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Teens suspended for school homecoming photo featuring Airsoft guns

Couple poses with guns off school grounds

Local 6: Morning News at 6a

TAUNTON, Mass. – Two high school students were suspended for 10 days for having Airsoft guns, even though they never took them to school. 

Tito Velez, 15, and his girlfriend, Jamie Pereira, posed with the replica firearms for their homecoming picture last Friday while off campus.

While the couple look like they're holding real weapons, the Airsoft guns shoot plastic pellets. 

"This isn't dangerous, you can't kill someone with it. We didn't shoot anyone, we  were pointing them at the floor," Velez told CBS affiliate WBZ-TV, "Everything was on safe, no batteries, they never left the house."

Velez added that he never even considered bringing the guns to school.

The picture ended up on Facebook, which led the school to get involved.

The teenagers put a caption on the photo, relating it to homecoming at Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School. That linked the Airsoft guns to a school function, officials said.

"These students know what (is) provocative," Superintendent Dr. Richard Gross explained, "And to tie that to one of our school events kind of puts it over the top, which brings us into it."

The kids say they never meant any harm and that it's just their hobby.

"I understand, but I think they took this way too far," Pereira said, "Suspending us for 10 days and possible expulsion is way too much."



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