Don’t look! This picture might offend you!
They’re coming for you next: Because it received complaints from unnamed offended individuals, the Wyoming Hot Springs County School District No. 1 decided to remove pictures and a post on its Facebook page showing middle school students learning to shoot air rifles.
Last week, the district shared a photo of some fifth- and sixth- grade students from Thermopolis Middle School working on their marksmanship with air rifles. “Mr. Deromedi’s 5/6th PE classes are working on their marksmanship with air rifles!” the now-deleted post stated. “All students passed their safety test and have been sharpening their skills.”
Without explaining why the school district removed the post, Superintendent Dustin Hunt said he regretted that it was “found offensive by others.” [emphasis mine]
Apparently, the Facebook post received a lot of attention, getting 66,000 shares and 6,000 comments, most of which were positive, according to reports that viewed the post before it was removed. A handful of commenters apparently were hostile however:
“America is a dystopian hellhole,” a commenter said.
“Do they go straight from their gun marksmanship training to their active shooter drills?” asked another.
Some commenters espoused typical leftist talking points and compared teaching children proper firearm safety to arming them for future crimes.
“Training the next school shooter young and providing the guns on campus nice,” one Facebook user wrote.
Another user suggested that this training amounted to “literally raising possible school shooters.”
These smattering of uneducated and quite absurd comments evidently struck terror into the school district’s administrators, causing them to take down the post.
What cowards! First, why are they bowing to the heckler’s veto? The first amendment does not give the offended the right to silence opinions they don’t like. To run and hide because a few people are whining about what you are doing is to allow bullies to bully you. The district’s administrators need to grow a spine.
Second, if the school really believes in teaching proper gun safety, why do they care that some idiots are offended? These whiners are foolish, ignorant, and a very very very small minority who are also likely not local to this school district. They clearly know nothing about Wyoming or the need to teach these skills to students.
Wyoming is a rural state. It is certain that almost all of these kids have lived with guns their whole lives, and will need to know how to use them properly if they remain in Wyoming. Teaching these rural children proper gun safety is being responsible, as the school district should know. For the administrators to act ashamed for doing the right thing is utterly disgusting.
Finally, why should the school district care in the slightest that a few people posted negative comments on Facebook? As the saying goes, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never harm me.” If you believe that what you are doing is right, you don’t cringe in fear from a few complainers, especially if those complainers make no constructive suggestions. Instead, you smile, thank them for their opinion, and go on as if nothing had happened.
The school district did not do this. Instead, it did cringe in fear, and thus embarrassed itself and, by implication, its young students.
It therefore seems appropriate that the parents, the voters, and elected officials find out who made the decision to take down the post, and take corrective action. At a minimum the post should be restored, and even expanded. At a maximum, the individuals who took it down should face some disciplinary action for being so pusillanimous.