Parents raffle off assault rifle for high school fundraiser

Harriet Brewis
Wednesday 31 March 2021 10:48
news

Frighteningly, rifle raffles are not uncommon in the US

(Bexar Arms/Unsplash)

Raffles, along with bake sales and sponsored runs, are mainstays of the classic fundraiser, yet most of us are used to boxes of chocolate or soap collections as the top prize.

This was not the case in the town of Titusville, Florida, however, where a set of parents decided to offer up a semi-automatic rifle.

Flyers advertising the eyebrow-raising reward have been widely shared on social media, with users baffled by the inappropriate move.

The raffle was the brainchild of a parent-run organisation linked to a local school, working to raise money for post-graduation activities.

Astronaut High School has spoken out against the fundraiser, insisting the efforts of the Project Graduation programme had nothing to do with them.

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"Project Graduation is not a school-based organization and Astronaut High School nor Brevard Public Schools receive any funds or benefits from the program," Russell Bruhn, chief strategic communications officer for Brevard Public Schools, toldToday.

"The school district has no affiliation with Project Graduation."

As a result, school officials have told members of Project Graduation that they must remove "Astronaut High School" from all flyers promoting the raffle.

"We were made aware that Project Graduation has a raffle where the prize is a gun," Bruhn said.

"We understand that this is a sensitive subject and we want to remind our community that this raffle is not being run through Astronaut High or Brevard Public Schools."

Frighteningly, this is not the first time a school the US has seen gun raffle controversies.

In September 2019, an elementary school cheerleading league in Ohio asked student to sell raffle tickets for an AM-15 optic ready semi-automatic rifle.

In 2018, a political committee in Washington decided to remove an AR-15 rifle from an upcoming auction because it was the same type of weapon used at a mass shooting in Florida the week before, which left 17 people dead.

And there are plenty of other examples:

We like our raffles to feature gift cards, bottles of wine or even just a packet of biscuits, not weapons. Thanks.

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