We’ve got a high school fishing team and a trap shooting team at Brainerd High School. Others like Pillager, Pequot Lakes, Pine River and Staples-Motley school districts have followed, all with much success. Could we take it one step further? Now there’s the possibility of Phy Ed classes teaching firearms safety classes.
The big fear is our youth are spending to much time in front of screens and losing touch with Minnesota’s outdoor heritage. That’s why Sen. Justin Eichorn of Grand Rapids would like to give schools the option of adding firearms safety, hunting, trap shooting, archery and fishing to physical education classes.
“We’re trying to help get our Minnesota kids away from the TV and get them out in the woods and on the water again to get them hooked on the outdoors and hooked on fishing. We want to start bending that curve to get children to care about the outdoors and the history of and heritage of hunting and fishing in Minnesota.”
Eichorn’s bill, SF 793, would set up a pilot program with the Dept. of Natural Resources providing the curriculum and other resources to six schools across the state.
The committee Wednesday also heard from Kevin Murphy, a sixth-grade teacher at Northland Community Schools in Cass County, outside of Grand Rapids. Murphy told lawmakers his small rural school district near Grand Rapids already teaches children firearms safety, snowmobile safety, ATV safety, boat and water safety plus a “Hooked on Fishing” class.
This will be something to keep an eye on going forward.