*This is one frightening photo, yes? And it raises so many questions about how children are being raised today, and what is deemed OK. By any and all accounts, a photo of a teen smiling as he holds a semiautomatic weapon, with his finger on the trigger, is anything but OK. The teen posted the photo as his profile picture on Facebook, and now parents at Royton and Crompton School in Manchester, England have taken their children out of the school…in droves.
Can you blame them?
“There was a mass exodus,” one father told the Daily Mail. “Mums and dads were just walking in and out of the school all day, unchallenged. … When you see another child in your son or daughter’s class posing with a gun, then you don’t take any chances.”
As it turns out, the teen had first posted the photo in August, after a trip to Pakistan; where a licensed person can legally own a weapon. But was taken down later. Now, after the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, the boy posted the photo again–this time with a French flag overlaid.
Needless to say, it sent everyone involved into a state of fear.
But as it turns out, the “revised” picture with the flag was actually described as being a show of support and respect for the victims, an act demonstrated by thousands of other social media users.
The boy, who has not been identified due to his age, had visited Pakistan earlier this year and took the picture at that time. According to the Manchester Evening News, its no problem owning a weapon in Pakistan if you have a license.
No word on who the weapon actually belongs to. And why someone would need to own an AK-47?? (And please don’t say, ‘why not?’)
In a letter to parents posted on the school’s website, administrator Dr. Kevin O’Hagan made an attempt to assure the community that students were safe at school.
School officials “immediately contacted the child’s parents” as well as the police, on Monday, after seeing the picture along with the French flag, O’Hagan said. “Police visited the school. They have fully investigated the matter and confirmed that no criminal offense has taken place.”
The picture has since been taken down, and the social media account deleted. “The child and family were fully cooperative and are hugely upset that offense has been caused,” O’Hagan wrote in his letter. “They stressed their disgust at the Paris attacks, [and] quickly deleted the Facebook account and wish to express their regret at what happened,” he added.