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World Report

New Zealand Kindergarten Finds Solution for Children and Guns

Aired February 4, 2001 - 2:23 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ASIEH NAMDAR, CNN ANCHOR: During the past few years, fighting crime has taken on a whole new meaning in the United States. When a surge in school shootings, there is heated debate all over the world about children and guns.

As teachers and parents try to deal with this issue, one school in New Zealand thinks it might have a solution. Here is TV New Zealand.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CORINNE AMBLER, TVNZ CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Meet some of the country's youngest gun license holders. Nelson Kindergarten realizes it can't stop children playing with guns. So, it's tackling the problem in an up-front way. When a teacher sees a child using a stick or fingers to shoot something, they make fill out a license.

HELEN DURBRIDGE, TEACHER: We use the license as a thinking tool. They have to fill -- tell us the name and address (UNINTELLIGIBLE) tell us the rules of guns. And the first rule is you never point a gun at anybody.

AMBLER: The kindergarten doesn't encourage the gun play and no toy guns are allowed. The children must have a reason for wanting a license, such as target practice or shooting pests (ph) like possums. Parents say the strategy is good for their children.

JACQUI DOUGLAS, PARENT: He is now a lot more sensible about -- he told his 3-year old sister today that she had to have a license before she could start pointing a gun, and you should not point guns at adults or children or people, and he also knows, that someone gets shot it is dangerous.

DURBRIDGE: We had a child who was really fascinated with guns, and it was always really, intensely fascinated, and was playing with them all the time. It is much less of an issue now.

AMBLER: And the game is such a success, other Nelson kindergartens may follow suit.

WENDY LOGAN, NELSON KINDERGARTEN: We have had a good result with the children, and the parents here have been very happy with the strategy.

AMBLER: So, it looks like, in one corner of the country at least, cowboys and indians has lost out to modern games.

From television New Zealand, I'm Corrine Ambler reporting for the CNN WORLD REPORT.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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