For years, Republicans have lamented the supposed indoctrination they say is rampant within the education system, promoting hysteria over "critical race theory" and unvarnished teachings of atrocities like the Holocaust and slavery in the United States.
As a result, school board officials have been bombarded with belligerent community members at town halls, with some Republican political candidates even calling for them to be forcibly removed through intimidation and physical assault. Other far-right officials have demanded live video feeds of teachers in their classrooms, believing parents can oversee the contents of each day's lessons. Republican politicians have emphasized parents' rights to monitor their kids' education, and Republican governors like Ron DeSantis of Florida have supported legislation securing a "Parents' Bill of Rights" to which schools would adhere.
But this defense of parental oversight is apparently not a concern for Republicans when it comes to bringing the National Rifle Association—one of the most powerful lobbies that's spent decades kneecapping legislation to curb gun violence—into the classroom.
A bill to mandate a National Rifle Association (NRA) gun safety program in schools is currently making the rounds in the Alabama legislature, enjoying the support of Republicans after it was proposed by conservative state representative Quang Nguyen.
House Bill 2448 passed through the Arizona House Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee, and would mandate the Arizona Gun Safety Program. The program, according to Nguyen, solely promotes gun safety and doesn't teach children to use guns.
It would integrate the NRA's gun safety program for children using the organization's eagle mascot, Eddie Eagle, targeting children from pre-school to third grade, according to a report from the AZ Mirror.
What's more, a proposal from Democratic state representative Daniel Hernandez that would've allowed students to opt-out of the NRA trainings was rejected by Republicans—a hypocritical move from a party that's introduced a slew of bills nationwide allowing parents to heavily monitor their children's education.
One of the Republicans who rejected that amendment, state representative John Kavanaugh, said:
“I can’t think of any parent in their right mind that wouldn’t want this. I would forward the name and address of the parent to child protective services if they opted out of this.”
Social media users disagree, fearing the consequences of NRA propaganda entering schools, even under the guise of gun safety.
The hypocrisy wasn't lost on anyone.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has warned that the Eddie Eagle program is largely ineffective in the real world.