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Parents Split Over Gun Raffle

By Brittany Nicholson
By bnicholson@wbbjtv.com

CROCKETT COUNTY, Tenn. - A gun could help send students to New York City.

A group of parents are raffling off a pistol to help pay for a trip for 8th graders, and that is not sitting well with everyone.

Some parents said they see no problem with raffling away a gun to raise money for their children, while others said a gun should not be used for this type of fundraising.

"I think it is teaching kids something they shouldn't know," Juanita Wilson said, whose son goes to Crockett County Middle School.

Each year, parents at Crockett County Middle School hold fundraisers to help pay for a trip for 8th graders as a celebration for finishing middle school.

This year - along with bake sales and more traditional ventures - the parents are raffling off a 9mm Glock 17 pistol.

"There are several things they could raffle off instead of a gun, you know something that they could go off and kill somebody with," Lina Barrett, whose daughter is in 8th grade at CCMS, said.

Barrett said this raffle has made her decide not to send her daughter on the trip.

"I wouldn't have ever thought they would do anything like that 'cause it's just so hard to purchase a gun these days and now they're [going to] raffle one off? It's unbelievable," Barrett said.

Juanita Wilson worries a gun raffle will give students the wrong idea.

"Look at all the killings going on in the schools. Those kids had to learn from someplace," Wilson said.

One mother told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News she knew this raffle would sell a lot of tickets and raise money for the students. She said she does not think it is a big deal.

Crockett County Middle School's principal Bobby McLaughlin released the following statement: "The 8th grade trip is not affiliated with the school district. It is planned, organized, and funded by parents of our 8th graders after they complete their 8th grade year at CCMS."

WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News tried to contact the mom organizing the raffle, but was unsuccessful.

The group of moms selling the raffle tickets said their children are aware of guns and how they should be used.

The parents said they are selling 500 tickets for $10 each.