Photograph banned because it showed guns.
A high school barred a student from posting a photograph of her Marine brother because it prominently showed rifles, breaking the school’s zero-tolerance policy on weapons.
Officials at McKay High School in Salem, Ore., however, have reached a compromise, allowing student Shea Riecke to post another photo in the classroom. This time, guns are not the focal point, reported KATU-TV in Portland, Ore.
“It may be that the picture has a gun in it, but it is not the most prominent piece of that picture,” said Kay Baker, superintendent for the Salem-Keizer School District.
The classroom display is part of a project in which students were encouraged to post photographs that show the current activities of school graduates.
The student’s mother, Connie Riecke, said she believes the publicity the story originally generated resulted in the school backing down.
“I think it was the people in our community who responded,” she said.
Riecke said the decision surprised her: “I thought they were going to hold to their decision, but they didn’t, so I’m happy.”
In KATU’s original story about the controversy, Principal Cynthia Richardson worried about the impact of the gun photo.
“What message am I sending to my students if I post that picture?” she asked.
Richardson was flooded with e-mails over the issue, many of them attacking her, and was mentioned on the Rush Limbaugh radio show, KATU said.
She insisted her decision had nothing to do with being politically correct or anti-military.
“I am a very, very strong advocate of the military,” she says. “I have a husband who served six years in the Navy.”
Richardson also admits the backlash made her think twice about remaining in her job.
“I’m not a quitter, but this week I have thought about it,” she said.