A photo was banned from being used in a Minnesota high school's yearbook because it featured students holding guns. One problem, the picture was of the school's trap shooting team.
Big Lake High School made and later backtracked on its decision to ban the picture, with WCCO reporting trap shooting head coach Rhonda Eckerdt was initially told by the school's athletics director it was against policy to have firearms in pictures.
Given it would be weird to feature a picture of a trap shooting team without their guns, the decision attracted plenty of attention on social media and was later picked up by several media outlets.
On Thursday evening, the Big Lake Schools District Superintendent Steve Westerberg issued a statement saying it had accepted a request from the high school to make an exception to its "no firearms in yearbook" rule for the trap shooting team, before criticizing the response from concerned citizens after the controversy became public.
"The past policy said the administration may edit or exclude any photos or artwork that displayed firearms or weapons," he said. "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 can be included."
"It is important to remember that a school district has rules and procedures that need to be followed," he added. "The intense conversation around this topic on social media and the phone calls and emails we received, only delayed the process."
According to the Star Tribune, the same dispute came up last year, with the team choosing not to submit a photo without the guns being included.
Eckerdt told the paper she'd been asking the school to change its policy for the last five years.