An Airsoft gun homecoming photo posted on Facebook caused a school suspension for two Boston area students. The father of Tito Velez snapped a photo of his son and his date, Jaime Pereira, posing with airsoft rifles before the annual homecoming dance. The younger Velez then did what any modern day teenager would – he posted the photo on Facebook.
The Airsoft homecoming photo was deemed "threatening" by school officials, and even thought the teen couple posed for the image inside Tito Velez's own home, both of the teenagers were issued a 10-day suspension.
Taunton, Massachusetts, school officials told the local news media that since the Airsoft homecoming photo was captioned "Homecoming 2014" it caused quite a scare.
"What it's about is a couple students engaging in an activity that created a total destruction of the school day. They're juniors in high school, and it's proactive and they should know better and it scared students," district superintendent Richard W. Gross said.
Tito Velez shared his thoughts about the Airsoft gun suspension on Facebook.
"See this photo? Yea, well this photo got me and my gf [girlfriend] suspended from our high school for 10 days. Possible expulsion too. Today we were taken right before the Cross Country states meet. We were asked, 'Why would you post something like that?' When we tried saying something, they told us to be quiet and they separated us. I was sent to a room and my bag was searched, along with my clothes and locker. The school called the police and they had a cop speak to us without reading our rights and without our parent's permission."
The Airsoft gun fan went on to say that he and his girlfriend did not get a chance to defend themselves against claims uttered by the school.
"We are both out of school now, in a school that only allows 4½ days absent. Which means if they don't expel us, we pay for overpriced Saturday school and winter school," Velez added.
The teen suspended over the Airsoft homecoming photo also discussed details about the posing of the image.
"My dad took the photos, in my house. The guns were pointed at the floor, on safety, mock mags in, and our fingers weren't on the trigger. We had a responsible adult and he isn't against Airsoft. He knows gun safety and he keeps my guns, I don't have them unless I'm out at the fields. The school took away whatever rights we had about speech. Our parent's didn't have a say either. In 10 days we will have to have a conference with the school board, they will decide if we get suspended or not. I think its b***s**t that we get suspended over a photo taken at my house because it was 'threatening.'"
[Image via: Guns Save Lives]