Superintendent Steve Westerberg told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS in an email that the student manual “does not allow the display of firearms or weapons.”
He also wrote that parents lobbied for several years for the team to be included in the directory.
“This rule has been in effect since the school started sponsoring a trap shooting team a few years ago,” Westerberg wrote.
Clayton Birdsall is on the team for the first time this year. He plays other sports and says his gun is no different from his baseball bat.
They are both equipment used in competition.
“It’s what you use in sports,” Birdsall said. “It’s just natural.”
Birdsall’s father, Derek, heard the announcement from school officials on Wednesday. He said the coaches have fought with the administration over images that include guns before.
“It’s a school sanctioned activity,” said Derek Birdsall. “It’s not like the kids do anything with it. They’re literally holding a gun.”
Derek Birdsall spoke to his son and several other teammates during a fundraiser at Pizza Ranch in Monticello.
“Some of them are pretty upset,” said Derek Birdsall. “I know a kid is a senior who started shooting in ninth grade for the very first time.”
The topic sparked hundreds of social media comments on a local Big Lake Forum Facebook page.
“It blew up today,” Derek Birdsall said. “There are comments from the whole community. People who don’t even have kids in school and don’t have kids in sports are upset that this is not something that is allowed. . “
Coaches and parents have asked school board members to take up the matter.
Big Lake School Board President Mark Hedstrom told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS via email that he wanted to see the trap team included in the directory.
“I have asked the superintendent to add this item to the agenda for the school board meeting (Thursday) evening so that the board may consider making an exception (to) this directive from the textbook,” Hedstrom wrote. .
The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Big Lake.