SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Re: What Message are we sending?
By Sharyl Whitesides-Yeisley


March 14, 2007
Wednesday AM

I want to thank Rebecca Clark for pointing out that it is a parent s choice and responsibility to make decisions for our children. Parents are legally responsible to make decisions for their children that are in their best interest. It is only the parents that have the right to make the decision if a child should remain in school at any given time. We, as parents, do not call the school to ask if our children are too sick to attend or to check in on the decisions we are making on their behalf. It is my belief that all of the parents should have been informed and given their right to choose to allow their child to attend school with a threat looming.

Gun violence is an issue nationally. My husband and I have five children. Both of our sons have airsoft guns that are similar to BB guns. We called around looking for gun safety classes for them but there aren t any offered locally. When I was a child, I was taught that guns were either for hunting to provide food for your family or as weapons. Our boys do not have access to their airsoft guns. They are in a locked safety box and only my husband and I have a key to open that box. We have safety gear, targets and my husband teaches them proper handling. He supervises at all times.

My son went to a friend s house and that parent allowed him to shoot with them. They did not call me to find out if I even allowed him to shoot at all or ask if I would mind. My son even knew he shouldn t have done it but the other boy was so he did it anyway. As a parent, I should have been the person making that decision, not someone else. My son should have called me. But as we all know, kids do not think ahead about these things. That is why PARENTS make those decisions that concern the safety and well-being of our children.

I think at this point we should be proactive as a community and educate our children on the importance of gun safety and personal safety. Airsoft guns, pellet guns and BB guns do not have to be registered. You can walk in to Wal-mart and Tongass and purchase them freely. Even though these are considered toys , someone can still be hurt. You can still scare someone and the airsoft guns look very real. I would be willing to pay for my children to attend classes if someone is interested in offering them.

Again, I want to thank you reminding us that as parents, we need to be informed. We should know what is happening at school, what our children are doing at home and outside of the home. The only way this can happen is for parents to get involved, become proactive and remain informed.

Sharyl Whitesides-Yeisley
Ketchikan, AK

Received March 13, 2007 - Published March 14, 2007

About: "Mother of five children, volunteer in many youth activities, life long resident of Ketchikan."


Related Viewpoint:

letter Re: What message are we sending? By Rebecca Clark - Ketchikan, AK



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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska