Schools

High Schooler Faces Prison, Expulsion for Shooting Fake Zombies

Play an augmented-reality zombie shooter in a school halllway, go to jail.

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An Indiana high school senior played an augmented-reality zombie-shooter game in a school hallway, then posted video of his gameplay to Facebook. Now he's facing potential expulsion and prison time, and his future in the National Guard could in jeopardy.

One look at the trailer for The Walking Dead: Our World reveals that zombies, not human beings, are the targets. The mobile game uses your smartphone's camera to generate the brain-eating creatures wherever you happen to be. It's a completely harmless game:

It looks fun to me, but maybe not to everyone. One of 18-year-old Sean Small's fellow students at Scottsburg High School reported his Facebook video to school authorities, WDRB reports. Principal Ric Manns then consulted with Joe Baker, a school resource officer and deputy in the Scott County Sheriff's Office. In a probable cause affidavit, Baker brilliantly concluded that the video "depicted real Scottsburg High School students walking through the hallway along with fictional zombie characters."

Leo Lintang/Dreamstime.com

Baker made some other astute observations about how the game works. "Such students could not be identified due to the app's photographic settings," he wrote. "Further, it appeared Sean had used his smartphone to capture the movement of random students walking in the hallway of the school while shooting zombie characters walking in the shooter's immediate direction."

School officials weren't able to find any weapons in Small's possession, and he assured them he didn't mean any harm. Apparently that wasn't good enough. Small was arrested Tuesday and charged with intimidation, a misdemeanor. Though he was released on $1,000 bond, he could face up to a year behind bars and a $5,000 fine if convicted, according to WAVE.

Small is currently a member of the Indiana National Guard, but his future in the service is in jeopardy, depending on the outcome of his case. Small's trial is set for October 23.

Small's father said Sean, who must also attend an expulsion hearing next week, is being punished over nothing. "He's targeting zombies," Kris Small tells WAVE. "So unless zombies are now a protected class in Scott County, I don't think anyone's at threat by this."

Scott County School District 2 Superintendent Marc Slaton wouldn't comment on Small's case. But he did say in a statement to WAVE that the district "takes the safety of our students seriously and as a result we will do our due diligence in providing as reasonably safe as possible environment for our students and staff."

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  1. “One of 18-year-old Sean Small’s fellow students at Scottsburg High School reported his Facebook video to school authorities”

    Snitches get stitches.

  2. Any judge worth his salt should have this case thrown out and the prosecutor disbarred if he brings it to court.

    1. Judges want votes, not salt.

    2. “Any politician worth his salt should…”

      yeah… Judges are just politicians. Once you let that sink in, expecting anything other than doing what they think will further their career should seem pretty dumb.

  3. One of 18-year-old Sean Small’s fellow students at Scottsburg High School reported his Facebook video to school authorities, WDRB reports.

    One of 18-year-old Sean Small’s fellow students at Scottsburg High School needs a flaming bag of dogshit outside their front door.

  4. We are becoming a police state. Schools are dumping lots of money into SROs, and it’s their job to do this. They also bully kids and rile them up. It will only get worse. The solution is simple: reduce funding. Have a little faith. The kids will be fine.

    1. Or… Home school.

      1. This is really the only solution. And in many jurisdictions, its the only viable way to “defund” them too.

  5. But he did say in a statement to WAVE that the district “takes the safety of our students seriously and as a result we will do our due diligence in providing as reasonably safe as possible environment for our students and staff.”

    Funny, but the school’s actions in this case would make me feel very unsafe. You know, like people living in a police state.

  6. Does no one remember playing the assassination game, in high school, with the little suction-cup dart guns?

  7. But he did say in a statement to WAVE that the district “takes the safety of our students seriously and as a result we will do our due diligence in providing as reasonably safe as possible environment for our students and staff.”

    But do they teach the meaning of “non-sequitur” and “non-responsive answer” there in Scott County? Nobody’s questioning your diligent attention to the safety of the students, they’re questioning your judgment in determining what constitutes a threat to their safety. Do you put the school on lock-down every time a mosquito gets in? Malaria, dengue and yellow fever, Zika and West Nile virus – mosquitos are just about the deadliest creatures on Earth. But I’ll bet you don’t panic at a mosquito, do you?

