Lanoka Harbor, NJ — Two New Jersey high school students were allegedly suspended after one reportedly posted a gun photo on Snapchat that showed “four rifles, ammunition [magazines], and a gun duffel bag” taken during a family visit to a shooting range with the caption “fun day at the range,” according to Lacey Township resident Amanda Buron, who said she was a family friend of one of the students.
NJ.com reported that Buron claimed the students received a five-day in-school suspension for violating the school’s policy on weapons possession after a screen shot of the image circulated among students and social media, and was eventually brought to the attention of the Lacey Township High School administration.
The school faced a swift backlash over the reported suspensions, as the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs (ANJRPC) sent a cease and desist letter to the school district, which noted that the school district’s weapons policy allowed students to be suspended for up to a year if “reported to be in possession of a weapon of any type for any reason or purpose on or off school grounds.”
The ANJRPC noted that they were prepared to take legal action if the policy wasn’t modified.
“The policy is clearly wrong and violates the Second Amendment,” ANJRPC executive director Scott Bach said. “We hope that they’re reasonable people and they will fix it. If they don’t, we’re prepared to take legal action.”
Bach also pointed out that schools lack the authority to “chill the rights of their students off of school grounds.”
“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.”
After being threatened with a lawsuit, last week, by the ANJRPC, the Lacey school district quietly revised the policy in question, which prohibited students from legally handling a gun off campus. The policy now omits any mention of possessing a weapon off school grounds, nor a specific suspension length for offenders.
“Students are forbidden to carry any type of weapon or simulated weapon to school,” the revamped policy states, which can be accessed on the district’s website.
Bach told NJ.com that his organization considers the district’s policy change a victory, but is currently reviewing it.
“It addresses many of the major issues we identified, but our counsel is still reviewing it,” Bach said.
Bach also took issue with the district’s failure to take responsibility. “Instead of the superintendent fessing up and admitting the policy was wrong, they try this misdirection,” Bach proclaimed.
In an email to NJ Advance Media, on Thursday, Lacey schools Superintendent Craig Wigley said that “information posted on social media is incorrect” and that student privacy laws prevents him for commenting on the matter, declining to say what aspect of the account was inaccurate.
“We are not at will to contradict public opinion on the internet,” Wigley wrote.
Although the policy has been modified, the social media uproar over the boys suspension could potentially lead to a large turnout at a school board meeting scheduled for Monday evening at Lacey Township High School.