I emailed Riveredge Nature Center, the site of the proposed outdoor-based school:
I am excited by the notion of a nature-based elementary school at Riveredge. But I remember that in 2017, Wisconsin removed age limits for hunting. And in the 2016 election, the state’s freshman senator Ron Johnson received more than 1.5 million from the NRA. Before I commit to supporting the charter school, I want to know if hunting the abundant wildlife at Riveredge (or elsewhere) will be on the curriculum. And whether the school’s teachers will be armed. And what are “Wisconsin bodysuits?”
Executive Director Jessica Jens first responded with paragraphs of school strategy and potential and no specifics but for this:
As for the “Wisconsin bodysuits….” What Ted [Neitzke IV, chairman of the Riveredge board of directors] was referring to was the all weather outdoor gear which our 4K students wear on almost a daily basis to explore the outdoor comfortably in all weather. We have a preference to Oaki Wear. You can find more about that here: https://oaki.com/product-category/one-piece-rain-snow-suits/
I pressed with a follow-up email that read:
Thank you for your response; however it does not answer my questions about guns. Will guns in any way be part of the classroom, either indoors or outdoors? Will the children be learning how to kill animals?
Jens wrote back:
Guns will not be part of the school. Students will not be taught how to shoot guns as part of the school’s curriculum.
That’s now on the record. On my record at least.
Read the first part of this story A Nature-Centric Elementary School Sponsored by Northern Ozaukee School System.