Minnesota battle over Howitzer gun photo in yearbook ends

A Minnesota high school senior will be allowed to appear in her high school yearbook while posed on a Howitzer cannon – but only if the barrel is draped by a U.S. flag.

That is the compromise reached in December between Nevis High School student Samantha Jones and school officials.

Jones, who has enlisted in the Army and is scheduled to begin her military service shortly after graduation next spring, had submitted a yearbook photo of her sitting atop a Howitzer cannon and holding up a U.S. flag in front of a Veterans for Foreign Wars post.

School officials rejected the photo, claiming that it violated the high school’s zero tolerance policy that prohibits any kind of gun or knife on school premises, whether in pictures or real life.

More than 100 students walked out of class in November to protest the photo ban, leading to 50 suspensions.

“It’s basically the same picture. She’s still wearing her Army shirt and sitting on the [cannon],” said Sue Jones, Samantha’s mother. “My daughter got what she wanted. I’m glad it’s over.”