A middle school student was suspended after “liking” a picture of a gun on Instagram with the word “Ready” in the caption.
Seventh grade student Zachary Bowlin received a 10-day suspension from Edgewood Middle School for liking a picture of an airsoft gun, a local NBC news station reported.
“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.”
“I was livid,” said Zachary’s father, Martin Bowlin. “He never shared, he never commented, never made a threatening post … [he] just liked it.”
The superintendent of Edgewood City Schools Russ Fussnecker issued a statement on behalf of the incident.
“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 (school) board has a ‘zero tolerance’ of violent, disruptive, harassing, intimidating, bullying, or any other inappropriate behavior by its students,” said in a statement to the Journal-News. “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,” Fussnecker added.
After speaking with Zachary Bowlin’s parents, the school decided to lift the suspension.