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Student Gets Suspended … For ‘Liking’ An Airsoft Gun Picture On Instagram

Student Gets Suspended … For ‘Liking’ An Airsoft Gun Picture On Instagram

Just “liking” a picture of a gun on social media can get a student suspended from school in New Jersey.

Zachary Bowlin discovered this the hard way when he was suspended from Edgewood Middle School for 10 days because he liked a picture of an airsoft gun on Instagram.

“The reason for the intended suspension is as follows: Liking a post on social media that indicated potential school violence,” a note from the school to Bowlin’s parents read.

Bowlin liked the photo outside school hours.

“I liked it, scrolling down Instagram at night about seven, eight o’clock I liked it,” Bowlin told Fox 19. “The next morning they called me down [to the office], patted me down and checked me for weapons.”

His father said Zachary never should have been suspended.

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Student Gets Suspended … For ‘Liking’ An Airsoft Gun Picture On Instagram“I was livid, I mean, I’m sitting here thinking, ‘You just suspended him for 10 days for liking a picture of a gun on a social media site,” Zachary’s father, Marty Bowlin, said. “He never shared, he never commented, he never made a threatening post.”

The suspension was lifted after news media contacted Edgewood City Schools. Zachary will face no further discipline, but parents of students received an email from the district that indicted officials were responding to a threat. Superintendent Ross Fussnecker released the following statement to the media:

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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10 comments

  1. Remove Superintendent Ross Fussnecker.

  2. I hope the Bowlins sue the pants off of the school district, as much as I hate a litigious society gone amok. The school district needs to be taught a lesson about over-reaction.

  3. I’d “like” to see Superintendent Ross Fussnecker fired. This was a ridiculous over reaction and they didn’t even offer an apology as appropriate instead he doubled down and tried to justify the action. This person is clearly not fit to train animals let alone educate children.

  4. The picture looked like a real gun considering there was no orange tip and the comment was just “Ready” with all that has happened i think they were just trying to be cautious. Though they could have gone about it better.

  5. Unfortunatly this is what happens when parents do not read the rules the school creates EVERY YEAR for anyone to view on their website. While I will say this is an outrageous charge! It IS the responsibility of the parent to READ THE SCHOOL RULES WHEN IT SHOWS UP ON THEIR EMAIL LIST OR IN THEIR MAIL. Schools do this EVERY YEAR. Had the parents read through the rules, they probably would have seen this rule, and could’ve argued against it. If they had neighbors support, they could’ve had it altered before it led to this!

    THATS THE POWER OF POLITICS! As long as people actually read what is being done, they know how they can fight against it, but it seems too often that people no longer read laws or rules and just trusts their ruling bodies to make the right decision. DON”T ASSUME AND READ THE PRINT.

    This will save you from hassle later on.

  6. How did the school find out that Zach liked the picture.

  7. How did the school find out that zach liked the photo.

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