In yearbook photo decision, Blackduck avoids a brouhaha

There are guns in yearbook stories and then there are guns in yearbooks stories. They’re not all created equal and the Blackduck, Minn., school committee seemed to recognize that when it voted to allow Antonia Long’s photo to appear in the yearbook.

She’s holding a gun.

It might’ve been easy for the board merely to cite a rule against guns in yearbook photos — it’s been done before for students who wanted to pose with guns just because they like guns — but guns are now part of the extra-curricular activity in many school districts, the Star Tribune says. It’s larger than girls and boys hockey combined.

Trap shooting is now the seventh-most-popular sport in Minnesota high schools, it says. Nobody would object to a football player posing with a ball, same for basketball and hockey. And if the swim team member wanted to pose in a bathing suit, who could reasonably object?

“I shoot on a team with my grandpa, so that’s fun,” Antonia tells the Strib. “I can compete with people from all ages, all different kinds of backgrounds, and it’s just … something that really brings the community together.”

She’s good at it; she’s won a state championship.

Give Blackduck credit for heading off a problem.

After a controversy erupted in Big Lake over the issue, the school board in Blackduck passed a rule exempting the trap team from the yearbook gun ban.

The school committee still wants to consider the rules to further clarify which yearbook photos with guns are, and which aren’t.

But by avoiding a controversy before it became one, the committee has, in effect, acknowledged that times change.