Ohio Middle School Student Temporarily Suspended after ‘Liking’ Gun Pic

This Ohio Middle School student was temporarily suspended for “liking” a photo on Instagram. (Photo: Fox)

An Ohio middle school student was temporarily suspended for “liking” an Instagram post of what appeared to be a firearm. The school lifted the suspension following his parents’ protest.

The “firearm” turned out to be an airsoft toy. According to his parents, the boy did not comment or even share the post, he only liked it. The photo was captioned “ready.”

“The reason for the intended suspension is as follows: Liking a post on social media that indicated potential school violence,” said the suspension notice.

It’s not clear how the school became aware of Bowlin’s social media activity. (Photo: Fox)

“I was livid, I mean, I’m sitting here thinking ‘You just suspended him for ten days for liking a picture of a gun on a social media site,” his father Marty Bowlin said. “He never shared, he never commented, he never made a threatening post … anything on the site, just liked it.”

The student, Zachary Bowlin, was initially suspended for 10 days. “I liked it, scrolling down Instagram at night about 7, 8 o’clock I liked it,” he said. “The next morning they called me down [to the office] patted me down and checked me for weapons.”

“Yesterday evening school officials were made aware to an alleged threat of a student bringing a gun to school,” said the school in an email to the school’s parents last Friday. “We act on any potential threat to student safety swiftly and with the utmost importance. This morning, the alleged threat was addressed and we can assure you that all students at Edgewood Middle School are safe and school will continue as normal. Thank you.”

After discovering no threats to the school administrators dropped the suspension and said there will be no future repercussions for Bowlin.

School Superintendent Russ Fussnecker supplied local Fox New 19 a follow-up statement. “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,” said Fussnecker.

See Also: School Suspends Five-Year-Old Girl for ‘Stick Gun’

“The Board has a ‘zero tolerance’ [policy against] violent, disruptive, harassing, intimidating, bullying or any other inappropriate behavior by its students.”

“As the Superintendent of the Edgewood City Schools,” Fussnecker said, “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.”

How the school found out about their student’s social media activities is unclear. It could be that the school follows their students online or it could have been a worried parent who stepped in.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • DJ May 13, 2017, 12:53 am

    Some very good remarks and points have been made already. The abominations against this young mans bill of rights and the treating of him like he is a terrorist is an example of what has and is been happening to our country. As a former Military anti-terrorist special forces member and currently working in Federal Law Enforcement, I am very disgusted with the levels of BS the liberals are getting away with. Since when does the School board monitor our childrens after school hours activities that have nothing to do with the school. I can understand if a verbal or written threat was involved, but to attack this young mans Freedom of Speech, breech his privacy, slander his name and physically put their hands on him without probable cause ! Registering a like on a social media site for not even a real gun but an air soft toy is Not probable cause. Someone needs to be fired and if I was the parent of this young man I would be talking to some big name aclu lawyers. Wake Up America ! we need to fix our schools and fight terrorism at its source and not act like terrorists ourselves.

  • Johne May 12, 2017, 6:11 pm

    This sounds like those that needed to be suspended and then fired is the School Superintendent Russ Fussnecker.

    We allow these mentally insane people teach are kids. It has to stop.

  • Mike Watkins May 12, 2017, 2:42 pm

    More proof, if we needed any, that liberalism is a mental disease.

    They consider a student who likes guns to be “threatening” and “bullying,” yet I’m sure these same “educators” are fine with forcing our daughters and grand-daughters to share locker rooms and restrooms with men. And of course if our daughters–or we–protest, we are “intolerant haters,” and guilty of “hate speech.”

    And then they have the gall to vehemently protest school-choice legislation!

  • Curly May 12, 2017, 2:09 pm

    We have all seen students walk out and leave school over their feelings being hurt. We have seen students riot, burn, loot and destroy private property and get away with it. Nobody got thrown out of school or went to jail where they belong. We used to be number one in education until we let the government and the idiot liberal teachers take over, look at where we are now. We need government out, get rid of the libbie morons and start tossing out the spoiled brats that think they are owed everything that the rest of us worked for.

