A Colorado high school suspended a teen student in mid-October because she posted a photo to social media showing her holding a gun.
Endeavor Academy, located in Centennial, told Fox 31 their decision to suspend 17-year-old Alexandria Keyes for five days stemmed from concerns over “safety.”
Two weeks ago, Keyes posted a photo to Snapchat in which she and her brother, a U.S. Army veteran, are holding guns and flipping off the camera. A Confederate flag is visible in the background.
Keyes said the explicit gesture was meant as a message to the enemy her brother fought during his time in the Army.
According to the school, social media posts made by Keyes “concerned the school community and resulted in multiple parents keeping their kids home from school out of concern for safety.”
Keyes and her mother, Kelley McCollum, told Reason they believe the other posts the school references are from much earlier in the year. Eight months ago, Keyes posted a video and picture to Snapchat showing her shooting at a local gun club.
Keyes says she never intended to threaten anyone with the posts and that visiting the shooting range is something she does often with her mom and brother.
“I want them to know the meaning behind the post was completely innocent. I thought it was fun. I was going out with my brother to have a good time,” she told Fox 31.
McCollum is outraged.
“She didn’t break any laws. She didn’t break any rules, and what she did was completely within her rights,” McCollum told Fox 31. “I said, ‘There are 17-year-olds who go hunting. There are 17-year-olds in the military. Are you panicked because of them?’ They wouldn’t answer that question.”
McCollum told Reason her daughter is scared to go back to school once her suspension ends on Friday because she’s “getting death threats, hate mail, and [negative] comments on her [S]napchat.”