According to Live 5 News, a Summerville, South Carolina student was suspended from Summerville High School and arrested by police after he wrote a fictional story about killing a dinosaur with a gun for a class writing assignment. Last Tuesday, 16-year-old Alex Stone was asked by his teacher to write a paragraph describing himself, followed by another sentence in the style of a Facebook status. Stone attempted to take a comedic approach to the assignment.
Describing the first-person fictional account that he penned for the school project, the teen told Live 5 News, “I killed my neighbor’s pet dinosaur, and, then, in the next status I said I bought the gun to take care of the business.” What happened next shocked Stone’s mother, as the boy was taken from class, suspended from school, detained for disturbing schools, and then arrested on charges of disorderly conduct. Authorities searched his locker and backpack and did not find a weapon. According to police, Stone maintained that his story about killing a dinosaur was intended to be interpreted as a joke.
Stone’s mother, Karen Gray, is upset that she was not contacted prior to the point at which school officials had her son arrested. Said Gray, “If the school would have called me and told me about the paper and asked me to come down and discussed everything and, at least, get his point-of-view on the way he meant it. I never heard from the school, never. They never called me.” Karen Gray also pointed out the fact that dinosaurs no longer exist, implying school officials should have been able to tell that Stone’s story was not a threat against the school.
According to The Washington Post, police claim Stone was arrested following an angry outburst that happened while police searched his locker. Dorchester District 2 officials appeared to mischaracterize Stone’s fictional story to the media by telling ABC News 4 Charleston that he was suspended for writing about bringing a weapon to school.
David Aylor, Stone’s lawyer, was quoted by ABC News 4 Charleston as saying, “This is a perfect example of ‘political correctness’ that has exceeded the boundaries of common sense. The arrest and suspension of my client is completely absurd and further erodes the confidence parents and taxpayers have in our teachers and administrators who are tasked with educating our children and preparing them for higher education or entering the work force.” Aylor is fighting the disorderly conduct charge and is attempting to appeal Stone’s week-long suspension from school.
The teenager told Live 5 News that he didn’t want to go back to Summerville High School. He said, “I regret it because they put it on my record, but I don’t see the harm in it.” Looking back on how he worded the story, Stone did feel that “there might have been a better way of putting it.” Tuesday’s arrest and suspension happened on Stone’s second day of class for the year, which happens to be his freshman year and first impression of high school.
According to The National Geographic, scientists estimate that dinosaurs have been extinct for approximately 65 million years.