School Climate & Safety A National Roundup

N.H. School Board Bans Photo of Student With Gun

By Andrew Trotter — October 19, 2004 1 min read

The Londonderry, N.H., school board voted unanimously last week to affirm a ban on publishing a portrait of a student holding a gun in the high school yearbook.

Blake Douglass, 17, had submitted a photo of himself carrying a sporting shotgun, but the image was rejected by the yearbook staff and the principal of Londonderry High School as inappropriate and controversial.

Mr. Douglass has threatened to sue the district if the photograph was excluded from the yearbook. Seniors at the 1,800-student school traditionally submit portraits of themselves, sometimes posing by a tree or in a doorway, or with a musical instrument or car.

Principal James N. Elefante said Mr. Douglass was told in advance that a photo with a gun would probably not be permitted.

Penny Dean, a lawyer representing Mr. Douglass, said the National Rifle Association has pledged to underwrite the costs of a lawsuit.

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