John George III attends Crawford County High School in Georgia. He and a couple friends planned on showing up for the last day of school before Christmas break dressed as Santa Clause and two elves. The day prior to the appearance of Santa and the elves, John posted the following on his Facebook page:
“Students of cchs ur in for a big surprise tomorrow <let the games begin>”
The parent of another student saw the post and thought it was alarming so they notified the local police. After speaking with the concerned parent, a police officer looked at John’s Facebook page and felt that it looked Gothic and dark which caused him to be concerned about the message.
Tuesday night, John and his parents were visited by two police officers who interrogated John and his parents. John explained to them the plans to dress as Santa and his parents verified his statement and showed them that John had recently purchased the Santa costume. John even told the officers that one of his teachers knew of his plans and could verify his alibi.
The police were satisfied with what they heard, but warned John about his wording on his post and how it could be interpreted wrong. In their report, they wrote:
“We then spoke briefly about the nature of the post and how with the recent tragedy of school shootings that had occurred that the post could cause unrest if taken the wrong way. We then left the residence without further incident.”
You would think that all was resolved, but it wasn’t. Mike Campbell, principal of the high school, did not accept the police report and ordered the police to intercept John when he arrived at school the next day. They did and took him to the principal’s office at which point Campbell suspended John from school pending an investigation by the school’s investigators.
Then, Campbell issued a press release telling the pubic that in light of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School, that John’s Facebook post was disturbing and being investigated.
John is upset and told the local news that what has happened is ridiculous. His father is also quite upset and said that the school is unfairly damaging his son’s reputation.
Let this be a warning to all Facebook users to be very careful of what or how you say things on your posts because there are those people out there who have nothing better to do than to cause you a world of trouble. Also be aware that there are lots of Grinches out there like Campbell, who seems to be eager to cancel Santa and his elves from making a holiday appearance and bringing cheer to those around.