By: Krystle Crossman
Threats of violence are a serious crime but police in Summerville, South Carolina took things a little too far when they arrested high school student Alex Stone. The 16 year old was working on a project from his class when some of his words were taken out of context. The project was to write a few sentences that could be used as a Facebook status. The sentences were supposed to be about themselves.
Stone decided to write a few fictional sentences instead of writing something real. He wrote in one sentence that he killed his neighbor’s pet dinosaur and then said that he had bought a gun to take care of the business. This was a major red flag apparently as the police were notified by the teacher. His mother, Karen Gray, was furious at the school. They didn’t call her and notify her of the incident before they decided to arrest her son. He was suspended from school for a week. His book bag and his locker were both searched. They did not find a gun but arrested him anyway.
Stone says that he regrets not wording the sentences differently but he didn’t see the harm in what he had said in the first place. He said that he was asked about the incident by police officers and he told them that it was all a joke. The police then stated in their report that Stone was disruptive and argumentative. They arrested him and charged him with disorderly conduct. Unfortunately for Stone this will permanently be on his arrest record whether it was a joke or not.
How do you draw the line between real threats of violence and jokes? It is a very thin line and a hard one to see. If the police didn’t take this threat seriously and something did happen they would be the ones that everyone would point fingers at. Many people say that this country is overly sensitive but are we really? With so many different violent incidents, it is really being too sensitive if a joke is taken seriously? Better to be safe than sorry.