It’s almost time for students at Big Lake High School in Minnesota to get their yearbooks and scour each page for their favorite photos taken over the past several months. Among the candid shots snapped at assemblies and school events are a plethora of posed shots capturing each group and club on campus. However, a certain set of students just got notice that the picture they had posed for will not be featured in the book. Parents are furious that their child didn’t make the final editing cut, while others side with the school on this decision to ban to shot after hearing about what was in it.
Faculty and staff worked diligently to put together the most memorable yearbook for the students, organizing each page and message to perfection like a time capsule for them to cherish for years to come. However, one memory wasn’t just scrubbed completely from the book, before there was seemingly no negotiation to get included before the book. Staff made the abrupt decision to ban it altogether after seeing what was in it and deeming it inappropriate for students’ view.
Despite the club being allowed to organize on campus, the school didn’t think they deserved any documentation of their existence. The 60-member strong school trap shooting team has every reason to be proud of their skills and accomplishments over the year, but the administrators certainly don’t think so. School staff was presumably aware of the photoshoot that the teens posed for since the team was originally approved as an extracurricular at Big Lake High. However, to their horror, each kid posed with their shotguns, not unlike the baseball team would be photographed with baseball bats.
“The picture showed the 60 team members posed with shotguns by their sides. However, school officials rejected the yearbook photo,” according to American Military News. “Superintendent Steve Westerberg said the student handbook ‘doesn’t allow firearms or weapons to be displayed’.”
It’s odd that the group is allowed to be in existence and bear the school’s name in the course of their shooting activities but wants to hide proof of their existence. It seems that the staff doesn’t want to show their equipment for this sport because it somehow causes more harm than a baseball bat or hockey stick could.
“That’s what you use in the sport. It’s just natural,” student Clayton Birdsall said who is in his first year with the Trap Shooting Club. “They both are equipment used in competition.”
“This rule has been in effect since the school started sponsoring a Trap Shooting Team a couple years ago,” Westerberg explained. However, parents proud of these kids’ accomplishment disagree and think political correctness is getting in the way. In turn, they’re trying to get the picture added to the book before it’s too late, and in my opinion, have every right to do so, especially since it’s a school sponsored sport. This isn’t the “Thug club,” it’s a responsible gun owners group that promotes outdoor activities and a popular American pastime.
As long as this school is censoring “offensive” or “harmful” objects from the yearbook, they might as well ban baseball bats since these too have been used in attacks and murders, or cheerleaders in short cheerleading skirts for the fear of promoting “rape culture” — this is about as ridiculous as their logic is banning guns from a Trap Shooting club picture.
After a lot of pressure on social media once this story went viral along with the picture, the school decided to reverse their original decision, KARE11 reported.
While I would applaud this school for allowing a shooting club on campus in the first place, which is far more than most high schools would do, it’s hard to give them credit for it since they still attempted to censor guns. If shotguns in a picture trigger a teen, they probably need to stay in school and under their parent’s roof a little longer because the real world outside these controlled environments is going to be a frightening place.