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Teen Suspended from School for Posting Non-Threatening Gun Photo on Social Media

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Teen Suspended from School for Posting Non-Threatening Gun Photo on Social Media

A high school senior in Colorado was suspended from school after posting a photo of her and her brother preparing to go shoot some firearms at the gun range.

She made no threats in the photo, there was nothing in the caption to suggest that she was going to do anything violent. Instead, the caption said, “me and my legal guardian are going to the gun range to practice gun safety and responsible gun ownership while getting better so we can protect ourselves while also using the first amendment to protect our second amendment”

The two are holding guns in the photo that she shared to Snapchat and are actually exercising good trigger discipline.

Also in the photo, the two are seen wearing shemaghs which are scarves that are popular in Middle Eastern cultures that are also used by some members of the military. They are posing in front of a Confederate flag and flipping off the camera while holding guns.

Alexandria’s mother, said that the shemagh her daughter wore was a gift from her brother who is in the United States Army. Nonetheless, the school suspended 17-year-old senior Alexandria Keyes for five days.

According to Reason,

The school’s policy references Colorado law, which defines the grounds for suspension as “behavior on or off school property that is detrimental to the welfare or safety of other pupils or of school personnel, including behavior that creates a threat of physical harm to the child or to other children.”

Why would a picture of a student legally visiting a gun range and practicing her marksmanship fall into this category? According to Cherry Creek School Board policy, the school district reserves the right to suspend students who “[repeatedly interfere] with a school’s ability to provide educational opportunities to other students.” Over the phone, Smith noted that since multiple parents kept their children home after becoming aware of the post, Keyes’ photo could be viewed as an impediment to the school’s ability to educate, even if the district didn’t ultimately make its decision based on the chances that Keyes posed a physical threat. Does this mean parental fears can be a mechanism for the school district to veto a teen’s extracurricular activities?

 

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