High school senior Wade Gelinas is quickly gaining the nation’s attention after his school principle prohibited Gelinas’ senior photo from being put into the school’s yearbook.
The reason? Gelinas was holding a rifle in the photo.
Gelinas made the decision to pose with the firearm in the photo because he is an avid hunter. He doesn’t play sports like football or lacrosse, but his main passion in life is hunting. Hence, Gelinas thought it only natural to include his favorite firearm in his senior photo.
Unfortunately, Bonny Eagle High School put a stop to the idea, and is prohibiting the yearbook staff from publishing the photo.
Naturally, Gelinas (being a high school boy) took his frustration out on social media. According to Guns.com:
“So you’re telling me that a football player can have theirs with a football, a lacrosse player 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!” Gelinas wrote in a Facebook post in reference to the photo, adding that he felt the rejection was an infringement on his rights.
Gelinas’ Facebook followers read the post, and quickly began commenting on it and sharing it, causing huge backlash against the school’s decision.
Despite the intense heat the school has been receiving, its principle Lori Napolitano is stubbornly standing by her decision, and citing the school’s code of conduct as her justification. The code bans all students from bringing any kind of weapon onto school property, and also forbids all students from wearing all clothing that contains pictures or images of guns and/or weapons.
Although senior photos are not explicitly stated in the code of conduct, Napolitano is holding to them and says the rules maintain for all senior photo choices as well. Guns.com states:
“Drugs, alcohol, weapons, tobacco are not allowed at school, and you cannot wear clothing that has pictures of weapons on it,” Napolitano told WCSH. “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.”