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Taunton Teens Suspended Over Airsoft Homecoming Photo

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Two high school students from Bristol Plymouth Regional Technical School were suspended for 10 days after posing for a picture holding rifles that shoot plastic pellets. On Oct. 24, Tito Velez and Jamie Pereira posed for a pre-homecoming dance photo holding Airsoft-style rifles, which resemble assault weapons, and posted the photo to Facebook, according to the Taunton Daily Gazette.

“It's not like it happened at school, we had the guns [at home] and that's where the pictures were taken and they said it didn't matter.”  The Airsoft rifles look dangerous, but they shoot plastic pellets. Tito Velez, 15, often competes with a team as a hobby, CBS reports.

The school is suspending them for 10 days and possible expulsion.


dont even think about guns these if you are in high school or less. they will suspend you!

While I do not think that it justifies a suspension, and certainly not an expulsion, posting with the caption "Homecoming 2014" does raise some eyebrows.  The environment is just so much more restrictive than when I was in HS (14 years ago).  We had people with hunting rifles in the truck on school property and no one raised an eyebrow...

And then there is this...

"The controversy is in stark contrast to a policy approved last week by a Nebraska school board to allow students to pose with guns in a “tasteful and appropriate” fashion in their senior portraits. Broken Bow Public Schools board members voted unanimously to allow graduating seniors the option of submitting photographs so long as the student has permission to reproduce the picture from the original photographer, he or she is wearing attire that complies with district standards and does not include drugs, alcohol or tobacco. The school has a rifle-shooting team, and Superintendent Mark Sievering told that hunting is a “part of life in the rural community."


It is about zero tolerance...."better safe than sorry".  It's crazy, but it is the world we are living in.    The kid had it right, they didn't leave the house with them, they didn't do anything wrong.   But put the "Homecoming 2014" caption in the title, and now the school thinks it is on them to get involved.   But, the school itself is not mentioned, is it?   Sure, the kids friends all know where they go to school, but the caption itself is generically titled in my opinion.

Here is another way to think about it.   How many other toys depicting violence does that school's students have on their Facebook pages.   What about all the video game top scores, the gory Halloween pictures etc etc.

And finally, how did the school even NOTICE that this photo was posted.   Is it the school's business to read every student's social media post?  Sort of freaks me out to think that the school would be reading my kids Facebook page, like it is any of their business.


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