Students suspended for their hobby.
Two high schoolers in Massachusetts have been suspended for 10 days and are facing expulsion for a naughty Facebook photo they posted involving airsoft guns. The picture featured Tito Velez and his girlfriend Jamie Pereira posing in what looked like someone’s living room, each holding an airsoft rifle pointed at the floor. The caption read “Homecoming 2014.”
School officials are saying that it was the caption itself that had them concerned. The picture was obviously taken off campus, but the caption is what tied the picture to a school event, namely the homecoming dance. As a result, these two were suspended for 10 days.
“These students know what is provocative. To tie that to one of our school events kind of puts it over the top which brings us into it,” Superintendent Richard Gross said.
Police would have cancelled the homecoming dance if they had known about the Facebook post on Friday, Gross added.
Pereira said she understands the concern but still thinks the school overreacted: “Suspending us for 10 days and possible expulsion is way too much,” she said.
“This isn’t dangerous, you can’t kill someone with it,” said Velez, who considers shooting a hobby. “We didn’t shoot anyone; we were pointing them at the floor,” he said.
The hysteria surrounding guns and school shootings is almost worse than the shootings themselves.
The homecoming dance continued, because officials weren’t aware of the picture at that time. Obviously, if these two were planning something, they would have done something at the homecoming dance. So, after the dance had come and gone without incident, officials should not have been concerned with their gun picture, because the one thing that supposedly tied it to a school activity was in the past.
But they still felt the need to punish these students for holding black, scaring-looking guns that shoot plastic pellets.