A Wyoming school district has divided opinions after turning the gymnasium of one of its schools into a shooting range for a PE lesson.
Fifth and sixth grade students at Hot Springs County School District were given air rifles and taught how to fire at targets which were propped up in the gym.
According to the Idaho Statesman, the school district posted a picture of the kids on its Facebook page at the beginning of this month reporting that every student “passed their safety test” and that each student has “been sharpening their skills.”
The article added the post, which is no longer available publicly, soon caught the attention of thousands with some offended by what they saw.
But some organizations reposted it praising the school for its “proper teaching.”
“Hot Springs County School District #1 is definitely doing it right! The more kids who learn firearm safety the better! Less accidents happen with proper teaching!” YouTube channel “Deer Blinds and Fishing Lines” said on its Facebook page.
Superintendent Dustin Hunt and board chairman Sherman Skelton said the three-week air rifle course makes sense for the students in their area.
“One of the many beauties of public education is that locally elected school boards help shape curriculum to match community norms and needs,” the pair said in a statement to McClatchy News, as reported by the Miami Herald.
“In Wyoming, the vast majority of households have firearms. It is important for students to safely learn about and respect things they will encounter in their everyday lives.”
The statement noted that students are not required to participate in the marksmanship lessons, and an “alternative assignment” is available.
“To date, no students have requested an alternate unit or assignment,” the statement added.
‘Responsible firearm ownership’
According to the Miami Herald, most of the 6,000 comments the post attracted was in support of this teaching in schools.
“This is what America needs more of,” one comment read. “Education and responsible firearm ownership.”
But some weren’t so supportive and suggested the school could be setting itself up for a tragedy.
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