Florida college student, suspended over gun photo, sues school

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A Florida college student is suing her school after she was suspended indefinitely over a photo of her posing with a handgun at a shooting range.

According to the lawsuit, filed May 14 in U.S. District Court in Jacksonville, Dia'mon Dallas alleges her constitutional rights were violated when First Coast Technical College suspended her based on the photo posted to her Facebook page.

“Everything has just gone down the drain. I really was trying hard in school. I was making A’s,” Dallas told WJAX-TV.

Dallas said she and her fiance, Anfernee Royster, were at the range with her cousin, a military veteran who was teaching the couple how to shoot. The couple posed together for a photo holding the firearms with the caption “She’s my Bonnie and I’m her Clyde.”

Another student reported the photo to officials at the St. Augustine-based school after it was posted online. Donna Gary-Donovan, the assistant principal, confronted Dallas and told her she was being indefinitely suspended, according to the news station.

Gary-Donovan told Dallas in a subsequent meeting that the student had a "mean look" on her face.

Dallas is suing the school for violating her First and 14th Amendment rights.

The lawsuit said the photo was “purely off-campus Facebook communication with friends.” It also said it had no connection to a “school-related activity” and therefore does not “interrupt the school environment," according to The Jacksonville Daily Record.


“Some people just don’t like guns. They feel threatened by firearms. But that’s why we have constitutional protections, to protect activities that other people might find uncomfortable or unpopular,” Republican state Rep. Chris Byrd, who's representing Dallas, told the station.

The college and Byrd did not return messages and calls from Fox News on Friday. The suit seeks the school admitted it violated Dallas' rights and damages to be determined at trial.

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