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“A picture posted to Facebook is stirring up controversy at a Massachusetts high school after two high school sweethearts posed with large airsoft guns before their homecoming dance last week,” reports. “‘We took them with the airsoft guns because it’s our hobby, and we wanted to include them,'” now-suspended Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School student Jamie Pereira said.” Wait. What? There were no threats in the photo or caption and besides, what jurisdiction does a public school have regarding students’ non-school-related Facebook posts? What possibly justification for the suspension? Glad you asked . . .

The guns only shoot plastic pellets, but school officials say the Middleborough teenagers, including Pereira and Tito Velez, caused a disruption at the school.

Dr. Richard Gross, superintendent of the school district, said his problem is not with the guns. He says he defends free speech, but that he takes issue with the caption below the photo that reads “Homecoming 2014.”

“When you tie that to a school event, that’s something to be concerned about,” said Dr. Gross.

School officials say the dance Friday was uneventful, but people Monday in school were fearful and parents were concerned.

I guess  Jamie Pereira and her main squeeze Tito Velez violated the progressives’ sacred [claimed] right to not live in fear.

I’ve got no problem with the school investigating the possibility of a threat to student safety. But where do you draw the line in suspending students for “causing a disruption”? If this was the standard, I don’t think I would have graduated eighth grade.

On the positive side, Pereira and Velez learned an important lesson about the Powers That Be’s anti-gun paranoia.

They’re upset with what they call a 10-day suspension and how they were allegedly treated by both police and school officials before their State Cross Country meet Monday.

“We were brought into separate rooms and then questioned by a police officer without parental consent there,” Pereira said.

“They took me to an empty room, searched everything I had on me, my bag, my clothes,” Velez said.

An abundance of caution or political correctness run amok? Again. Still. We report, you deride.

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    • Depends, I have seen many school districts dig in their heels and spend thousands of dollars fighting lawsuits even though they were not going to prevail in court. And somehow these school districts have deep pockets to fight in court even as they whine and complain that they have no money and murmur about having to cut programs, lay off support staff and teachers.

    • If it is a public school aka government run school the administrators and/or teachers can be sued under 1983 deprivation of rights under color of law especially since they were deprived of their right to an education for 10 days as retaliation for exercising their 1st amendment rights as well as the numerous deprivation of rights caused by the police such as the police not getting parental permission to question their kids and being detained and harassed by the police for merely exercising their 1st amendment rights. It is not a crime for an adult to post a picture of himself holding a toy gun but apparently these kids were treated like criminals for doing the same thing.

        • Just another reason they should sue the shit out of the school district.

          Unfortunately, very public lawsuits seem to be the only way anyone can correct the behavior of these mental giants.

          It’s like spraying a really slow cat that meows “for the children!” with a water bottle.

  1. Heh, I must admit that my first thought was, “hmm, an homage to Bonnie and Clyde?” But that was before I read the story and put the photo in context. No reason for a suspension other than hysteria. All the school and the police did here is alienate these kids.

  2. This is why in colonial days we had public floggings and stockades for people who did stupid things. I say it’s about damn time to bring those back. This superintendent would be first in line.

    • I don’t know if we should go that far … I would be perfectly content with tarring and feathering!

      • Tarring and feathering often resulted in second and third degree burns from the boiling tar applied to the victim, and sometimes death. Flogging not so much. Stockades not at all. The modern version of the stockades is to have the offender stand on a busy street corner with a sign around his neck admitting to his wrongdoing–quite effective in preventing repeat misdeeds.

        • Tarring and feathering sounds hilarious until you remember that you’re pouring boiling tar onto people that’s hot enough to boil water.

          Flogging is a perfectly acceptable form of public punishment along with stocks. (Provided the former is monitored to make sure to long term injuries result.)

  3. Seriously.

    When are we going to put a stop to this hysteria?

    Or are we all going to sit around and watch a great ‘Idiocracy’ in the making?

  4. Priceless idiotic comments posted on the news site:
    Abby McMuffintop · Top Commenter

    If my kids were headed out the door to that event and I saw this, we’d change plans. Ten days seems light.

