High School Lets Seniors Pose With Guns in Yearbook Photos

A school board in Nebraska has voted 6-0 in favor of allowing seniors at their high schools to pose for their yearbook graduation portraits holding guns. The Broken Bow School Board made this unusual decision after a student requested it last year but didn't get approval in time for the yearbook deadline.

Superintendent Mark Sievering defended their choice, saying their small rural community is made up of hunters and that many of its students have been responsibly using guns since they were children. He also stressed that guns are viewed in a positive light in their town and that, even though students aren't allowed to bring them on campus, an exception will be made on picture day.

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On a positive note, there are limits as to what these grads can do -- no brandishing of firearms or pointing them at the camera allowed. The school board went on to say that it wants to give students an opportunity to pose with something that symbolizes their favorite hobby or sport -- so I guess we should look out for those senior photos that feature graduates texting on their phones and holding up video game consoles?

There are millions of responsible gun owners in this country. I grew up in New York City, but I understand that hunting is a respected sport in lots of places and that many people and families associate happy times with hunting trips -- the way some bonded at Friday night high school football games or Saturday night trips to the movies. But I don't agree with the board's decision because it is unnecessary and insulting to those families of students who were shot at Columbine, Sandy Hook, and countless other schools across the nation.

Besides that, there's no good reason why a student should have to pose with his gun for a graduation portrait -- we're not talking about a photo of the hunting club or some other extracurricular activity offered at the school. Allowing them to pose with firearms is as silly as letting them pose with a tennis racquet or their pets.

It implies that the student's identity is shaped by guns, which is insane and absolutely the opposite of what I think of when I think "responsible gun owner." If you are a hunter, you use a gun for a purpose and then (I assume) put it away in a safe place until you use it again. It's like using a pen. Does anyone identify with a pen because they use it to write? I'd feel the same way if I saw a football player carrying a football around everywhere or needing to pose with it in order to feel like a complete person.

The point of a graduation portrait is to capture that moment in time when a student has taken on the identity of a high school graduate (which is why seniors are encouraged to wear the same cap and gown and not some band's T-shirt or something else that shows off their personal preferences). In a graduation portrait, you're a graduate -- not a hunter, not a gun owner, just a graduate.

Do you agree or disagree with this school board's decision to allow students to pose with guns in their yearbook?

 

Image © iStock.com/-Oxford-

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