Teens Face Expulsion for Posing With Toy Guns in Homecoming Photo

You got to watch that Facebook, man. Apparently high school administrators are lurking, just waiting to find students posing with firearms, so that they can be taught a lesson and suspended, or maybe expelled. Even if they were completely safe, and had parental supervision.

But this case is even more bizarre, in that two students were suspended for 10 days for posing with fake guns. Massachusetts high schoolers Tito Velez, 15, and his girlfriend, Jaime Pereira, posed with Airsoft guns, off campus, while wearing their homecoming dance finery last Friday.


Let me repeat -- the teenagers were suspended for 10 days, and may be expelled, for posing with fake guns for a photo that was taken off campus. The guns may look real, but they're not. 

Side note: It is perfectly legal for a 15-year-old in the state of Massachusetts to possess low-capacity rifle or shotgun (with a permit, of course). Just thought I'd throw that out there.

But we're not even talking about real guns! Geez Louise. Airsoft guns shoot plastic pellets that hurt less than getting hit by a paintball gun. Neither feels anything like getting hit by a bullet. At least I'm assuming, having never been hit by a real bullet, but I'm going to go ahead and assume that.

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Velez told the local news, "This isn't dangerous, you can't kill someone with it. We didn't shoot anyone, we  were pointing them at the floor ... everything was on safe, no batteries, they never left the house."

He also made it very clear he never even considered bringing the guns to school, which even I have to agree would've been cause for suspension, since they do look like real guns.

The teens uploaded the photo to Facebook and mentioned homecoming at Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School. Superintendent Dr. Richard Gross justified the punishment by saying, "These students know what (is) provocative ... and to tie that to one of our school events kind of puts it over the top, which brings us into it."

Oh good grief. Teenagers were provocative. What else is new? At least they were being completely and totally safe about it. Are we going to bubble-wrap them next?

Pereira is trying to be understanding, but thinks "they took this way too far." She said, "Suspending us for 10 days and possible expulsion is way too much."

I'm on her side.

Do you think the punishment fit the crime in this case?


Image via Amancay Maahs/Flickr

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