A high school in Huntsville, Alabama, is facing a backlash after photos of students carrying their guns in the hallways are making the rounds on social media.
The photos have been shared more than 9,000 times, and dozens of students are sharing them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
But a school resource officer told ABC News that the photos were only meant to be taken by students who are not students of the school, and the students are not the ones who are carrying their weapons.
“There’s a lot of people that feel like it’s inappropriate, and they feel like this is an appropriate thing to do,” says John Smith, the school resource office director.
“The safety and well-being of our students is of the utmost importance to us.
This is an important tool to us in helping us protect the safety and welfare of our school students.”
The photos were taken in the hallway of the Huntsville City Schools building on March 8, 2017.
The pictures were shared on Facebook by two students who shared the photo on March 11.
The Huntsville Times reports that the students were the only ones who were in the building when the photos came out, and that the pictures were taken during a lockdown of the building.
Smith says the photos are not an invasion of privacy, but that students should be responsible for their actions.
“When we’re taking photos of the students in our school, we need to be aware of what is going on,” he says.
“We should not be taking pictures of our staff members that we have access to, or the students who may be in that hallway, or any of our other staff members, because they’re not here.”
Smith says he has been asked to resign as school resource officers, and he’s taking his case to the Alabama Board of Education, which is investigating the incident.
He says the district is working with a local attorney, but the students could face disciplinary action.
“I think it’s very disappointing and disappointing,” Smith says.
The students in the photos who have taken the photos have posted about the incident on social networks, and one of the photos is being shared on Instagram.
“My heart hurts, but I’m here for my students, and I love them,” says one student in the photo.
“Thank you for your support,” the student wrote in the caption.
“It’s not fair to take away from them the opportunity to do their work, and their education.
I am truly sorry that this happened, and thank you for understanding.”