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More on WV’s Plan for Hunting Classes in Schools

February 16th, 2008

A few days ago, I wrote a post about a new class that some of our State Legislators are trying to get into the public school system, and why I thought it could be a good idea. Today, there is more news on that front. The governor, Joe Manchin, has now entered the arena, with his opinion. The Register-Herald out of Beckley, WV, published a piece today concerning the issue.

Governor Manchin’s take on the issue is that it should not be forced on the local school boards. It should be a decision made at the local level, whether it will be offered or not. I can live with that, and in fact think that is probably best. But, the state needs to pass the law making it legal, or acceptable for the local schools to include the curriculum. Until it is solidified at the state level, the local school boards have very little ability to implement such a program. The curriculum should be approved, and it should be optional for the school board to implement it, or for students to participate. I have little doubt that most (almost all) of the school systems in this state would approve the program. I may be surprised, if the wrong people are on the board. If that is the case, there will be uproar among parents who want the program instituted.

All that being said, I do wonder if the governor would take the exact same stand on other curricula that go far beyond “reading, writing and arithmetic”? I venture to say that the state has legislated other programs (such as morality based programs included in health programs, such as sex education) without thinking that it should come down to “a local call and that’s the culture of the local community”. If that were the case, I know that there are programs that would be rejected!

I do see a couple of good things in this article, providing us with more information. One is a quote that indicates the popularity of this legislation, even from other states:

Bailey has been besieged with inquiries from lawmakers in other states interested in proposing similar legislation there.

That is good news for those of you in other states, who would like to see similar laws enacted. It means that there is a hope that if successful here in WV, you will have precedent to enact similar legislation.

Secondly, I was asked if this class would certify hunters for their safety card. This article makes it clear that it will indeed provide those who successfully finish the program the required hunter’s safety card to be able to purchase a hunting license:

Completing the 10-hour course would provide graduates with a certificate to satisfy training requirements now in place before teens can buy a state hunting license.

I was glad to find this information today, as it gives me more hope that the program may get off its feet.

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