A Fargo North High School student snuffed out the high-powered rifle from his senior photo and digitally inserted an eagle so he could get his picture in the school yearbook.
Joshua Renville had wanted the rifle in the photo of him standing by an American flag. The school said the shot with the rifle violated a plethora of policies.
After a public argument on social media, Renville acquiesced by digitally installing an eagle on his shoulder so he could appear in the yearbook, the Fargo Forum reported.
In the photo, Renville continued the red-white-and-blue U.S.A. theme by wearing a stars-and-stripes tank top and a serious expression bordering on a scowl.
In rejecting the photo, Principal Andy Dahlen told the Forum it violated a combination of three policies.
One is that weapons are banned on school property. Another rule prohibits publishing materials in school-sponsored media that violates federal or state law or promotes violence, terrorism or other illegal activity. A third policy forbids clothing that promotes weapons.
“You can play devil’s advocate all you want, but if you can’t have it in school, why would we publish it in our media?” he told the Forum.
Charlie Renville, Joshua’s father, fired up a Facebook campaign to mount what he called a “fight for freedom” and his son’s gun-toting photo.
He noted that kids in previous senior pictures were “standing next to their cars and other hobbies.”
He accused Dahlen of being “morally bankrupt” and targeting his family over the years for its “traditional” conservative values.
“What item is illegal in this picture? I see a kid that loves his nation, loves free speech and loves the 2nd Amendment,” Renville wrote on Facebook. “The rifle is a rifle he built and it is his favorite rifle.”