The Volokh Conspiracy

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Dangerous Radicals

Careful with those square root signs ....


KATC (Josh Meny) reports:

Deputies say they searched the teenager's home after a tip came in that he was planning to bring a gun to school on Wednesday spread through social media.

"He committed no crime. He was the victim of the ole morphing of information [phenomenon]," explained Allen Parish Sheriff Doug Hebert….

Allen Parish School District Superintendent Michael Doucet explained that it was a poorly judged quip between one student to another in a math class.

"The students were working together, and a student made a math symbol of a square root sign, which kind of looks like a pistol. And he was helping a weaker student, and the student says, 'Well, that looks like a pistol!' And he just made a comment [like] 'let's just get to work before I shoot you with a pistol," said Superintendent Doucet.

Gossip turned it into a rumor about the student plotting to carry out a mass shooting at Oberlin High School….

Right now, the school district is not allowing the student on school property, and he's awaiting an expulsion hearing to determine if he can continue attending the school system.

Scott Shackford here at Reason reports more, and questions why the student is facing expulsion; I have little to add to that—but I do have the post title, and I just couldn't resist. Thanks to read Jeff Horton for the pointer.