High School Suspends Students for Posting Photos from Gun Range on Social Media

AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

A New Jersey high school has come under fire for its decision to suspend two students over their decision to post photos from a gun range on their Snapchat account.

The ACLU has filed a complaint against a New Jersey high school that suspended two students over their decision to post photos from their weekend trip to a gun range. Lacey Township High School in Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey, decided to suspend the two male students after someone reported that they had posted photos of guns on Snapchat. Each boy received a three-day suspension and a weekend detention session.

“When I was pulled into the principal’s office for something I shared with my friends privately, outside of school, over a weekend, it felt like I had no place where I could truly speak freely,” one of the students said. “I’m filing this suit so that no one at my high school in the future has to feel like the First Amendment wasn’t meant to include them,” the second student added.

ACLU-NJ Senior Supervising Attorney Alexander Shalom said that the lawsuit against the school should send the message that they do not have the authority to limit speech that takes place beyond school grounds.”It’s important for school leadership throughout New Jersey to understand that, almost always, their limited authority to punish student speech ends at the schoolhouse gate” Shalom said. “To build a society that truly values freedom of speech and ideas, we need to make sure it begins with young people.”

The students are asking that the high school modify their records to reflect that the school violated their constitutional speech rights. Additionally, the high school must declare that they will not punish students on the basis of protected speech.

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