A Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officer supervises a school archery competition. TWRA

An attempt by the U.S. Department of Education to deny funds to schools for interscholastic archery programs has been defeated, thanks in part to Tennessee Congressman Mark Green.

Green was at the forefront of a nationwide backlash against the Feds’ proposal to deny funds “for the training and use of dangerous weapons.”

In the decades that the interscholastic archery program has been in place, there has never been a reported accident. The competitions are carefully supervised by experienced adults.

Over three million youngsters in elementary and high schools participate in the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP), including approximately 30,000 in Tennessee.

Tennessee’s NASP program is directed by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, which provides instructors and equipment and oversees tournament competitions.

“The TWRA is grateful for the bipartisan work of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to pass the Protecting Hunting Heritage Education Act,” said Agency communications director Emily Buck. “We are looking forward to our continued implementation of NASP which benefits countless Tennessee youngsters.”

There is concern that a similar attack under the guise of “training and use of dangerous weapons” will be launched against Hunter Education programs.

Some 8,000 Tennesseans graduate annually from Hunter Ed classes, which emphasize firearm safety and responsible use. Since the TWRA made the classes mandatory for anyone born after Jan. 1, 1969, in order to obtain a hunting license, firearm-related accidents have virtually disappeared.

License reminder: With several fall hunting seasons underway or at hand, the TWRA issues a reminder about the above-mentioned Hunter Ed requirements.

The classes can be taken online. For information visit

A youngster or anyone else who has not completed the class can obtain an Apprentice License that allows them to hunt with certain restrictions: they must be accompanied at all times by an adult 21 or older who has completed a Hunter Ed class.

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