High-school officials are prone to overreacting to "supicious" activity on school grounds. Instances of this are not particularly newsworthy or novel, but some cases have better absurdist potential than others, and this is an especialy absurd one. It seems that utter! chaos! broke loose at a Miami-area high school after officials found a suspicious piece of hatefully-painted furniture.
According to CBSMiami, a wooden dresser was found in the middle of the Flanagan High School courtyard Wednesday morning as students were arriving. The dresser had been painted with a swastika, curse words, an anti-African American slur, and the messages "open me" and "surprise inside". Police were called in to investigate, understandably (I sure as heck wouldn't want to open a mysterious Nazi dresser labeled 'surprise inside'), and students were ushered out of the area. The scene that followed, as described by CBS:
School officials immediately started moving students out of the area of the building to the bleachers on the ball fields and sent out robocalls to all the parents. Arriving students were sent home. Students who were not picked up or walked home, were sent to the nearby Walter C. Young Middle School to wait for rides home.
"Teachers started yelling at me to leave school," said Karina Zodrafakis, "And I heard what happened and I was scared."
Some students ran for it.
"It was rough. A lot of police, a lot of people jumping fences," said student Sebastian Espinosa.
Students were literally running and jumping fences in fear of a dresser. A nice example of how school officials exacerbate situations with worst-case scenario attitudes and antics, no? A bomb-squad robot eventually poked the dresser until it fell over, finding inside a cinder block, several bricks, and some paper. Police said surveillance cameras show three individuals in hoodies dragging in the dresser in in a cart around 3 a.m. The Anti-Defamation League released a statement calling for "swift collaboration…to investigate this potential hate crime."