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Big Lake Trap Shooting Team Picture Barred From Appearing In Yearbook

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.

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