A threat to cut off federal funding for West Virginia's 4-H programs - and some West Virginia University programs - unless its summer camps stopped using American Indian customs was apparently not legitimate.
The decisions based on that threat will be delayed, pending a year-long investigation. In the meantime, the as-yet-unnamed federal employee should get a trip to the woodshed for his meddling.
The problems began during a review of West Virginia's program by seven national 4-H leaders. During the review, one member of the group phoned a U.S. Department of Agriculture official to discuss a complaint filed by as Roane County parent with USDA's Office of Civil Rights.
That call produced what 4-H officials called a "verbal directive" to end all American Indian practices by June 1. Word of that directive went to Larry Cote, West Virginia University's Extension Service Director, who on March 22 issued an order eliminating the practices from all summer camps.