A Colorado high school student was recently suspended over a picture she posted on Snapchat with her brother who served overseas in combat with the U.S. Army.
Snapchat claims that photos posted by users are supposed to last only 24 hours, but the student with a perfect straight-A academic record found out the hard way that anything posted on the Internet is never really erased.
The photo in question that Endeavor Academy of Centennial, CO suspended 17-year-old senior Alexandria Keyes over was made as she and her family prepared to visit a firing range. In the photo Keyes is seen holding a Glock handgun alongside her brother who is holding an PA-15 sporting rifle. The two are seen flipping off the camera and have scarves wrapped around their faces 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.
Kelley Moyer, the student’s mother said she couldn’t understand the school’s decision because her daughter did nothing wrong.
Rather than calling Kelley and her mother, the school emailed her with a threat she would face arrest for trespassing if she “stepped foot on school property” during her five-day suspension.
When Moyer asked what the exact policy Keyes violated the school told her no written policy had been broken but the administration suspended her because she had been photographed with an “assault” rifle. Moyer said the school told her:
When we see a picture of a 17-year-old holding an assault rifle, it sends panic through our building.
The mother’s explanation that no one in the photo was holding an “assault rifle” and all her daughter held was a handgun fell on deaf ears. In addition, she said Keyes made no threats against anyone or the school—there was no threat made period.
When local law enforcement investigated, it concluded Keyes made no threat and didn’t break any law. According to Police, the issue is now a school’s administrative issue.
As a student-athlete, Keyes is a member of the varsity volleyball team. The school’s action caused her to miss the championship game.
Moyers told Ammoland the matter is an attack on the Second Amendment saying, “This is like a red flag law. They assumed she was dangerous because of a picture of her with a gun before going to the range. It just isn’t right.”
Abbe Smith, Chief Communications Officer for Cherry Creek School District defended its decision to suspend Keyes because the matter “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.”
Keyes and her mother said they think the posts Smith referred to are a picture and video of her shooting at Centennial Gun Club she posted to Snapchat and Facebook eight months ago.
Smith told Reason.com since there were multiple parents who kept their children home from school when they became aware of the post, the district had to respond to their fears even if it didn’t believe Keyes posed a physical threat.
The rush in to impugn law-abiding gun owners is the real danger. Keyes is free to return to school immediately, but she now faces death threats and hate mail for an innocent picture.