A high school in Standish, Maine, has refused to accept a student’s portrait for the school yearbook because it shows him holding a shotgun.
Bonny Eagle High School senior Wade Gelinas originally posted about the incident on Facebook, asking friends to “Like, Comment, or Share” if they felt the school was infringing on his rights by rejecting the photo.
Gelinas tells WCSH-TV that hunting is a family tradition, something he’s passionate about. He simply wanted that to be reflected in his school portrait, the way kids who play music or sports can express their interests by posing with their instrument or sports gear.
“It’s just my sport. It’s just what I do. I don’t play football. I don’t play basketball. I just hunt,” he explains.
However, according to the Principal Lori Napolitano, the photo is in violation of the school’s code of conduct which prohibits students from wearing clothes that depict firearms or other types of weapons. According to Napolitano, that extends to school yearbook photos, as well.
“Drugs, alcohol, weapons, tobacco are not allowed at school, and you cannot wear clothing that has pictures of weapons on it,” Napolitano tells WCSH-TV. “We just want to draw the line at weapons of any kind being in the picture and that way we’re not trying to pass judgment on which ones are promoting violence or which ones aren’t.”
Napolitano says Gelinas’ photo isn’t the first the school has rejected because it showcases a weapon.
While Gelinas says he will submit a new, gun-free photo, he’s hoping he can eventually change the school’s mind.
What do you think: Should Bonny Eagle High accept the photo of Gelinas holding his shotgun or is the photograph inappropriate for a high school yearbook?