By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR – A Truman High School student was suspended indefinitely last week and nine others received a one-day suspension for a social media posting that threatened gun violence at a basketball game.
Police Chief Mary Sclabassi said investigators learned on Monday that a 14-year-old student shared a photo on Twitter of himself holding what appeared to be a handgun, which he allegedly planned to take to a scheduled Tuesday basketball game.
“In the tweets he indicated he was going to the Kennedy basketball game” against Truman, Sclabassi said. “We were able to make contact with him and his parents prior to the game and resolve the situation.”
Taylor Schools Supt. Diane Allen said staff correctly followed policy after learning of the alleged photo. Principal Melissa Skopczynski found the online picture, identified the student and notified police.
“The student was told that if he showed up at the game he’d be arrested,” Allen said.
A search of the student’s house and further investigation determined that the weapon in the photo was a BB gun. Allen said the implied threat was assumed to be real, and was treated as such.
“He had a picture holding a gun,” Allen said. “The way things are now, we take anything like that very seriously. If we do make a mistake it will be that we’re too cautious.”
Further investigation determined that nine other students reposted the tweet prior to Tuesday’s game, and those students were given a one-day suspension.
It remained unknown how long the student will remain suspended, Allen said.
Taylor police submitted a report to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office which will determine if any criminal charges are filed.
(James Mitchell can be reached at [email protected].)