WASHINGTON, DC – Citing concerns over accuracy, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is worried that American students are not shooting at grade level.
“I’m becoming increasingly concerned about our education system,” said the Secretary, adding “what we’re seeing is that many of our students are graduating high school shooting at an 8th grade level, and that’s simply unacceptable”.
Teachers have also expressed concern, citing statistics that up to 75% of students neglect to pick up a firearm during summer break, only to return to school in the fall having regressed two grade levels. Sheldon Smith, a high school civics teacher from Hialeah, Florida, told BeetPress “the only experience with firearms our students get over the summer is from playing video games. I’m sorry, but a game controller is no substitute for handling an actual gun”.
“When I hear that some of our young people can’t shoot their way out of a paper bag, it breaks my heart,” said Melissa Rawl, principal of Lexington High School in Lexington, SC, adding “obviously the system is failing our kids, and government action needs to be taken”.
The Trump Administration has proposed a bill to increase marksmanship levels in American high schools that includes increased spending on ammunition, standardized target shooting tests, and funding for summer firearms programs. The President tweeted this week “Obama failed our kids, but under Trump, America’s students will become the best shooters in the world.”
Proponents of the bill have stated that increased funding is a no-brainer including Representative Richard Hudson (R-NC) who told reporters that increased performance in marksmanship will better equip students for careers in military and law enforcement, but critics have expressed concern that additional funding for shooting programs will take funds away from arts programs such as music and theater.
DeVos, however, is confident that the bill will pass and that American students will once again be the best high school shooters in the world.