Student Sarcastically Tweets About Hooking Up With His Teacher, Gets Thrown Out of School

reid sagehornCredit: www.jackiv.com/Asked by an anonymous tweeter if the rumors that he had been seen making out with a teacher were true, square-jawed Minnesota senior Reid Sagehorn, made the fateful decision to reply with a touch of sarcasm.

"Actually, yes," he tweeted.

Cue a deeply ridiculous cascade of events that resulted in the 17-year-old scholar-athlete hero guy getting booted from school after a busybody parent saw the exchange, missed the joke, and reported it to administrators.

Sagehorn's suspension, which would last through April 22, is a pretty tough sentence for failed attempt at humor. The Change.org petition (which currently has just over 4,000 signatures) started to advocate for lifting the sentence explains it this way:

This excessive punishment would prevent him from finishing his final basketball season and would also preclude him from playing baseball his senior year.  In addition, Reid has been removed from National Honor Society and has been barred from stepping on school grounds or attending school-sponsored events.  Reid will be unable to attend the state DECA conference and will miss out on countless other school-related activities....

Because of this, the only reasonable response to this discipline would be for Reid to leave the district and enroll elsewhere.  The ten-week punishment is, in effect, an expulsion. 

There's no evidence of any student-teacher hanky panky besides the allegation from that now-deleted anonymous tweet, as far as local media has been able to tell:

Officials have so far been tight-lipped about why they thought it appropriate to suspend Sagehorn for so long, and voicemails left with the Rogers High School principal and the district superintendent hadn't been returned.

But what Twitter taketh away, Twitter also giveth: The #freereid hashtag has taken off, serving as a rallying point for Sagehorn's supporters, who plan to show up at a school board meeting tonight to plead his case. 

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • SweatingGin||

    I don't feel tardy.

  • Hugh Akston||

    It's hard to pinpoint what, exactly, is the most retarded aspect of this story: The reflexive authoritarianism of tossing the kid out of school for making a bad joke, or the people who think that an internet petition to get the White House involved will actually accomplish anything.

  • Agammamon||

    Hey, Obama had a beer with that cop right?

  • Hugh Akston||

    That won't solve this problem, the kid is too young to drink beer.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    He doesn't look like his pretend son to me.

  • SForza||

    Was it even a bad joke? He might have that thought it was such a stupid question that he dismissed it with an equally stupid answer, without actually trying to be funny.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Don't know about the White House, but petitions work. You get enough people to call and bitch, people cave.

    Remember that kid who hung the sign asking the girl to the prom? They caved. Happens all the time.

    People stop and reflect when large numbers of other people call them on their dickheadedness.

  • Killaz||

    Public Education far more of an oxymoron than Military Intelligence.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Public Education. Public Defender. Public Restroom.

    Giving you exactly what you pay for.

  • ||

    Now if I know anything about rom-com plots, and I fucking do, this is the point at which the sexy teacher realizes that she was really in love with him all along.

  • ||

    Who is playing the teacher? Please, please say Alison Brie.

  • ||

    I was thinking 1992 Christina Applegate, but Alison Brie will do too.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Ohh GOD! I LOOOOVE Kelly Bundy

  • Killaz||

    I grew up with a cousin who looked and acted just like her. Except my cousin is a redhead and has bigger boobs. And puts out more, as well as being a huge coke fiend. Unless you are completely insane, you do not want to meet her.

  • mr simple||

    So, did you tap that?

  • ||

    Inquiring minds want to know!

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Unless you are completely insane, you do not want to meet her.

    The psychos were fun.

  • ||

    PICS AREN'T LOADING

  • prolefeed||

    I grew up with a cousin who looked and acted just like her. Except my cousin is a redhead and has bigger boobs. And puts out more, as well as being a huge coke fiend. Unless you are completely insane, you do not want to meet her.

    That last sentence makes no sense. "She is hotter than someone who was already insanely hot, and she might let you fuck her. So stay away from her."

    The fuck?

  • ||

    1992 Christina Applegate works too. Or maybe Alexandra Daddario?

  • Brett L||

    Or maybe Alexandra Daddario?

    I'll be in my bunk. Perhaps she could have a little rough trade with a guy her own age in the early part of the film -- just to differentiate how sweet and caring the younger guy is?

  • SweatingGin||

    Now if I know anything about rom-com plots Van Halen videos, and I fucking do, this is the point at which the sexy teacher realizes that she was really in love with him all along.
  • Killaz||

    nnnniiiicccceeeee!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    That kid's lucky he's not in jail.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I am so jealous of kids nowadays. When I was their age, punishment meant staying in school LONGER, not early release.

  • Sudden||

    He will learn how great this sort of punishment is and it will lead him to the typical non-humorous jock post-HS career choice of local sheriff.

  • Number 7||

    This really pisses me off.

    Why wasn't it so easy to get suspended back when I was in school. I would have given anything to be suspended for even a week much less a couple months. But no, I had to trudge to school day after fucking day, play by the rules, and wait for my sentence to be up.

  • ||

    Reason #84 why if you send your kid to public school, you are a fool.

  • califernian||

    I think you mean reason #67,893

  • ||

    It's on the list, like, fifty times.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I am *this* close to considering it a violation of the NAP just like calling 911.

  • Killaz||

    If the kid's education needs get in the way of my beer needs, you know which one will have to give sway.

  • Irrational||

    Social media has made busybody-ing a nationwide plague.

  • MasterDarque||

    I hate when they don't show the teacher in question.

  • Raston Bot||

    Private school. You're welcome.

  • Andrew S.||

    If only I could afford it. $15-$20k a year near here.

