After their school board rejected an NRA grant Monday, a Pennsylvania high school rifle team has already gotten more than enough money — from their local community.
The Stroudsburg Area School board voted 6-2 against accepting the $4,730 the NRA had originally granted the rifle team to replace their 70s-era equipment.
However, several community members and local business owners came together and collected over $6,000 for the team.
“It wouldn’t be acceptable if the football team was using helmets from the 1970s, so as a local community, we didn’t feel it was acceptable for the rifle team to,” said East Stroudsburg businessman Brian Winot, who was reportedly shocked at the school board’s decision.
Rifle team coach Mike Qendro was also shocked.
“The kids were very upset and I was upset myself,” Qendro told WNEP. “I was like, ‘OK, we really need this, and it’s great we got it,’ and then, all of a sudden, ‘No, you can’t have it,’ but out of that sprung up local community members, just grassroots to take care of the team.”
The rifle team had applied for the grant back in December and had just found out they had received it, only to have it taken away by the school board.
Although District Superintendent Cosmas Curry supports the team and accepted the community donated money on their behalf, he also pointed out the fact that several members didn’t like the idea of accepting money from the NRA. One board member even called it “blood money,” according to The Hill, while another referenced the Parkland shooting by claiming the board had to “bring national politics” into their decision.
“There’s not a board member that doesn’t believe in the rifle team,” said Curry.
Watch WNEP’s coverage below: