impact they’ll have on saving lives. 

“We could save a child,” Song said. “And, for me, that is worth everything that I’m doing.” 

Hernandez says they’ll present the plan to school principals, counselors, and parents next week, hoping they adopt the lessons and implement them this fall.   

Fox also says they’ll eventually modify the lessons so they can offer them to middle and elementary schools.