On Wednesday, Rich Penkoski, pastor of Warriors for Christ, a West Virginia-based Christian ministry that made news after its page was repeatedly torn down by Facebook, told yours truly in an exclusive interview that a substitute teacher at his daughter’s middle school reportedly informed the class that “most” gun owners in America have an undiagnosed mental illness.
Moreover, the teacher reportedly told the children that they should support gun control measures.
Penkoski, who has had issues with this school before, told me he learned of the statement during a discussion on gun control with his daughter.
According to Penkoski, the teacher showed an article on gun control to the class but would not let students bring the article home.
A friend of Penkoski’s 14-year-old daughter said she could confirm the teacher’s statement.
The comments apparently came during a classroom discussion that seems to be in preparation for what Penkoski told me is a planned Apr. 10 walkout in support of gun control.
We attempted to contact the Mountain Ridge Middle School in Gerrardstown, W.V. for a response, but was unable to reach anyone at the phone number listed on the school’s website. We also reached out through email but have not received a response.
We also attempted to contact the Berkeley County School District, but no one was available.
As we reported earlier Wednesday, concerns have been raised over the idea of school children engaging in political protest over an issue as complex as gun control. Tucker Carlson and Dan Bongino wondered if anti-gun leftists are using young, impressionable school children to advance their anti-gun agenda.
The Washington Post, reporting on an event organized by “a half-dozen students from Iowa City High School,” in which “more than 250 students braved cold rain and marched 1.5 miles,” noted:
Such displays have given gun-safety advocates fresh hope that the violence in Parkland — and the widespread response to it among youths — could create new momentum across the country to enact firearms restrictions.
But these students are also attracting political attacks from advocates for gun rights. And established groups, demoralized after a string of shootings that have prompted no political response, are aware of how quickly such a moment can fade. To avoid tainting what they’re describing as an organic, youth-driven movement, they’re going out of their way to claim distance from student activists.
But is this really organic, or are children being manipulated and used by anti-gun leftists?
“Do we really think 17-year-olds on their own are going to plan a nationwide rally?” asked Jack Kingston, a former Republican congressman and current CNN commentator. “Organized groups that are out there like George Soros are always ready to take up the charge, and it’s kind of like instant rally, instant protest, and those groups are ready to take it to the streets.”
David Weigel and Wesley Lowery said that organizations like Everytown for Gun Safety and Americans for Responsible Solutions have “jumped into the post-Parkland fray, but they have remained careful in how they handle the students.”
“It’s important to recognize that in every single way possible this is an authentically grass-roots, student-led movement,” said Peter Ambler, executive director of Americans for Responsible Solutions. “Of course we’re reaching out and trying to lift them up, and give them the resources we can muster to make them successful. But we have been sort of at arm’s length, in the background doing whatever we can to support them.”
Penkoski, however, says he’s not happy with the message being given his daughter.
“I’m really concerned about what our country will look like in 30 years,” he said.