The Department of Education under the Biden administration is threatening to withhold federal funding for school hunting and archery programs, according to Fox News. Under the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) passed last year, the Department of Education determined that these classes involved “training in the use of a dangerous weapon,” which goes against the government’s push for “safer, more inclusive and positive” school environments.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, Tommy Floyd, the president of the National Archery in the Schools Program, said that pulling funding for these programs hurts the children who benefit from them in several ways. Floyd explained that for students enrolled in the programs, they are learning the skills of a sport and it helps them “grow to be responsible adults.” The program also gives students enrolled a role model to look up to and learn from, and much of what is learned in these programs is safety.
“You’ve got every fish and wildlife agency out there working so hard to utilize every scrap of funding, not only for the safety and hunter education, but for the general understanding of why stewardship is so important when it comes to natural resources…Any guidance where it’s even considered a ‘maybe’ or a prohibition for shooting sports is a huge negative,” said Floyd.
Floyd’s organization alone serves 1.3 million students from nearly 9,000 schools across the country, and some have already canceled their archery or hunting programs due to the lack of funding.
In a letter sent to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona earlier this month, Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Thom Tillis, R-N.C. expressed their concern that the Department of Education misinterpreted the BSCA guidelines in order to further their anti-Second Amendment agenda. They wrote, “We were alarmed to learn recently that the Department of Education has misinterpreted the BCSA to require the defending of certain longstanding educational and enrichment programs — specifically, archery and hunter education classes — for thousands of children, who rely on these programs to develop life skills, learn firearm safety and build self-esteem.” The lawmakers argued that hunting and archery programs fall “well within” the breadth of activities that support positive and safe learning for students.