Funny pictures of kids playing with tampons, condoms, and bras are really about gun safety.

You know how kids are. They'll pretty much play with anything they come across that they find interesting.

Sometimes the things they find are embarrassing but funny.


Things like condoms that look strikingly similar to balloons.

Ad images by Evolve, used with permission.

And tampons and pads. I mean, one turns tiny fingers into talons and the other has adhesive backs. What could be more fun?!

And lingerie. It's colorful, after all.


We definitely can't forget the sex toys. Bright, sword-like, and battery operated, what kid could resist?

I'm willing to bet the farm that there are some fellow parents out there who have a story or two about their kiddos finding any of these items. (I know I'm not alone, whether anyone else will admit it or not!)

But these ads aren't about the funny and sometimes embarrassing things our children discover and appropriate for toys.

Not even close. These were created to make a point.

You know what else might look like an interesting new toy to a child who stumbles upon it?

This:

Photo by iStock.

Yep, that's right. A gun. What makes it any less intriguing to a young child than condoms or sex toys?

The answer is nothing, which is why it's so important to lock up guns to prevent kids from ever getting their hands on them. Storing a gun in a place you don't think kids will find it isn't effective.

Kids are like tiny detective ninjas. They can find anything, particularly when it's not meant for them.

Photo by iStock.

And that's what motivated Evolve, the organization behind these ads, to create them.

The fact is that right now, at this very moment, lots of people own guns. In fact, a recent survey found that about a third of American adults live in a household where one or more guns is present. And that means that plenty of kids live in homes with guns, too.

So don't be distracted: There's no gun control or Second Amendment debate here. We need to talk about how to keep those kids safe — right now, right where they are.

As it says on the Evolve website:

"Yes, there's a raging gun debate out there. But no matter how loud anyone is yelling whatever they're yelling, everyone can agree, we can be safer. Right, responsible gun owner? Right, left-leaning senator? Right, Mom?

We're thinking America can stop shooting itself in the foot. We're thinking everyone can pause the debate for a sec and pay attention to one simple thing: somewhere out there is an unlocked, loaded gun. Don't we all want to reach it before a 3-year-old does?"

Photo by iStock.

Rebecca Bond, one of the founders of Evolve, shared this with me:

"There is a code that parents live by and expect others to uphold as well. To keep children safe. Parents generally expect others to have an even higher code with other people's children. An unsecured gun found by a child is 100% avoidable. ...

Leaving a child around an unsecured firearm is the equivalent of leaving them in a room with a running chainsaw and hoping they make the right choice. ...

We need this discussion to be occurring in homes and among friends and families. Make a choice to buy a gun or not based on your personal choice. Safe handling and securement you do for everyone.



An organization called Project ChildSafe distributes gun lock safety kits across the country. If you have a gun in your home, use their interactive map to find an agency they work with in your state to get a kit to secure it.

While we don't know exactly how many children are involved in accidental shootings each year, one thing is for certain: They happen. "No matter what, we all live with guns and this is everyone's conversation," Bond told me.

We adults can debate gun ownership all day long, but while we're doing it, it's important to make sure guns are secure and don't get in the hands of those curious, creative, oblivious children that we love so much. That's something none of us want them to happen.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

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Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

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Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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