    Reply · · 5 hours ago
    Henry Witham · Top Commenter · North Shore Community College

    why, what did they do wrong? this was a photo their father took of them with no threat holding a legal game piece to a game they play while in their own home.

    Reply · · 3 hours ago

    Abby McMuffintop · Top Commenter

    Dressed for the event with the photo tagged for the same event? Any reasonable person should see that as a premeditated terror threat. Try using your perfectly legal phone to make a terror threat from your own home, and let us know how it turns out.

    Show you what we are up against so perfectly–pure irrational fear.

    • Abby McMuffintop? BWA HA HA HA HA HA………as if anyone would take a comment from a name like that seriously…….top commenter……really??????…….. the tears of laughter are watering down my cold beer………….damn. gotta go get another outta the fridge…..

    • I’m glad you noticed, I didn’t and I love good trigger discipline. Good picture of the kids, I hope they sue their school district. Can they even graduate after a ten day suspension?

  5. They should sue the school system. They were suspended because of ‘disruption of school’ because apparently students were talking about the picture they saw on facebook or whatever. Utterly ridiculous.

    • So much of law, rules, regulations and their enforcement is simply because some moron didn’t like what you did. You never had to hurt anyone, harm anything or damage any property. All that was needed was for some idiot to see you do a thing, hear you say a thing, and cry to all his idiot friends “I don’t like that!”

      We’re all riding the short bus and the most retarded of the group are in the drivers seat.

  6. Man, these kind of stories really get under my skin. Its a result of the “progressive” indoctrination of cowardice and fear of obligation. Of course the angelic children are spoon fed this garbage so they can remain spineless, clueless jellyfish. If you want to see where this could very well end up, just look at the society portrayed in Demolition Man. Silly movie, I know, but that society is indeed where the “progressive” agenda will land us. A bunch of feminized, useless ninnies so afraid of anything resembling discomfort or violence.

    • We will have a weak society ready to be taken over. Nature hates a vacuum, and if good people don’t have power than someone else will. Source: thousands of years of human history.

  7. When an inmate gives a challenging look to the jailer, the situation generally gets resolved in favor of the jailor. Likewise, the kids gave their warden a challenge, and the warden responded. Nothing new here, move along…

    • Care to explain what in the f#<£ you are thinking? These kids in no way what so ever by any remotely sane standard instigated this event. To believe that is to believe that firearms or replicas of same hold some implicit threat or moral connotation, if you believe THAT you are obviously a stranger to this blog and the cause of civil rights. To assume that outside of a purposeful threat the image of children with toys is in any way antagonistic one must apply the same standard to most any object. Two kids holding baseball bats or golf clubs must be considered threatening an assault. The same picture featuring a set of car keys must be a threat of vehicular homocide. But those are not threatening images. And neither is an image of a firearm.

  8. If they would of wore burkas and claimed Islam they’d of been free to go as both are acceptable and part of the Muslim faith plus throw in a knife for authenticity and it all would have had the governments backing on the only Religion that is ok to to show and practice in public or on our School Grounds

    • What’s up with the Islam, Muslim reference? Seriously, what relevance does that have to do with this discussion?

      • Idiocy, as far as I know knife ownership holds no special relevance in Islam. He is probably thinking of the Sikh religion. Either way I have no doubt that if a kid of either faith brought a knife to school and was seen he/she would be reprimanded as severely an any white/Christian kid.

  9. School is overstepping its authority…again. What a student does in their personal life outside of school should not be dictated by the school.

  10. While I will agree that the picture could have been executed with more tact, a suspension of any length is asinine. Anything past a simple investigation to determine a credible threat (of which there was none) deserves legal action.

    • How much more tact could there be? I mean without removing the toys entirely to appease someone? Trigger discipline muzzle dicipline, double check. This is literally as tactful and non threatening as this picture can get when the idea is to take a nice picture of a couple with their rifles.

      • Associating a picture of high school students holding what look like real rifles with a school event could be construed by a reasonable person as a possible threat. I am sure they didn’t bring their guns with them, so they seem out of place for a formal dance portrait. I don’t fault the school one bit for investigating to make sure it was just a picture, but the moment the kids said “They’re airsoft guns, we play airsoft, there was no threat” that should have been the end of it. The idea that kids could be suspended for taking a picture of a completely legal activity that bothered or offended a small group of people blows my mind.

