Taylor student's Twitter post with BB gun draws suspensions

A high school rivalry on social media went too far in Taylor, leading to student suspensions.

"Obviously in this day in age we have to treat everything as seriously as possible," said Taylor Police Chief Mary Sclabassi. 

As a result, a Truman High School senior has been suspended indefinitely for allegedly tweeting a picture of what looked like a pistol with the caption, "Getting ready for the Truman Kennedy basketball game Tuesday night."

The gun in question ended up being the student's BB gun, but it drew the attention of school administrators who acted swiftly.

"We need to send a message that this isn't anything we want students or anybody else joking around with," Sclabassi said. "The consequences are just too grave."

There were nine other students who either favorited or re-tweeted that post Tuesday. They received one day suspensions. 

Truman High School Principal Melissa Skopczynski said the school followed the code of conduct.

People in Taylor say it's more like they were following common sense.

"That's just kind of feeding back into what the original kid was doing," said Taylor resident Steve Volk.

"You can't go around broadcasting stuff like that," said Devonte Parks. 

"There's too much of this junk going around," said another Taylor resident. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

That's what the Taylor schools district is banking on, suspending all students involved in hopes it will prevent others from following their lead.

But not everyone agrees the punishment for those students fit the crime.

"No they committed no act other than giving an opinion," said Michelle McCloud. "And we do have free speech correct?"

Some argue that even free speech has its limits.

"Fortunately in this case it turned out it was a toy," Sclabassi said, adding there was never a legitimate threat with the ill-advised tweet.

Investigators went to the boy's home and kept him from going to the basketball game. 

"It's nothing to joke about we take these things very seriously," Sclabassi said. "Students need to use a lot more common sense when doing something like this." 

That seemingly goes for not just what you post on social media but what you like, favorite and re-tweet.

The tweet was deleted and the student who posted it will be out of school at least 10 days. The district has not decided whether the student will be expelled.

Police are reviewing the case to see if charges are warranted. 


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