More than two dozen middle school students got 10-day suspensions over what their principal allegedly called "terroristic threats," according to one outraged parent who spoke to WSB-TV in Atlanta.
“To me it was just a bunch of 13-year-olds acting crazy,” Christopher Cagle, the father of a suspended honor roll student, told WSB, noting the "terroristic threats" concern.
And what did the students do?
They shared or commented on a Facebook post from a fellow student who suggested, among other things, that they violate the dress code for the final week at Cowan Road Middle School in Griffin, Georgia, about 45 miles south of Atlanta.
Examining screenshots of the post from WSB, the ideas appear to start rather innocently. Monday was the day everyone should wear red. On Tuesday they'd bring pillows and "jammies" and do "no work" in class. Thursday was "the day it gets real" — when the dress code is primarily violated, with students instructed to wear "ripped/destroyed jeans" as well as tank tops, crop tops, leggings/tights, untucked shirts, and "everything they say we can't wear."
But a second screenshot appears to show suggestions in the thread getting more serious.
The post notes that around 2:30 p.m. Thursday, “We need the hallways packed and out of control." That's followed with, "We gone have b*****s fighting and twerking in the hall." Toward the bottom is what appears to be a reference to the N-word: "We need everyone participating no punking out...(N-word)." The apparent reference to the N-word is partially covered in the WSB screenshot.
The second post ends with threats against "snitching."
The suspended students will stand before a tribunal, WSB added, which will determine if more disciplinary action will be taken.
“And (the principal) was like, ‘OK, you're a threat to our school,’ and then she suspended me,” a seventh-grader told WSB, adding that she responded “I’m in" to the Facebook post but insisted she had no plans to follow through.
“No, because I was too scared, and I didn’t wear a red shirt," the student, who didn't want to be identified, told WSB. "It would’ve been like I was actually a part of it.”
The string of comments show at least one student told a parent, WSB added, noting it's not clear how the school found out. The district wouldn't comment to WSB on disciplinary matters.
Cagle said the principal was too swift and severe with the punishment.
“You should at least contact us first and let us know to be aware of this, and that way we could’ve disciplined our own kid instead of y’all taking action against her,” he told WSB.