  • blcartwright||

    Both my kids went to public school, but now that I'm making better money I pay $12k/yr for all three of my grandchildren to go to a Christian school (PreK-12, abt 300 students) in a medium sized town in Pa.

  • Andrew S.||

    Even dumber, from other articles: He's apparently being investigated by the police for "criminal defamation of character", which I didn't know could even be a thing in this country, unless the 1st amendment has been repealed (which it probably has been by now).

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The 1st has never protected libel or slander. If you knowingly lie to defame me, then you are committing fraud for the purposes of causing harm.

  • Sudden||

    What if I question your heroism?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I'm writing up a version of the Stolen Valor Act just for me.

  • Andrew S.||

    Libel/Slander is generally a civil matter though, not criminal.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • prolefeed||

    So, NH isn't in compliance with the First Amendment?

  • Austen||

    Anti-defamation laws don't interfere with the first amendment. You are still free to defame someone using your free speech, but free speech doesn't absolve you from damages you may cause by exercising your rights, nor does it nullify someone's right to seek damages against you because of your actions.

    Yelling "FIRE" in a crowded darkened theater is also your right under free speech, but when you cause a public panic and people become injured or killed, you are responsible for your actions and their consequences. Assault is defined as the perception of physical damage to one's own body, regardless of whether they were actually harmed or not. Making a death threat against someone is assault. You're free to do as you please, but everything has consequences, so choose your actions wisely.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    When I was in school, we got kicked out the old-fashioned ways: fighting, booze, etc. We didn't need to use Twitter and we liked it that way.

  • Invisible Finger||

    One thing is certain: public schools cover up a LOT more kiddie-diddling than the catholic church.

  • Sugarsail||

    The politically correct Nazis should have their own Miranda rights that go something like this:

    You are always presumed guilty and can never be proven innocent.
    You have the right to free speech unless it offends anyone, so just shut up.
    Anything you do say will be used against you, always.

  • Real American||

    can we just start calling them "Zero Intelligence" Policies?

  • Austen||

    While I think it is ridiculous that the school suspended this kid for so long, or even at all, the casual accusation of "statutory rape"--whether thats what was intended or not--shouldn't go un-addressed.

    People don't think about how an accusation, even one made jokingly, can have severe implications for the accused. The Court of Public Opinion about adults being in relationships with minors has no time for fact finding or presumption of innocence. In cases like Sean Lanigan's false accusations cost him more than $150,000 in legal fees to defend his innocence, and even though his "name was cleared" he still lost his job and had to find work teaching outside of his city of residence. It doesn't matter if you're ever cleared of these kinds of charges, the accusation sticks around permanently, and the Court of Public Opinion just doesn't give a damn if you're innocent.

  • Austen||

    As far as public schools "cover up a LOT more kiddie-diddling than the catholic church", no, they really don't. Public officials, including teachers, administrators, etc, are all required by law to report *any* evidence, gossip, rumor, telepathic communication, psychic prediction, constellational alignment, confession from a medically insane person, ad nauseam, of any form of abuse to CPS. And if they fail to do so they are under threat of civil and criminal proceedings by CPS. And, yes, CPS will press charges against anyone who interferes with their machine. To make matters worse, try and get CPS to define what constitutes "abuse" so that people know when to speak up and when to try and problem solve. So teachers and administrators tend to "over report" just to cover their butts and keep CPS off their backs.

    The problem is that we have a system that prevents common sense, rational thinking and problem solving without the bureaucracy of CPS wreaking havoc. It makes schools over reactive. It over-hypes the problem. And since it is a topic we don't discuss openly and publicly many people--especially kids--don't know the severity of what a false accusation means until an innocent person's life has been totally destroyed.

    In Reid Sagehorn's case, suspension is the wrong response. Defamation of character requires intent to defame. This clearly wasn't that. A simple examination of facts and a conversation would have solved this problem and saved everyone a lot of time.

  • Tony||

    I think I'm both too young and too old to understand what the fucking point of Twitter is.

  • Joseph C. Moore (USN Ret.||

    Twitter is for featherbrained nincompoops.

  • Robert||

    Skimpy reporting. What was the cascade of events? What rule was alleged to have been broken?

  • Joseph C. Moore (USN Ret.||

    "Missed the joke"? What joke? You have to be a degenerate to find such a statement about an innocent person to be a joke. You are a complete narcissistic a**. By the way, an athlete is NOT a hero. A hero is one who unselfishly serves a tangible benefit to mankind, like saving a fellow person's life. Sports are entertainment for self-identifying, non-participant spectators.

  • technologist||

    A rational society should exhibit a degree of tolerance for the inherent foolishness of youth. Why does academe lack a sense of proportionality?

    Here's a suggested rational consequence:

    • Delete the tweet (already done) and an admission of error + apology in that medium
    • A parent and educator conference to, you know, educate this young man about respect for authority
    • A written and verbal apology to the teacher that was subjected to the inappropriate remark
    • A caution from school administration that repeated instance of similar inappropriate behavior will result in suspension of x days and/or other removal of privileges

    This is akin to a nuclear retaliatory strike for a traffic infraction.

    Additionally, the Reason headline is sensational as well. "Making out" ≠ "Hooking Up".

  • daniwitz13||

    What he did was freedom of speech. There is no need to apologies for a Right. The school should apologize for believing a tweet. Pity

  • daniwitz13||

    Anyone would have to be brain dead to decide that ANYTHING on Twitter or any social media format has merit. No Format that is untruthful can be used to incriminate and punish. The Law does it and is equally brain dead and clueless. Pity

  • technologist||

    An interesting take. Do you consider this comment section a social media platform?

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement