Why these two students were suspended after posting this photo on Facebook

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MIDDLEBOROUGH, Mass. -- Two high school students say they’re facing expulsion over a photo posted to Facebook.

Tito Velez, 16, and his girlfriend, Jamie Pereira, are shown holding airsoft guns in a homecoming photo they posted on Facebook last Friday, according to WCVB.

Tito Velez,  Jamie Pereira

Jamie Pereira, Tito Velez

Airsoft guns are replicas, which can fire plastic pellets, and are intended to be non-lethal.

Velez said they wanted their photo to be unique and use something other than flowers.

"This isn’t dangerous .. you can’t kill someone with it," Velez said. "We didn’t shoot anyone. We were pointing them at the floor. Everything was on safe, no batteries, they never left the house. We never took them to school. That’d be stupid."

But when the teenagers put a caption on the photo, relating it to homecoming at their school -- Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School --it connected the airsoft guns to a school function.

School officials say students were talking about the photo in school on Monday and it caused a “disruption,” which is why they were suspended, the superintendent said.

“These students know what is... provocative," said Superintendent Richard Gross. "And to tie that to one of our school events kind of puts it over the top which brings us into it.”

Jamie Pereira says she understood, but thinks the school took it too far.

“Suspending us for 10 days and possible expulsion is way too much," Pereira said.

The students are suspended for up to 10 days. The superintendent said there will be a hearing about when or if they will be allowed to return.


    • Janet Ticklebottom

      THIS PICTURE IS AWESOME!!!!!!! BOUT TO GO TAKE A PICTURE LIKE THIS TOO THEN PUT IT IN OUR HALLWAY. luv dem gun sounds! luda luda gun sounds!

  • Manalishi

    “And to tie that to one of our school events kind of puts it over the top which brings us into it.” Speaking of over the top a**hole, You just suspended them for infraction by extension. Democrats are all the same.

    • issaiah clark

      The pic was very defensive, fearful, if they took this photo wat else would they do:its been too many school’s shot up! And doing or even taking this photo was very scary.we got isis ………terrosist are mostly children so sad..Godbless

  • Darlene Pantaleo

    This is just ridiculous. It is one thing to punish bad acts, but this?? If they were using the guns in a school play, that would be OK. They did not bring the guns onto school property, nor did they aim them at anyone. A picture taken in their own house, with permission of their parents no less, should not be the school’s business–even with the caption mentioning the school.

    A school is connected to everything a kid posts on their facebook page if a kid has his/her school listed in his/her profile. By this one school’s logic, then, anything can get a child kicked out of school if the school doesn’t like it. And, by their reasoning that it was disruptive, anything posted can be talked about on Monday!

  • funniteart

    This is a full violation of these kids amendment right to free speech and right to bear arms. It is none of the School’s business if they have a gun at home. As for this causing a “disruption”… students talking about a photo is hardly a reason to expel. Would anyone care to count the violations to these kids amendment rights?

  • Sam

    It appears that mostly very plain stupid people post comments to this web site. The IQ of all the posters to the above comments do not add up to average intelligence. I understand one of you will make a juvenile comment about this post. Makes no difference, you are still stupid people.

  • athynz

    Typical liberal-progressive backed zero tolerance rules… this should be a non issue as the airsoft guns were never brought onto school grounds or to a school function. This photo was obviously taken in someone’s home. But it’s typical libpro desire to control ever aspect of someone else’s life “for their own good” of course.

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