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Middle-Schooler Suspended for “Liking” a Picture of a Toy Gun on Instagram

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An Ohio seventh-grader was suspended from school for ten days for “liking” a picture of a toy gun on social media.

Zachary Bowlin, a student at Edgewood Middle School in Trenton received the suspension after he “liked” the photo of an airsoft gun on Instagram. The caption for the gun read “ready.”

“I don’t think I did anything wrong,” Zachary said. “[The] next morning, they called me down and, like, patted me down and checked me for weapons. Then, they told me I was getting expelled or suspended or whatever.”

The note the school sent home to Zachary’s parents said that the official cause of his suspension was “liking a post on social media that indicated potential school violence.”

“I was livid,” Zachary’s father Martin Bowlin told Fox 19. “He never shared, he never commented, never made a threatening post … [he] just liked it.”

Airsoft is something that Zachary and his friends enjoy playing, yet while the school eventually withdrew the suspension, they stood by their idiotic decision.

The school went so far as to send out a message to every parent on Friday night that read:

“Yesterday evening school officials were made aware to an alleged threat of a student bringing a gun to school. We act on any potential threat to student safety swiftly and with the utmost importance. This morning, the alleged threat was addressed and we can assure you that all students at Edgewood Middle School are safe and school will continue as normal. Thank you.”

Of course, this statement is a lie. There was no threat of a student bringing a gun to school. The school was needlessly scaring parents for nothing.

School Superintendent Russ Fussnecker didn’t see it that way … “liking” a picture of an airsoft gun – in his view – is the same thing as a threat to bring a gun to school and start shooting.

Concerning the recent social media posting of a gun with the caption “Ready”, and the liking of this post by another student, the policy at Edgewood City Schools reads as follows:

“The Board has a “zero tolerance” of violent, disruptive, harassing, intimidating, bullying, or any other inappropriate behavior by its students.”

Furthermore, the policy states:

“Students are also subject to discipline as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct that occurs off school property when the misbehavior adversely affects the educational process.”

As the Superintendent of the Edgewood City Schools, I assure you that any social media threat will be taken serious including those who “like” the post when it potentially endangers the health and safety of students or adversely affects the educational process.”

Someone needs to swiftly remove Mr. Fussnecker from his post and install someone who has more common sense than a tin of Altoids.

Watch the news report in the video below.

Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

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