- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 27, 2018

A Pennsylvania school board on Monday voted against accepting a nearly $5,000 NRA grant for its rifle team.

The Stroudsburg Area School Board voted 6-2 against accepting the grant of $4,730 from the NRA, which members of the rifle team had applied for, The Hill reported.

Two rifle team members who spoke to the board at Monday’s meeting said their equipment is severely outdated.

“Rifle practice helps me calm down and de-stress,” team member Isabelle Strauch said before the vote, the Pocono Record reported. “It’s a mental sport, like chess. We need new rifles to be more competitive. The ones we have are from the ‘60s and ‘70s.”

School board member Michael Mignosi, who voted for the grant, said the rifle team had been “underfunded” for years, which is why the team applied for the grant from the NRA for the first time, The Morning Call reported.

But the majority of board members sided against accepting the grant.

“This is dirty money,” Director Alex Reincke said to a round of applause.

“I didn’t want to bring national politics into this but unfortunately we have no choice,” he said. “The NRA is a group that has transformed from a bunch of people who liked hunting in the ‘50s to something that quite frankly is a hateful, divisive group that seeks nothing but to push guns on people.”

“It’s not just dirty money, it’s blood money,” Director Tameko Patterson added. “The former Douglas High School student accused of shooting those victims was once a member of that school’s rifle team, which is supported by the NRA.”

After Monday’s vote, Superintendent Cosmas Curry said there would be further discussion in the athletic department about the rifle team’s equipment.

Team member Emily Dougherty said they would either do some fundraising or apply for another grant, The Morning Call reported.

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