  • Mark Timblin May 12, 2017, 2:04 pm

    This is fucking STUPID, its a picture on a social media site! For the love of money can’t they takes things with a grain of salt? If that had been my son….I would have the entire school district under investigation, I would have them so worried about keeping their jobs they wouldn’t sleep nights! Another thing….WHAT THE HELL is the school district doing monitoring their students social media activity….rally they haven’t anything better to do? This kid will now until he graduates be under suspicion for just whatever the hell they want to keep tabs on him for. It’s sick the way political correctness is still the rule instead of the exception. When will they ever learn that political correctness, or too much political correctness is never a good thing it leads to angry feelings all around lack of trust and racism. Didn’t want to bring that up but there it is, why can we not learn from our mistakes, when will we learn from our mistakes? We the good people of the United States of America will be doomed to keep repeating our failures if we don’t take precautions today.

  • chuck benak May 12, 2017, 1:21 pm

    I wonder how many students got suspended 10 days for bullying ?

  • Mister Ronald May 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    It seems that most teachers hired now-a-days are Clones.
    They actually only hire the ones that are like each other in that they are not familiar with the constitution of America.
    Lately, They like the pro-Islam views and actually call it a religion.
    They teach how it is the gun that is evil and not the monster human that used a gun to kill people.
    Yes, Clones of Clones and not much else.
    Of course there are still some very normal people teaching but they are getting scarce.

  • RGE May 12, 2017, 11:14 am

    Honestly the school system has turned teachers into NAZIs. Though I agree there are threats of violence to schools all over the country, a good chunk of that threat is a lack of parental supervision coupled with a lack of proper education. Children are not taught to be respectful of others and themselves. They are also taught that we have liberties, but don’t even come close to explaining that with liberty comes responsibility. Above all else you cannot assume the mantle of freedom of speech and at the same time, repress it when it doesn’t fit an official agenda.

    There was a time when individuality was important, tempered by reasonable self-regulation. True kids can be animals but that’s because the onus is being placed too much on the education system to teach simple things that parents should teach their children.

    Now there is disillusionment. Some of it is created by an agenda. If you take a group of small children (Group A) and tell them that all the children in the next room, who they have never met (Group B) are evil and must be destroyed; the Group A children will want to hurt the Group B children, even though they have no clue about what Group B really thinks or is like. Meanwhile Group B has no clue about Group A or why Group A would want to hurt them.

    That is how our education system sometimes operates. And it is a microcosm of the gun-hating Group A people in wider society. They don’t care about inner-city violence, or how to get parents to raise their children right. Instead they want to indoctrinate, force their agendas, etc. Any speech against their position is met with bullying and threats. They have become a new form of aggression. This aggression is called “a propaganda war”. It is generally employed by authoritarian societies like the former USSR, former Nazi Germany, current North Korea, and places all over the globe. Its nothing new. It has existed since the beginning of time. Free exchange of ideas and argument, without insane propaganda and authoritarian penalties in institutions such as schools, universities and even governmental institutions, is how our society was intended to function from its founding. It seems this concept is lost on many key institutions in our system today.

  • Gary Wills May 12, 2017, 10:39 am

    I’m ashamed of the school systems in our country. If the people can’t teach there kids the right way to treat people is about biggest problem . To many don’t raise there own children, the kids get every thing they learn from crap rap , video killing games. No consequences ever when it’s all they ever know. No teaching from the bible of the values of life and the results of going down the wrong road . With ten commandments your life’s in your hands. Lessons of life are not taught there lived by the parents , kids watch them most , they push there limits looking for guidance , yes with limits like a spank on the butt , we raised three girls in there entire lives they had one spanking each. It was for them fighting each other and not stopping . Our girls are all beautiful women , they take care of each other and us now. There all church going and clean living . Why because we raised them in church and they had both parents there day and night. College yes all three , one magnum comlaude with honors . The big problem is not guns it’s no parents taking care of there children. If you teach them the right path they will not leave it.
    With liberal minded people teaching everything’s ok it’s all about you , do anything you like with the why not attitude you get what we have now . Non working stealing , drugs, rape, murder, . Haven’t we had enough parents raise your children there your responsibility.
    When I was a kid we all played cowboy and Indians , war games . Yes we had toy guns but we learned right and wrong and how real guns killed and hurt people . All kids everyday need guidance. This boy is just that a young boy is he bad for being normal . I bet he knows right and wrong , but he didn’t do anything wrong by liking a gun .
    Take this boy and teach him how to shoot and let him enjoy a sport that’s safer then football . Along with the teaching he,ll learn the safe use and care.
    Guns are not bad or evil. Evil comes where and when people let it .
    I have been around guns and hunting for my entire 62 years , my guns will lie in bed and never shoot , or stand in my safe and never walk away. I taught our daughters from there diaper days to never touch till they were old enough to understand , they all can shoot and love doing it. My wife’s an archery buff. So look out next they will be evil too.

  • Zupglick May 12, 2017, 9:42 am

    The Communists have been targeting our school systems since the 1950’s. Americas education system was a major target of the KGB. They spent billions recruiting teachers, professors, and administrators to teach anything to disrupt American society.
    Most of the Vietnam Anti-war movement was funded by the KGB as shown by their own records. The Anti-gun movement is just the latest tactic to try and gain control of America. Just because the KGB no longer exists as an organization does not mean that the Communists have given up.

    • deanbob May 12, 2017, 10:13 am

      The KGB has been replaced by the FSB and SVR. The effects of the communist finances are appraent by the number of openly self avowing communists and communist organizations, as well as the overt communist/socialistic philosophies espoused.

    • Rogue May 12, 2017, 9:03 pm

      Yea, the commies are influencing our students as well as our president.

  • Manshooter May 12, 2017, 7:57 am

    Sue the bastards!
    I am CERTAIN that the boy has been branded as a “school shooter” by now.
    His loss of friends, his FEAR of even looking at social media anymore..(this could impact his potential earnings down the road…a Great Deal.)
    On and on..you get the idea. If THEY are going to be STUPID, then you give them what they dish out!
    Maybe even a class action suit! ALL the other kids that are now Afraid to view social media sites! The other kids that are afraid to attend school..because of the NOW “known potential school shooter” attending school along side of Their children!! The nerve!
    Sue them until their federal and state funding dries up and blows away! AND until everyone that had Anything to do with this stupid suspension is Fired! NOT retired! Fired!

  • Taxx73 May 9, 2017, 11:35 pm

    This is lunacy. First the incident did not take place during school hours or on campus. Second doesn\’t the first amendment protect things like this? Why did the school violate the fourth amendment and commit assault against the student by frisking him without a warrant, probable cause or parental permission? I really hope that the parents can use the school for invasion of privacy and assault on a minor.

  • Will Drider May 9, 2017, 10:53 pm

    Finger guns, pop tart guns and now “Like” Suspensions! I’ve got no problem with “Zero Tolerance” if in fact they were addressing real issues that actually create a Threat. These Schools/Districts have absorbed “anti gun” into their decision making. They are sending intimidating messages and punitative threats to mold a future anti gun society starting in kindergarten and through to college. This is why they fight campus carry nomatter how many students and faculty are robbed, raped or murdered.

    School access to student on line activities. Some schools issue devices to each student and they monitor its use. Some schools use the internet to post and receive assignments, inturn placing “cookies” or their “app” requires “access” throughout the kids computer. The spying begins, it never ends till you in the grave.

  • LHTwist May 9, 2017, 4:16 pm

    The problem is the inclusion of subjective text in their policy = “any other inappropriate behavior by its students”.
    The school system is at liberty to decide what constitutes inappropriate behavior, without any guidelines whatsoever. The parents should hire a lawyer and sue for defamation of character, harassment, sexual misconduct and anything else they can squeeze in to the parameters of inappropriate behavior on the part of the administrators who conducted the pat down. Even if the parents don’t win, the school will get hit with legal costs. A couple of instances of that would probably cause a change in the overly liberal policy.

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