        • I’m sorry but I can’t get behind most of what you say here. For one what if they were real rifles? Or more like SO WHAT if they were real? Like I said elsewhere we must either consider this same picture with any other object in place of the guns equally threatening or consider the guns them self to have some threat implicit in their very existence. I say that a picture of any gun in any setting can not reasonably construed as threatening without some other factor being present. If you can say it is reasonable to look at this picture and see a threat you are saying that firearms are inherently threatening, by doing that you open the door to all sorts of arguments concerning our rights right up to but not exclusively our right to bear arms at all.

  11. More proof that school teachers and administrators should never be allowed to tool up around children — or do anything else around children.

    • As I read the news daily, I’m thinking that all female teachers should be required by law to wear chastity belts in order to be allowed to teach middle and high school.

  12. Maybe it’s because I was born & raised in a red state in the mid-west but I just don’t understand how this is controversial, AT ALL.

    • I don’t get the regular commenters waffling on this subject. To admit that there is anything at all here to be critical of is to admit that firearms stand alone as objects with implicit morality. The same picture with any other object would simply be a picture of some people holding an object. But this picture is different, only because of the object and so must be treated different.

  13. They need to sue the school district because they have no legal jurisdiction over students outside of school property and school sponsored activities. They have no legal right whatsoever to suspend the students. And the police department also needs to be sued for illegal searches and denying their right to legal counsel and not having their parents present.

    • The searches we perfectly legal. Students do not have any expectation of privacy in their backpacks or lockers at school. Long established legal principle through a whole lotta drug cases. No total right to free speech (in connection with school or school activities) either.

  14. Student and need free money for college? Take a picture of yourself with a gun, get your rights violated, sue the school and cash in.

  15. My high school yearbook my graduating year had a group photo for the SMOKING LOUNGE.

    Please note, in my home state of Illinois, it is illegal for a minor to possess or purchase smoking materials. But the school maintained TWO “smoking lounges”, areas outside the building but under an overhang, with ash cans and an easily-cleaned asphalt surface. Sometimes there was upwards of 100 students in that “lounge” between classes or at lunch, standing around, smoking.

    The picture they took was very tasteful and looked just like one of the other group photos, except that the smokers all wore suits and nice dresses that day, so they looked even more respectable than any other group photo in the yearbook. Doing something actually illegal in that state at the time.

    But these kids get in trouble for airsoft guns in a picture taken AT HOME before a dance. The capton said “homecoming 2014” because that was the event they took the picture to commemorate. It wasn’t a threat. How could it be? Homecoming 2014 HAD ALREADY HAPPENED.

    • They’ve been coming for the first amendment since it was first drafted. Read up on the Alien and Sedition Acts. The control freaks do not appreciate any limit on their ability to control.

  16. Maybe we should grab the school officials and allow them to be sued by those that they wronged. Make it personal for them too!

    One of the things that is wrong is that people are not treated as responsible for what they do!

  17. And our US Supreme Court has ruled that out of school statements by their students may be censored at will by the school if there is any association with the school (see Morse v. Frederick, 551 U.S. 393, 2007). So, by referencing the homecoming, a school sponsored event, they allowed the school to have absolute mastery over their speech. Since the schools say that promoting guns is scary, then that’s all she wrote.

    I’d love to see Morse overturned, but I won’t hold my breath.

    • How can we be sure they weren’t celebrating UMass’ homecoming? The schools name is not in the caption.

      • Because you can just ask the principal. He’ll tell you what school it meant. That’s all that matters according to the 9 Robed wonders.

    • I’m OK with Morse, but I don’t think it applies to this case and shouldn’t provide cover for the school’s actions.

      In Morse, the censored speech (a banner reading “Bong hits for Jesus”) took place at the actual school-sponsored event itself. This picture only referenced an event, but took place elsewhere at another time.

      The students in Morse attended their event in representation of the school. The school didn’t want their representatives making the statement which one did. The kids in this picture only represent themselves. From the picture, one wouldn’t even know their school.

      The statement in Morse was an encouragement to commit an illegal act, too. This picture only depicts two teens with toys they’re lawfully permitted to possess.

      In Morse, the student conceded that his statement was not political. If it had been, he might have had more legal support, under the SC’s Vietnam War Era ruling, Tinker, regarding political speech of students at school. It’s not clear whether these kids were making a political statement with their airsoft rifles (probably not), but that’s an argument they could make, further distancing themselves from the Morse tether.

  18. Some of these school officials, whether teachers, principals, the administration, etc., are actually anti-gun and anti-freedom and just really want to stick it you any flimsy chance they get. Most others are just butt coverers.

    These others know that if some kid freaks out and shoots up the school, all eyes, by which I mean suspicious and disapproving scowls, will be on them. Everyone is going to demand answers, only to second guess them, as to who knew what and when and how the warning signs were missed. Ahh, yes, those warning signs. About those.

    Hints and cues and clues not picked up. Red flags raised, gone unseen. Alarm bells sounded, gone unheard. The infamous writing on wall, gone unread. Nobody wants to be subjected to that whithering armchair quarterbacking.

    Besides, they get paid the same no matter how many days your little poptart pistolero spends in suspension. If one should slip by, they can always say “I did my best with the tools I had.”

  19. OMG!! Next they should take a picture holding bags of peanut M&M’s with a similar caption. Good chance the school is also peanut free for the good of the students with allergies.

    • I have always felt deeply threatened by that pitch fork. A reasonable person could take that as a preamble to a terrorist attack, if said person were a member of a corrupt aristocracy in the Middle Ages.

  20. Gee, I used to pose with a Model 12 shotgun for a couple of photos back in high school days. Now they would lock me up and throw away the key.

    • Come to think about it, we had some of us kids posing with real guns in the school yearbook photos for various stunts and gags.

    • FINALLY! I can’t believe it took this many responses for someone to finally nail it. Screw Facebook. Don’t put your info “out there.” Had these two taken the picture and kept it to themselves, they’d have no problems. And problems they now have, because this nonsense will go on their “permanent” records, and they will always be among the first suspects in any possible future SNAFU at school.

  21. I don’t see Airsoft guns as a threat. I think it actually makes it them look more nerdy, especially Mr. Bowl-cut/Wannabe Spock….. but for Airsoft guns they sure have good trigger safety discipline, I’ve got to hand them that.

    I think this could have been resolved if the school had found out those were airsoft guns, but I’m pretty sure schools don’t have any rule saying “You may not cause a disruption.” That’s just bullshit. What the hell are these pervs doing on student facebook pages anyway?? Unless it was brought to the school’s attention, I don’t think they have any business in people’s personal pages. If you spy on your students, don’t blame me if I look at you as a stalking child molester.

    “The guns only shoot plastic pellets, ……
    Dr. Richard Gross, superintendent of the school district, said his problem is not with the guns..”
    “When you tie that to a school event, that’s something to be concerned about,”

    Ohhhhhkaaaaaaay……. so he knows they shoot plastic pellets, but still thinks it’s something he needs to make a fuss about…

  22. Why in the f*ck should they be suspended for something they did at home? Because they mentioned their homecoming dance? So f*cking what? They posed for a picture with something they enjoy, and they did it on their own time at home, not at the school for f*cks sake! What a bunch of scared little f*cking p*ssies!

    Sorry, I’m grumpy in the morning. But utterly retarded sh*t like this pisses me off. It’s dumber than the time my kids’ school called the cops and ended up suspending my son when he brought plastic (PLASTIC!!!) toy handcuffs to school. You know, the cheap dollar store crap that has a lever on the side that opens them? Those. I desperately wanted to call the principal a chicken sh*t and tell her to STFU, but I had to remind myself that I’m a nice person.

  23. I wonder if the photo was cropped by the media to not show the BRIGHT ORANGE TIP
    that identifies it as a TOY

  24. I had an airsoft gun back in Hong Kong and was part of an airsoft group consisting of a few schoolmates, and we didn’t get into trouble like this.

  25. WTF does it say about the parents who are timid enough to tolerate these lunatic fascist thought police social engineers/indoctrinators to take their children to be brainwashed for 8hrs+ per day at what essentially are govt prisons??

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