Thirteen-year-old Brianna Gentry thought sticking a few photos of her brother, a military policeman, on her class binder would be a good way to keep him close to her heart. She also included a photo of her softball team.
Instead, the student at Golden Valley Middle School claims she was almost kicked out for breaking an unwritten rule about "added material."
In an interview with KTLA (video above), Gentry said, "the counselor took me out of class twice telling me that the pictures are added material. But they haven't pulled any other students with pictures out from their class... Just me."
After KTLA stepped in, the school relented and let her keep photos of her brother, whom she hasn't seen in a long time, but said the softball pictures had to go.
Both Gentry and her mother agreed with the compromise, and Gentry said she'd rather have photos of her brother than nothing at all. "My brother's very important to me," said the student. "I haven't seen him in a while."
A representative of Golden Valley Middle School could not immediately be reached for comment on why such photos were banned in the first place.
School suspensions and expulsions are expected if students engage in illegal activity like making threats, bullying, physical violence or sexual harassment. But like Gentry, students across the country have faced suspensions and expulsions for far less.
For example, a cancer survivor was suspended from his high school in January for growing his hair out for Locks of Love, a non-profit that provides human hair wigs to cancer patients.
Another high school student who tweeted a foul-mouthed message was expelled in Indiana, thrusting him into a national debate about free speech on the internet.
Finally, Bob Jones University, a fundamentalist Christian school, suspended a student for watching the TV show "Glee".