Mass. students suspended for airsoft gun photo

The kids say they never meant any harm, it's just their hobby

(CNN) – Two high school students say they’re facing expulsion for having toy guns; toy guns they never even brought to school.

They look like real weapons, but these are airsoft guns that shoot plastic pellets. Teams like this one often compete against each other.

The kid on the right, with the red bandana protecting his face is 15-year-old Tito Velez. This is Tito and his girlfriend Jamie posing for their homecoming picture last Friday, and it got them suspended from school.

“This isn’t dangerous; you can’t kill someone with it. We didn’t shoot anyone. We were pointing them at the floor. Everything was on safe, no batteries, they never left the house. Never, we never took them to school. That’d be stupid.”

“I understand but I think they took this way too far. Suspending us for 10 days and possible expulsion is way too much.”

This Facebook posting is protected by the Constitution of the United States. Freedom of speech, right? Even in light of recent school shootings. But when the teenagers put a caption on the photo, relating it to homecoming at Bristol Plymouth Vo-Tech, it tied the airsoft guns to a school function.

“These students know what is: provocative. And to tie that to one of our school events kind of puts it over the top which brings us into it.”

The kids say they never meant any harm, it’s just their hobby.

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