School reverses policy, trap-shooting team photo (shotguns included) to appear in yearbook

The Big Lake High School trap-shooting team. (Lommel Photography)

For the first time, the Big Lake High School trap-shooting squad will have its team photo in the school’s yearbook.

But it didn’t come easy.

Various stories broke Thursday morning saying that, because team members posed with their shotguns in the photo, it would not be included in the yearbook because of a school policy over the display of such photos. The team learned of the news during a fundraiser Wednesday night.

But, maybe in part because of massive negative reaction that followed — particularly on social media — the school announced Thursday that it was making an amendment to the policy and the photo will now be included.

Originally, school officials said the photo could be retaken sans the guns and also offered to meet with the coaches Thursday afternoon to discuss possible options. The issue also was expected to be raised by parents at a school board meeting that night, according to reports.

But a decision to reverse the policy and allow the photo came Thursday morning. A news post Thursday on the school’s website said, “The Big Lake Schools administration accepted a request this morning to change a handbook policy concerning the display of guns in yearbook photos. The past policy said the administration may edit or exclude any photos or artwork that displayed firearms or weapons. Once the procedure for modifying a handbook policy was followed, the district was able to amend the policy so that the school-sponsored trap-shooting team photo could be included.”

Still, the buzz on social media continues.

As of Friday morning, a first story that appeared on the Outdoor News Facebook page reporting that the team photo may be banned from the yearbook reached about 53,000 people, with more than 300 “likes” (or “dislikes,” as the case may be) and “shares” and about 100 comments, all against the decision and in support of the trap-shooting team. The post later included an update on the policy change, which may have added to those numbers, and a story posted later Thursday on the policy reversal reached more than 14,000 people on the page, also as of Friday morning.

“This TEAM deserves to have their rifles in the pic just as much as the other ‘teams’ do their equipment (baseball, basketball, hockey, etc.),” one commenter said on a post that appeared on the Outdoor News Facebook page. “It is all part of their sport!!!!!”

Big Lake, with a population of around 10,000 (including more than 900 students at Big Lake High School), is located about 50 miles northwest of the Twin Cities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *