Arizona School Suspends High School Student For Picture of Gun

article-2273230-1757A615000005DC-561_634x354We have yet another case of the “zero tolerance” policies being imposed in our school as an excuse of zero judgment or though by school officials.We have been discussing the steady stream of absurd actions taken by school officials under “zero tolerance” policies. For a prior column, click here. Now, Daniel McClaine Jr., a freshman at Poston Butte High School in Florence, Arizona, has been suspended for simply choosing a picture of a gun as a desktop background his computer.

A teacher noticed the picture on his school-issued computer. It shows an AK-47 on top of a flag. He was immediately suspended for three days under a policy that prohibits “sending or displaying offensive messages or pictures” and prohibits access, sending, creating or forwarding pictures that are considered “harassing, threatening, or illegal.”

The problem is that many people do not consider a picture of a gun to be threatening or harassing. It happens to be an object that the Supreme Court in Heller said was protected as an individual right under the Second Amendment. Of course, it could be argued, pornography is protected under the first amendment but restricted in terms of persons and places where it can be seen. Yet, the image of a gun alone is not viewed by many Americans as threatening as opposed to protective or patriotic. The school’s position appears to be that any picture of a gun is inherently an image of violence. There are a variety of images that may be read differently by students from pictures of Obama to protest pictures of torture or pictures of whaling. Likewise, there are pictures like the Iwo Jima memorial or revolutionary images that involve guns. The question is whether such a policy is intentionally vague to allow arbitrary or absolute regulation of this form of speech.

My concern is more with the blind application of the policy. I see no problem with the school asking the student to remove the picture or calling in his parents. However, the use of a suspension is problematic.

What do you think?

Source: Daily Mail

37 thoughts on “Arizona School Suspends High School Student For Picture of Gun”

  1. I wonder if the taxpayers could show zero tolerance for the waste of their money and refuse to pay the taxes.

  2. Who determines if an image is offensive? Absolutely any image can be claimed to be offensive to some one.

    They exploit horses by utilizing their image to promote themselves and their sports teams. PETA probably wouldn’t like that.

    Their home page features a picture of a horse’s head. A clear steal from Godfather. Obviously they are furthering the racist and stereotypical view of Italians as gangsters.

    They show pictures of boy and girls in swimsuits. Together. Not to mention the opening page of the swim team shows a cartoon image of a girl in a revealing bikini with her legs wide open.

    The lyrics to their song is full of violence
    Fight for your honor, victory too! We are strong and won’t give in! Go Mighty Broncos! Go! Fight! Win! Go Broncos! Go Orange and Blue! We’re full of pride; we’re fearless and true! Poston Butte won’t be outdone! Broncos are Number One!

  3. I agree with rafflaw. But it is still absurd to think a picture of a gun is offensive. I´m sure there´s a picture of a guillotine in the history book in the chapter on the French Revolution. Should that be removed from the school? ………they do learn about the French Revolution, don´t they????? That said, you don´t need a computer to learn. I think it is a huge waste of money.

  4. Following a zero tolerance policy appears to be 100% guaranteed to get you news attention for doing something moronic.
    I would suggest that having some tolerance, and applying some common sense should always be preferable.

  5. While I agree that the policy is being used to an absurd level, it was a school issued computer and the students who get those computers usually agree to accept them with the restrictions. I can understand that the school district does not want pictures like this on the computers that are owned by the district. What I can’t agree with is the need for any suspension for this minor infraction. I don’t even think the parents were needed to be called in. Just deal with it at the school and request the removal of the picture. If the student refused, the district can take away their computer and then involve the parents.

  6. This is laughable…. when I used to visit Arizona in the 70’s, you could go to the 7 – 11 on the corner to buy a gun.

  7. Even money says the kid is of Croatian descent, and choosing an image with a gun was secondary in his/her mind.

    Cripes, those idiots would have freaked out if it had been Mozambique’s flag. They don’t feel “threatened”, looking for an excuse to abuse power, to make themselves feel better.

  8. Well, then the school better take every picture of the flag of the state of Minnesota away. It too has a picture of a gun on it. So does the state seal of Iowa.

    Time for a legal action against the school.

  9. I find excessive stupidity to be offensive and it should be removed from the staff and administration of educational systems.

  10. Well it’s good to see that everybody here, from across the ideological spectrum, is rather outraged by this nonsense. The people need to take back their school governance, and re-install some common sense and sanity.

  11. What are Arizona gun laws if any. My guess is that they are quite permissive. How then could this boy be suspended for a picture of something the State of Arizona deems a right?

  12. Teachers are not the top 10% of their class. And, the ones who have common sense have that whittled away by a mindless union.

  13. A gun and a flag. Seems that the student made a constitutionally protected statement about a current events topic. It’s about time someone challenged this nonsense in court.

  14. Never mind gun owners, I am leaning toward mental screening for teachers and administrators who cannot seem to tell the difference between reality and virtual reality.

    Where is the line drawn? A picture of a firearm, or how about a picture of an A-10 Warthog with its massive Gatling gun cannon? Would that have gotten punishment too? How about a picture of an atomic bomb explosion?

  15. Maybe the problem for the teacher is it is too vague without a list of the things that would fall under the category of ‘threatening” etc.

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