By Jeff Wagner

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A picture of a high school trap shooting team may not make it into the yearbook because the team posed with their most important tools; their guns.

Head Coach Rhonda Eckerdt said she learned Wednesday that the school won’t put the picture yearbook. In an email to the Eckerdt, the athletic director said it’s against school policy to have firearms in a picture.

It was a big night for the Big Lake High School trap shooting team Wednesday. They were hosting a fundraiser at the Pizza Ranch in Monticello, but the talk around the table wasn’t only about collecting donations.

“I thought it was ridiculous, absolutely. I couldn’t believe it,” parent Rick Anderson said of the school’s decision.

School policy aside, parents, coaches and players say the gun shouldn’t be considered a weapon. It should be viewed as a piece of equipment, just like a baseball player holding a bat in the team picture.

“I think politically (sic) correctness has gone way overboard. I don’t know how else to put it,” Anderson said.

Senior Wyatt Stone has been part of the team for a few years and looked forward to the idea of finally being included in the yearbook.

“This is my final year, I’m a senior this year. I’ll be graduating the high school,” he said. “So it’ll be frustrating to not see this picture in my final yearbook.”

In an email to Eckerdt, the athletic director offered to have a picture taken of the team without the guns, or asked that they write a proposal on why the original should be allowed. He also offered to meet with coaches Thursday afternoon to discuss options. Anderson just hopes administrator simply change their minds.

“Just because there’s a gun involved doesn’t make it a dangerous sport and they’re not criminals,” he said.

WCCO reached out Wednesday afternoon to administrators by phone and through emails but didn’t hear back.

The deadline to add a new photo is Monday. Some parents said they might attend Thursday’s school board meeting to state their case.

Jeff Wagner

Comments (24)
  1. Kevin Vick says:

    I assume there won’t be any pics of anyone on the baseball team with a bat either, yes? You do know that more people are killed every year with bats and other blunt objects, fists, and feet than all long guns combined, right?

  2. I think it is quite an accomplishment that these men and women learned how to trapshoot in addition to cleaning and caring for their equipment as well as their ability to focus on their ability to accomplish the art of trapshooting. It is also discrimination and a violation of “right to bear arms” and the picture should definitely be included in the yearbook. Congrats to the students who participated in this sport.
    Rolland R. Davis

  3. Why is this even news? Sensationalism at best. There’s an over broad policy which didn’t take this situation into consideration. So the administration needs to take it to the board and get an exemption, then fix the policy.This is common sense and no big deal if proper channels are followed.

    In the meantime, someone got hot under the collar and contacted you. And you ran with it. This is not exactly jack-booted fascism. What I don’t get is why WCCO bought into a non-story. Oh right. Ratings. So much for quality journalism. Hope this one helps y’all sell your precious ad time to another car dealership.

    Let the school respond before you publish. Otherwise you’re no better than People magazine. or worse, KARE-11.

    1. pavepusher says:

      “This is not exactly jack-booted fascism.”

      It actually very much is. Treating a Constitutional Right as something unsavory and shameful is EXACTLY what Fascism thrives on.

      If the school can not respond in a few hours, they are utterly incompetent to be in charge of serious education.

  4. Maybe they could publish the picture as-is. Then ask the students if they would like the redacted version of the yearbook or the non-redacted version.

    Redacted = take a sharpie to those scary guns.

    Problem solved: Regular people = Happy… Snowflakes = Happy….

  5. This saddens me! If this is the case on a school sanctioned sport then they better look into Baseball , Golf, Track and Field Sports also. Every one of those sports consists of a potential weapon also! Come on Big Lake Admins… REALLY!!!!!! Get your heads out of your !@!@!@!@..!

  6. This is a photo of fine AMERICAN young adults on YOUR High School Trap SHOOTING team handling firearms in a safe and responsible manner.
    Trap is an OLYMPIC SPORT. Whoever is responsible for even the suggestion of not allowing this photo is an overzealous idiot.
    When did we lose the ability to apply common sense in this country ?

  7. The comment about the baseball bat is spot on. In 1986 a student in my high school beat s teacher with a bat in front of a room full of other students. The shot guns in this case are the tools with which they accomplish their goal.

  8. pavepusher says:

    Another school run by Fascists, teaching fascism. The entire administration deserves to be defenestrated.

  9. Jim Gravelyn says:

    Sounds like the athletic director is one of those self-important bureaucrats who mainline political correctness as their primary fuel and get off on feeling powerful.

  10. I am not a fan of guns, but seriously if you are willing to LET kids have a trap or skeet shooting team, then the photo denial is ridiculous. Its not like a senior photo of some kid with his confederate flag and a semi-automatic in his hand a la Dylann Roof.
    And I am a very left liberal! This is always blamed on Liberals, but what state is this and who has forever controlled the state? Republicans.

    1. jpattitude says:

      If you think Republicans control Minnesota you know nothing… but wait, you already said you were a liberal.

  11. A+B says:

    That really stinks!!!!
    I bet the same people who were so against the guns appearing in the yearbook would be thankful to see them when the police showed up to stop a burglary at said people’s house!