For years, there’s been this push by schools not just to manage behavior on school property, but also away from school. This is especially true in the era of school shooting hysteria. Schools have repeatedly overreacted to photos of students with firearms by punishing them for breaking some rule that no one can remotely point to.
Yet, time and time again, the schools have lost these fights.
Now, a 17-year-old girl in Colorado is the latest example.
Snapchat posts typically last for just a day and then disappear forever, but 17-year-old Alexandria Keyes is still being haunted by her post from two weeks ago.
The photo shows Alexandria and her brother, a U.S. Army veteran, holding guns and flipping off the camera, with a Confederate flag in the background.
A caption on the photo reads: “Me and my legal guardian are going to the gun range to practice gun safety and responsible gun ownership while getting better so we can protect ourselves while also using the first amendment to practice our second amendment.”
Keyes knew the post would be controversial, but she says she never thought it would get her suspended from school.
The Endeavor Academy suspended Keyes for five days, telling FOX31 their decision “involved multiple social media posts that concerned the school community and resulted in multiple parents keeping their kids home from school out of concern for safety.”
Now, the image in question is less than ideal. It shows imagery that many might feel is questionable. This isn’t a wholesome range photo.
And you know what? It doesn’t matter.
The photo contains no threats. It contains no expressions of willingness to commit violence. It contains nothing that should warrant a 17-year-old girl being suspended from school.
The suspension will keep Keyes from taking part in her volleyball team’s championship game.
As for the parents, they need to get the sand out of their naughty places and grow the hell up. While I can see parents not approving of the image, to freak out and keep your child home because of it is beyond ridiculous. All they’ve managed to do is convince their children to jump at shadows.
The young woman’s mother isn’t taking this lying down, either.
Alexandria’s mom says she is outraged, and plans to appeal the suspension.
“She didn’t break any laws. She didn’t break any rules, and what she did was completely within her rights,” Kelley McCollum said. “I said there are 17-year-olds who go hunting. There are 17-year-olds in the military. Are you panicked because of them? They wouldn’t answer that question.”
Keyes has made a statement to make it clear there was no threat. Frankly, she shouldn’t have to. Her caption made it clear she was going to the range with her brother.
The problem here is that guns have become so stigmatized that even the appearance of them is being considered threatening behavior. They want to push guns into the margins of society so they can safely pretend good guys never have guns.
Good luck with that.
I hope Keyes can get this straightened out and have her record cleared. I also hope schools will knock off this nonsense of punishing kids for activities that had nothing to do with school, even if some panicky parents are freaking out. That’s on them, not her.