A private school in Georgia is receiving quite a bit of backlash for taking a group of young children on a field trip to the gun range.
The torrent of angry comments came when Tammy Dorsten, the owner of Holdheide Academy, posted pictures – which have since been removed – of a 1st and 2nd grader handling revolvers at Hi-Caliber Firearms gun range to the school’s Facebook page.
Dorsten told CBS 46 that the outrage came as quite a surprise to her.
“The posts were deleted because of the nasty comments put from people not even in this community,” she explained. “I was shocked that people were that upset. I was shocked that people didn’t call me, that they wanted to use profanity first.”
According to Dorsten, students at Holdheide are currently learning about Annie Oakley, Pecos Bill and Davy Crockett, which is a part of the Georgia-approved curriculum. To supplement the lesson, Dorsten thought it would be a good idea to bring students to the range to show them just how difficult sharpshooting is. The range they visited even has the type of 1894 rifle that Oakley would’ve used.
Only two students ended up attending, after handing in a signed permission slip from their parents of course.
“This was a wonderful learning experience with a safety class before and after the guns were handled,” Dorsten told CBS 46.
This didn’t stop other parents – and random people from across the country – from tearing into Dorsten for the trip. She even received a few death threats, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Dorsten responded to her critics the following day on Facebook, emphasizing that this was NOT a lesson on guns.
Similarly, she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “If parents want to teach their children about gun safety, that’s their prerogative.”
Thankfully, Dorsten got a much more positive response to this post.
“I’d send our kids to your school in a heartbeat,” wrote one Facebook user.
“Glad to see you all seem to have a great curriculum which includes field trips to learn about our history. These kids will remember this day for years to come. Wish there was more places like yours out there,” wrote another.
The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning in currently investigating the situation after receiving a number of complaints.
Either way it looks like Dorsten is standing by her decision.
“It was a wonderful educational experience,” she said. “I showed them a piece of living history.”