Student Barred From Using Yearbook Photo With Gun (Photo)

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Student Barred From Using Yearbook Photo With Gun (Photo) Promo Image

A Maine high school student had his yearbook photo rejected because he was holding a gun in the picture.

Wade Gelinas, a senior at Bonny Eagle High School in Standish, said he had wanted the picture to have a tribute to his family's tradition of hunting, according to KDVR.

"It's just my sport," said Gelinas. "It's just what I do. I don't play football. I don't play basketball. I just hunt."

"So here's what I wanted to have as my senior picture but was informed, 'No, you can't put something like that in the yearbook,'" wrote Gelinas in a Facebook post on Oct. 17, the Portland Press Herald reports.

"So you're telling me that a football players can have theirs with a football, a lacrosse players can have theirs with their stick, and a guy or girl can dress up like one or the other but a hunter can't have theirs with their gun!" wrote the senior. "Like, Comment, or Share if you agree that this is an infringement of my rights."

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According to the school's principal, Lori Napolitano, the decision to reject the photo comes from the school's policy on weapons. The school's administration didn't want to make a judgment on whether the image was promoting violence.

"Drugs, alcohol, weapons, tobacco are not allowed at school, and you cannot wear clothing that has pictures of weapons on it," said Napolitano.

"We just want to draw the line at weapons of any kind being in the picture and that way we're not trying to pass judgment on which ones are promoting violence or which ones aren't," she added.

"It creates a disruption, and it doesn't make everybody feel safe," said the principal.

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Napolitano added that the yearbook is created in a course at the school, and so it is part of the curriculum.

Gelinas said he will submit a new photo without a gun, but he still hopes that the school will reconsider its policy regarding his photo, reports WGHP.

Kelly Roy, the photographer who took the photo, said she has scheduled more than 60 senior portraits for this school year. Roy said many of the students request to be photographed with sports equipment, including one who posed with a bow for archery, though that student reportedly did not submit the photo with the bow to the yearbook.

"It's whatever they're passionate about," she said. "It's his session, not mine."

Roy added that Gelinas wasn't the only student who had requested to be photographed with a gun for hunting, though it wasn't a common request.

The photographer said she can see where both sides are coming from in regards to the photo.

"I understand Wade's point of view," said Roy. "That kid was extremely respectful of the gun, how he handled them, how he carried himself when he was holding them."

"He was way more mature than a lot of kids are at his age, so I feel for him," Roy said. "But I completely understand where the school is coming from."

Sources: WGHP, KDVR, Portland Press Herald / Featured Image: Torrey Wiley/Flickr / Embedded Images: WCSH/Twitter, NechakoRiver/Flickr

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