Any suspicion that Alexandria Keyes was doing anything wrong should have ended when officials read the caption on the Snapchat picture: “Me and my legal guardian are going to the gun range to practice gun safety and responsible gun ownership while getting better so we can protect ourselves while also using the first amendment to practice our second amendment.”
Instead, officials at Colorado’s Cherry Creek School Endeavor Academy suspended Keyes for five days, even though they admitted she did nothing wrong.
Keyes’ mother, Kelley Shey Moyer, reached out to me on Facebook for help.
“The school states ‘she did not violate any policies’ and ‘when we see pictures of a 17-year-old holding an assault rifle it sends panic through our building,’” Moyer wrote, adding that Keyes’ brother — a 22-year-old Army veteran — is the one actually holding the “assault weapon.” Her daughter is holding a handgun.
“I asked if she made any threats or was angry or was aggressive or posturing or upset. They said no. I asked if she violated any Cherry Creek policies. They said no. They then told me she has been suspended for five days,” Moyer said. “I asked why. They couldn’t give me any answer.
“My daughter was wearing something called a Shemaqh. This a face covering her brother gave her from the military. Her brother is a retired military hero from the Army. He was injured while fighting for our country,” Moyer said. “He often takes his sister and I, her mother, to the gun range to practice our shooting. We both enjoy the sport and would like to enter into competitions someday as my daughter is excellent with firearms and training.”
Neither the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office nor the Aurora Police Department filed any charges. Both agencies told Moyer her daughter broke no laws.
Keyes has also been kicked off the school volleyball team, where her mother says she was a major contributor.
“Please help me fight for Ally’s 1st and 2nd Amendment rights! Please call Cherry Creek school board 303-773-1184. She has done nothing wrong! She has unjustly been suspended for posting a picture off campus of her and her brother holding guns going to the gun range,” Moyer said. “No threats ever made! They are keeping her from her championship volleyball game tonight! Justice for Ally! Please call!”
Some may find the Shemaghs offensive, or the Stars and Bars in the background, or the obscene hand gestures Keyes is using.
Keep in mind they’re kids — a 17-year-old goofing with her older brother, who she clearly idolizes.
If the school board had allowed the parents to handle this — to turn this into a teachable moment — Keyes’ academic record could have remained unblemished and good lessons could have been learned.
To suspend a child who even the board admits did not violate school policy or law sends a very poor message. Only bad lessons will come from this.
This occurred in their homes, during non-school hours and it in no way involved the school.
The school board should be ashamed.