Wake schools approve shooting meets

Staff ReportsAugust 20, 2008 

— Wake County public school students will be allowed to participate in state-sponsored marksmanship competitions this school year after the school board approved a revision Tuesday to the district's ban on firearms and deadly weapons.

Voting unanimously and without comment, the board waived the normal two rounds of voting on a new policy, allowing Wake schools to field teams in competitions of the state's hunter education program.

The policy revision was written after a March decision by a school principal and administrator to ban an East Wake High School FFA club's marksmanship team from participating in an N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission competition.

East Wake Principal Sebastian Shipp and Area Superintendent Danny Barnes cited the district's ban on bringing deadly weapons to campus as reason for their decision to bar the East Wake team, drawing nationwide criticism from pro-gun and hunting groups and a call for revisions to the district's firearms policy.

The new policy stipulates:

* Students would need notarized parental permission to participate in a firearms event.

* Students who take part in a tournament must pass hunter education taught by a state-approved instructor.

* Events must occur at approved firing ranges.

The revised policy does not change Wake's prohibition against firearms and deadly weapons on school grounds. Students competing in approved firearms contests would not be allowed to bring weapons or ammunition in their personal cars on school grounds.

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