Education A National Roundup

N.H. Student Drops Effort to Appear With Gun in School Yearbook

By Andrew Trotter — May 17, 2005 1 min read

A New Hampshire student who was barred from appearing in the school yearbook carrying a shotgun has decided not to appeal a court ruling in favor of Londonderry High School.

U.S. District Court Judge Steven McAuliffe ruled in March that a committee of student editors had the constitutional right to bar the photograph of the high school senior, an avid sport shooter.

Penny Dean, the lawyer for Blake Douglass, said last week he would like to appeal but could not afford the potential court costs. The student’s legal effort, which began last fall, received financial support from Gun Owners of New Hampshire and Gun Owners of America.

“It’s a sad day for the First Amendment,” Ms. Dean said.

The Londonderry school district has agreed to a request by Mr. Douglass that he be represented in the yearbook of the 1,800-student school by a blacked-out box with the word “censored,” Ms. Dean said.

Under a school board policy instituted in January, yearbook photographs of students are not allowed to feature props of any kind, including cars and musical instruments.