A New Jersey high school is facing backlash from supporters of the Second Amendment.
Lacey Township High School was criticized after two students were allegedly suspended last week over a Snapchat photo that showed them with their families at a gun range, NJ.com reports. The incident has prompted a potential lawsuit from a Second Amendment group opposed to the district’s gun policy.
Amanda Buron, a family friend of one of the students, told NJ.com the picture in question was of four rifles, a gun duffel bag, and ammunition clips, with the caption “fun day at the range.”
A screen capture of the photo eventually made its way to administrators at the school, allegedly resulting in the students receiving a five-day in-school suspension.
Lacey schools Superintendent Craig Wigley said in a statement that “information posted on social media is incorrect,” but did not say what information specifically was incorrect.
Wigley declined to comment on a private matter involving students and added, “We are not at will to contradict public opinion on the internet.”
The incident drew public attention to a school district rule that says students may be suspended if “reported to be in possession of a weapon of any type for any reason or purpose on or off school grounds.”
The Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs stepped in, sending the district a cease and desist letter threatening a lawsuit unless the rule is removed and the students’ suspension is overturned.
“The policy is clearly wrong and violates the Second Amendment,” ANJRPC executive director Scott Bach argued. “We hope that they’re reasonable people and they will fix it. If they don’t, we’re prepared to take legal action.”
The pro-Second Amendment organization maintained they will proceed with a suit over the policy even if the suspension allegations prove to be untrue.
“Schools do not have the authority to chill the rights of their students off of school grounds, and this blatant infringement of constitutional rights will not be tolerated,” Bach said. “I don’t care if no students were disciplined. The policy has got to go.”
Ed Cardinal, whose son also attends the Lacey Township High School, told NJ.com that faculty ordered his son to remove a sticker of a gun that was on the teenager’s pickup truck.
“He was kind of heated about it and so was I,” he recalled. Cardinal said he and his son complied with the demand under threat of disciplinary action.
The school and district were the object of widespread condemnation on social media.
Since when does a school district have the right to control this student’s restriction of freedom of speech outside of school during a family outing? The last time I looked we are living in a Republic, not under communist rule. These are actions of a Police State.
— U+S+A PROUD (@pave2914) March 19, 2018
Sue the school immediately. They don’t control social media or what children do outside of school.
— Freedom Q Lovethread 🇺🇸🗽 We The People MAGA (@Eboo_Official) March 19, 2018
😲Those parents should do everthing they can to make sure that school does not get away with this. This is a dangerous path.
— DrainTheSwampNow!👌🇺🇸 (@pooemogie) March 19, 2018
What families do on their own time OUTSIDE of school is NONE of anyone’s business!
— purplerQse59 (@lori_konecki) March 19, 2018
This is crazy!!! Soon they’ll be suspended for attending a church service!! But they can’t do anything about a student who actually breaks the law!!! @NRA
— James Paulson (@jbirdpaulson) March 18, 2018
The school has no right and no authority to suspend the 2 students for something they did with their family off school grounds. Off school grounds is not their jurisdiction!
— Michael Tenorio (@mtenorio77) March 18, 2018
Yep. The Left loves to sue everybody when they can’t get their way. Let’s beat them at this game too.
— Gerald (@write_cabin) March 18, 2018
Other family trips not to post: pro-life marches, Trump rally, church trips, Back the Blue meetings.
— Prudence Reagan (@rubchicken) March 19, 2018