EDUCATION

Ohio boy's suspension over gun photo 'liked' on Instagram is dropped, family says

A middle school student in Ohio was handed a 10-day suspension for “liking” a picture of a gun on Instagram with the caption “ready” -- but the school eventually dropped the suspension, according to his family.

The parents of Zachary Bowlin posted a picture of the intended suspension notice from Edgewood Middle School which read, “The reason for the intended suspension is as follows: Liking a post on social media that indicated potential school violence.”

The picture in question is of an airsoft gun, and according to the students’ parents, their child didn’t comment on the post but simply liked the picture.

"I liked it, scrolling down Instagram at night about 7, 8 o’clock I liked it," Zachary said. "The next morning they called me down [to the office] patted me down and checked me for weapons."

Since receiving the notice, the family said the school has dropped the suspension and there will be no repercussions for the child’s actions.

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Friday morning an email went out to parents stating:

“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”

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Below is the statement given to FOX19 NOW by Superintendent Russ Fussnecker:

“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.”

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