Hellgate Elementary School Superintendent Doug Reisig took some heat when it was announced that there would be firearms safety assemblies for his first, second and third graders, but he said the effort was a complete success.

“We spent the whole day obviously with the ‘Be Safe – Gun Safety for Boys and Girls in Montana program for our students in grades one, two and three, said Reisig. “Miss Lynette Sims from the Western Montana Fish and Game Association was the speaker and presenter and she just did a fabulous job. It was a wonderful day for our kids.”

Reisig said Sims was able to communicate to the children about firearms safety in language they could easily understand.

“She was able to take that topic and break it down into language that I think our young children could understand,” he said. “I was at every one of the assemblies today and the kids were attentive, they asked questions, they were engaged and she just did a fabulous job.”

Reisig stepped carefully around the question of whether he would recommend the firearms safety assemblies to other schools.

“I think anything you can do to promote the health, welfare and safety of kids is a vital thing,” he said. “Clearly, in our community and in our state firearms and handguns, they’re just a fact of life, so anything we can do to help make our kids understand the dangers of a firearm, how to be around them and how to stay safe around them, is something that schools should take a look at.”

Reisig said there were no protests at the school and some parents sat in on the assemblies with their children.

Reisig was asked if he would welcome more such firearms safety assemblies at Hellgate Elementary School.

“We’re going to sit down with the board and give them an update as to how this went,” he said. “That’s a decision they will make, but from my standpoint, yes I would do it again.”

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