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Nosler Sign To Remain At MVHS For Now

BEND, OR -- Bend-La Pine Schools officials say a promotional sign for an ammunition company will remain below the football scoreboard at Mountain View High, pending a review of district policies. The district recently heard from people concerned about advertising Nosler, a local company that makes and sells ammunition, weapons and hunting gear. 

The school district issued a statement, saying in part, "After considerable consultation with the District’s legal department, the superintendent will allow a Nosler-sponsored sign to be displayed this fall below the Mountain View High School football scoreboard. The District will maintain the status quo with respect to Nosler’s sponsorship at MVHS and other schools while conducting a review of its existing policy and procedures related to advertising displayed on school property." Officials say Nosler and its owners have supported MVHS for over 25 years. 

Bend-La Pine Schools' administrative regulation states: “Advertising which is consistent with community standards, school curriculum and academic goals, and which is age-appropriate and consistent with district non-discrimination policies, may be accepted for placement in school publications and on certain district property.  Advertising on district property shall be prohibited where the circumstances, in the judgment of the superintendent or designee, may be considered exploitative of the students of the district or may otherwise compromise the District?s educational mission.” It also says the district cannot accept advertisements that "promote the use of illegal drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gambling or firearms; are associated with any company or individual whose actions are inconsistent with the District?s mission and goals or community values; or promote any product or service not permitted to minors by law."

But authorities say they need time to interpret how that applies to Nosler: 

  • What is meant by “promote,” and does a sign featuring the company name/logo promote the use of firearms?
  • Would an interpretation extend to any business, including sporting goods stores and general retailers, that sell firearms and/or ammunition? What about businesses that produce and sell alcohol, such as local breweries?
  • In Oregon, minors under age 18 may not purchase or possess a firearm, although minors are permitted to use firearms for hunting and target practice. 

The district notes, "Those who questioned the placement of the Nosler sign in early September asked if it’s appropriate to allow a business name associated with firearms to have such prominent placement at a school. Some referenced the shooting by a former MVHS student at a Bend Safeway store in August 2022, an event that was deeply upsetting for students, staff and our entire community. As awareness of the sign in question has grown in recent weeks, the school and district also heard from community members supporting how the school recognizes Nosler for its tradition of supporting students in our District."

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