    1. Are you saying a video game is less deadly than a mosquito? That is insanity talking right there. Video games are one of the deadliest thing in the entire world, right behind drawings of guns, and poptarts chewed vaguely into a gun shape.

      1. You forgot butter knives and plastic straws.

  8. “He’s targeting zombies,” Kris Small tells WAVE. “So unless zombies are now a protected class in Scott County, I don’t think anyone’s at threat by this.”

    I like this kid’s dad.

    1. Reg Shoe and the Fresh Start Club would like to have words with Mr. Small on undead rights.

  9. “Intimidation.”
    Ought that not require an actually intimidated person to even be a charge?
    Who was intimidated, other than the victim of overzealous policing?
    smdh

    1. Well, that kid who is afraid of the zombies in the hall

  10. First, they came for the people that bite pop tarts into gun shapes…

  11. School administrators are getting dumber every year.

    1. They were always dumb, but now they have the tools to back them up.

      1. Education major is what you do when you can’t hack a STEM degree.

        Those that can do, those that can’t teach.

    2. The key word is ‘administrators’. We used to have principals running schools – they could exercise judgement to deal with students as individuals. But where school boards accrued too much power to themselves by writing reams of policy, there are no principals at most schools these days: just administrators functioning as bobbleheads saying “rules are rules…” and mindlessly stuffing square pegs into round holes where school boards do not exist to back them up, but treat them as meat puppets. With this level of idiocy in place, they could just put illegal aliens in charge of schools and tell them to just make it up as they go along – I see no value in a teaching degree when there is such a high degree of political subjugation taking place. Principals are almost not allowed to know anything these days, much less think.

  12. …the district “takes the safety of our students seriously and as a result we will do our due diligence in providing as reasonably safe as possible environment for our students and staff.”

    By needlessly and cruelly putting one of them into the criminal justice system.

  13. Now he’s facing potential expulsion and prison time

    on what charge?

    Oh, and by the way, this is front and center about what we talk about when we suggest that sure, the cultural smorgasbord offers us more choices than ever before, but that doesn’t mean we’re more free. Again, how many mundane, run-of-the-mill behaviors will get you facing hard prison time that would have been passed off with a laugh 30 years ago?

    But at least the kid can stream 10,000 shows in 4k with his smart TV while he’s in fucking prison for playing a game in augmented reality!

    1. There is no internet in prison.

  14. There’s no basis for charging the kid with anything.
    I hope the family can get good legal counsel and fights back hard.

  15. Home School !

  16. Please explain how someone could be intimidated by a phone.

    1. Cops abusing their authority are terrified of phones. (For the record, I think that’s a good thing.) Why anyone else would be, I have no idea.

  17. The problem is policy, it seems to me. Students are told to report anything that looks like a threat I’m sure – without being told that things that just make them feel uncomfortable aren’t an actual threat. So we have yet another school board/cabal of administrators that can’t think – the “zero tolerance” crowd at work is [ironically] real zombies in action. It’s worth repeating a story to illustrate the broken mindset of adults that refuse steadfastly to gauge intent regarding their students actions. A decade or so ago [my best guess] a student found a razorblade at a bus stop on the way to school. He picked it up and turned it in upon arrival at school. Was he thanked for possibly preventing injury or helping fellow students? No – he was threatened with expulsion for bringing a weapon to school after trying to fix a problem. I think his parents had to sue their way back in.
    Adults with so little brainpower need to be sued until they lose the shirt off their back or get out of the school system [permanently]: there are enough real problems to solve in most schools without needlessly creating arrest records because they refuse to think.

  18. Prison time? Seriously? I don’t know where the f*ck THAT comes from, but somebody corky took graduate classes in Stupid.

  19. I really don’t expect much from Scott county, and yet they still manage to disappoint me. No wonder everybody there is on drugs.

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