New York high school senior prevails in fight to pose with gun in yearbook photo

An upstate New York school district has shot down a high school that said no to a senior’s yearbook photo because it shows her posing with a gun.

Rebekah Rorick submitted the picture for inclusion in the 2015 Broadalbin-Perth High School yearbook only to have it rejected by a faculty member on the yearbook committee due to the weapon.

“And I was like, ‘Why?’ And they are like, ‘Because there’s a gun in it,’ And I’m like, ‘But it’s a hunting rifle. I’m wearing camo. I have my dog with me,’” Rorick told WTEN-TV. “I was ready to cry. I didn’t know what I was going to do. The only thing I thought to do was address it.”

The photo shows a smiling Rebekah in a classic hunting pose. She is kneeling next to her dog as she holds a hunting rifle upright in her left hand.

Accompanied by her father, Rorick appeared before the school board Monday evening to appeal the rejection.

“We are in the foothills of the Adirondacks,” Michael Rorick told the school board, according to the Gloversville Leader Herald.

He and his daughter also pointed out that a senior’s photo in the 2012 yearbook showed him with a rifle.

After meeting behind closed doors, the school board ruled Rebekah’s photo appropriate for the yearbook.

“There wasn’t any reason not to (allow it),” president Robert Becker told the newspaper. He said he understood the school’s initial reaction to the photo, saying it was due to what he called “heightened sensitivity” to firearms in schools.

Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson told WTEN the photo does not violate the district’s policy against weapons.

“She is not holding the gun in a malicious manner,” he said. “She is not pointing it anywhere. It’s to me, in my opinion, a nice photograph of a young lady in the Adirondack region that enjoys hunting.”