A high school senior in upstate New York has won her battle to have a picture of herself with a rifle and hunting dog included in her school’s yearbook.
Rebekah Rorick attends Broadalbin-Perth High School in upstate New York, according to the Daily Mail, and as her senor portrait, selected a photo in which she posed with a rifle and hunting dog, while wearing a camouflaged vest. When the yearbook committee originally turned down her photo, Rorick asserted that she felt like crying.
“My family has always hunted,” she said. “It’s something I do with my family, and my dog is my best friend. So I decided to put her in the photo. I fell in love with [the picture]. It’s my favorite photo of all time right now.”
Rorick denies that she was trying to be controversial by selecting the image, saying that she simply wanted to express her interests, as many other students have in their yearbook photos.
“And I was like, ‘Why?’ And they are like, ‘Because there’s a gun in it.’ And I’m like, ‘But it’s a hunting rifle. I’m wearing camo. I have my dog with me,'” Rorick recalled.
“I was ready to cry. I didn’t know what I was going to do. The only thing I thought to do was address it.”
Though the school board has a policy against weapons, Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson said that he had no issue with the photo, because of the manner in which Rorick was holding the rifle, according to News10.
— WKRN (@WKRN) December 17, 2014
“I think the yearbook staff’s opinion was that that could be seen as a weapon,” he said. “We do have a policy against weapons, but at first glance, and even now, I do not believe that this is. She is not holding the gun in a malicious manner. She is not pointing it anywhere. It’s to me, in my opinion, a nice photograph of a young lady in the Adirondack region that enjoys hunting.”
Earlier this year, another yearbook photo from upstate New York garnered international attention when it spread on the internet. As the Inquisitr previously reported, 16-year-old Draven Rodriguez from Schenectady made headlines when he posed for his yearbook photo with his cat, Mr. Bigglesworth, using lasers as a backdrop.
The school board ultimately sided with Rorick, and the rifle image will appear as her photo in the school’s yearbook.
[Image: Viscosi Photography via the Daily Mail]