Polk County

Should school districts receive funding from the NRA?

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) - In the wake of the Parkland high school shooting, some schools are turning down funding from the National Rifle Association.

But one Tampa Bay area school continues to take the cash.

8 On Your Side discovered the NRA is giving grant money to Polk County Schools, and the district has no plans to stop the flow of cash.

Over the years, the NRA has given millions to help fund students in JROTC programs.

We've learned several schools within the Polk County School District have received grants to buy supplies like air rifles, pellets and targets.

"I have family in the military and they need all the support they can get," said Holly Kelley, of Lakeland. "I'm also for supporting high school organizations. They also need a lot of support."

Polk County School Board member Billy Townsend doesn't necessarily support the NRA, but he doesn't mind this.

"In this narrow sense where they're just providing the funds for my kid to be able to shoot and keep kids engaged in the same way they get engaged for art of sports or [agriculture]., I have no problem with it.

8 On Your Side dug deeper into the issue, checking with other Tampa Bay area schools.

Pasco, Pinellas and Manatee do not receive NRA funding.

We have not heard back from the Hillsborough County School District.

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