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Principal Removes Hunting Trophies Amid Controversy

by Dylan Polk   |  March 21st, 2012 21
Buddy Chapel

From Dave Munday/The Post Courier

Chances are your office pales in comparison to Petersen’s Hunting editor-in-chief Mike Schoby’s. An accomplished globetrotter, Schoby’s office is covered with trophies from his hunts around the globe. A couple whitetails (normal enough) plus a red stag (getting better), a caribou (now we’re talking), various species of antelope, a javelina caught mid-stride, and to top it all off, a baboon holding a stack of business cards.

He’s also a master angler; a mounted goliath tigerfish — the holy grail of freshwater fishers — is mounted above his doorway. It is without a doubt the coolest office in our building, one that would surely make some animal rights activist’s head spin before keeling over.

Of course, this is a hunting magazine; that sort of thing is pretty much expected, if not required. The point is, hunters, no matter where they work, love to show off the trophies of their kills, whether it’s at home or at their place of work.

But does that include teachers, principals and other school officials? Take South Carolina principal Buddy Chapel, who before this past weekend, had an office that would rival Schoby’s in terms of the sheer volume of his trophies. From antelopes to hogs, and even a stuffed lioness, Chapel, a former Marine Corps drill sergeant, adorned his high school office with the variety of mounts.

But, early last month, the collection became a public matter after the photo above appeared in a local newspaper.

Two bothered individuals wrote letters to the editor and generated enough controversy to force Chapel to remove the display from his office. Apparently, these folks felt hunting had no place in a public school.

Chapel told local reporters previously that he offered to meet elsewhere if students were uncomfortable in his office but most students seemed to like the collection.

We understand not everyone is as into hunting as we are, and being that this is America, they’re free and welcome to make that choice, but that doesn’t mean just because an overly sensitive non-hunter is offended, hunters should have to disguise their hobby — or hide it completely.

Be that as it may, principals are in fact public officials whose freedom of expression is limited; you could make both arguments for and against Chapel’s trophies.

What’s truly remarkable is the offense taken to a legal activity. Hunting is a licensed, heavily promoted activity in Africa, and a huge part of African economies that may otherwise struggle. The money generated from African safaris not only stimulates countries financially, but it also goes back into wildlife conservation.

Rather than analyze the facts of the situation, however, the offended parties seemed to have simply seen heads hanging on a wall and assumed something evil had happened. One of the letter writers, a South Carolina teacher named Marian Martin, posed the question, “What message is he sending those kids?”

Well that’s a good question, and one that never had a resolution. The message is, Chapel enjoys hunting. That’s it. What’s more reprehensible to us is the fact that these people took it upon themselves to speak for students who Chapel said had never gotten the willies from the display. To that, we pose the same question: What message is that sending the kids, letting someone else speak on your behalf? Even if the students did have a problem with it, shouldn’t they be allowed to address it themselves? This is a high school after all.

The offense taken to a legal activity without full understanding of the situation, along with the audacity to speak for an entire student body, is much more harmful than being stared down by a mounted gemsbok.

What do you think? Let’s hear it in the comments section.

  • Larry Winchester

    Just more political correctness……..The tail AGAIN wags the dog!!

    • Chuck Loebsack

      Amazing how the Liberal Left, always knows whats best for us. It's their usual, do as I say not as I do policy.

  • ROY

    They would rather have their kids steal and deal than hunt and fish. Stupid liberal left wing assholes.

  • Jeff

    At what point is enough , enough! The more we let this happen the more freedoms go away. At some point the majority needs to stand up.

  • chester

    the crazy thing is …. all the High School kids around here hunt all during our seasons …..i live right down the road ….is just the same Idiots as always … people tend to your own friggin business !!!

  • DJ Wold

    If M Martin came out here to Wyoming or the surrounding states she would find not only our school have heads on the walls but OUR kids own over 1/2 of them and they are all proud of the kills they got on display. I would like to see those two come out and say something about it, it won't be us grow-up telling them off it will be our kids and the kids will also show them how to back to where they came from.

  • http://www.facebook.com/orion1957 Thomas Acton

    nice collection of mounts but….. it seems a bit much for a small office. I mean, when youre talking to Chapel, it must hard to focus on the man and not those other 12 sets of eyes, you know? 3 or 4 would be good, the others might be better at home in his Man Cave.

  • Matthew

    It sounds like the US government. Taking our freedoms away without the people's consent or opinions. Its conditioning I guess for growing up.

  • Jeff

    Political Correctness will continue to prevail until the public gets sick enough of it to stand up and say so.
    It seems people are too afraid to stand out, to afraid to no fit in, to call "B*** S***!" when someone tries to
    take someone else's rights.

  • Larry

    The height of political correctness! It is a shame that the vocal few can get enough negative publicity to force this kind of change. My favorite definition for political correctness…'The belief that it is possible to pick a dog turd by the 'clean end'.

  • David Bakerman

    Junior high school science classroom used to have animals in jars of preservative……..what do they have now?

    • http://huntingholumstyle.wordpress.com Holum

      The primary biology lecture hall at my college has a cape buffalo and a very nice waterbuck on the walls. It was great!

  • Dave Norris

    I think that Mr. Chapel should take a poll of all of the students asking them what they think.
    Then have that printed in the local newspaper.

  • Thomas Berg

    Good grief. It is HIS office. He should tell the complainers where to get off.

  • jp338

    I'm not surprised by this. Maybe the princpal should have had cattle, pig, domestic sheep. chicken and fish mounts on his wall to add a touch of reality for any meat eating lefty wackos.

  • Craig G

    Here in north dakota we welcome wallls of trophy in any office . On opening day of deer season 3/4+ of the kids in high school are out hunting it has been said that opening day should be a school holiday because there is no kids in school they are out tring to get there own TROPHYS for there rooms my son has 4 trophys of his in his room I wander if the tree hugger would or could sleep in room of trophys if an office of them gets them upset

  • SGT Witt

    Put the mounts back up ! tell the complainers to pound sand up thier respective asses, this is AMERICA home of brave, a drill sgt knows that ,most likely has fought for thier freedom to express thier opinion. BUT it's just that an opinion , those people have NO right to dictate what his choice of decorating should or shouldn't be . SGT Bill Witt USMC Veitnam Vet ,

  • go2canoe

    IN Pennsylvania most schools (elementary thru high school) are closed for the first day of rifle deer season. Due in part to the absentee rate if they were open. Shame on south carolina for turning its' back on its' "hunting heritage".

  • Joe

    I live in liberal San Francisco and while the schools do not have mounts on the wall field trips are arranged to see all the mounts at the Museum of Natural History in Golden Gate Park. Even the liberal wackos here have not yet objected to students being able to see mounted game species here. This is my twelve year old son's favorite place to visit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=20507870 Geoffrey Dudrow

    We hunters need to stop catering to non-hunters who are intolerant of our rights.

  • Larry LaPrade

    This is his office and if the students have not raised any objections, no one else should either.

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