A freshman was suspended over a gun photo after officials at his high school noticed that the background picture for his computer showed an AK-47 on top of a flag.
Daniel McLaine Jr. is a freshman at Arizona’s Poston Butte High School, and said he was the one who put the gun picture on his school-issued computer. When a teacher noticed the desktop, the freshman was suspended over the gun photo.
McLaine said he found the photo on the internet and the gun doesn’t belong to him.
School policy had dictated that students were prohibited from “sending or displaying offensive messages or pictures,” and cannot access, send, create or forward pictures that are considered “harassing, threatening, or illegal.” The school argued that the freshman broke these rules since he put the gun photo on school property.
“This gun wallpaper does not show anything that’s violent. It’s not showing anybody getting shot in any way,” McLaine said. “It’s just a picture of a gun. It’s nothing — nobody getting shot, nobody getting it pointed at them, it’s nothing.”
School officials noted that a tense atmosphere surrounding guns has made officials more sensitive to incidents like this.
Dana Hawman, a spokesperson for the Florence Unified School District, said in a statement:
“Although we cannot specifically discuss student discipline, we can certainly agree that violence in schools is a sensitive and timely issue. Students, parents and staff are on edge, and the daily news delivers more reasons for caution. All of us must work together to protect our kids and to cultivate an environment that is conducive to learning.”
The boy’s father, Daniel McLaine Sr., said he disagrees with the three-day suspension and said his son should have at least had a warning first.
The freshman suspended over the gun photo at least caught one break, the Daily Caller reported. After his father talked with school officials, the suspension was reduced.