- Joe Biden really, really hates raves Wednesday 6:02 PM
- RIP to the Twitter geotagging feature that no one actually used Wednesday 5:14 PM
- Facebook contractors reveal the horrors of moderating graphic content Wednesday 4:42 PM
- Prosecutor almost directly quoted Bible in trial against man who helped migrants Wednesday 4:05 PM
- TikTok’s time warp videos get it twisted Wednesday 4:03 PM
- Is a ‘Stranger Things’ and Fortnite crossover event going to happen? Wednesday 3:55 PM
- YouTube reportedly thinking about moving all kids content off the main site Wednesday 3:50 PM
- AOC calls out Democrats for tone-deaf Beyoncé tweet Wednesday 3:15 PM
- Democrat candidates come out as ‘wife guys’ Wednesday 2:45 PM
- Poll of best Batman actors fails to include Adam West, and fans are not happy Wednesday 2:25 PM
- ‘Pose’ producer Janet Mock lands historic Netflix deal Wednesday 1:54 PM
- Teen confesses to killing her best friend on video to get $9 million from a stranger online Wednesday 1:28 PM
- Democrats vote to block transgender troop ban Wednesday 12:17 PM
- Twitch-famous bounty hunter kicks down target’s door in wildly popular live stream Wednesday 11:42 AM
- New GOP bill would audit major tech companies for bias Wednesday 11:37 AM
This is no way to get out of an algebra quiz.
We doubt if April 1 will ever be quite the same for the student who triggered a lockdown and mass alarm at his school by texting the phrase “shots fired.” Also, we wouldn’t hold out much hope for his career in comedy.
Several police departments near Roxana Junior and Senior High School in Illinois learned of the message just after 1pm, a local Fox affiliate reported; officers arrived at the scene along with ambulances, helicopters, and frantic parents, many of whom had been contacted by their kids.
Some 950 students were made to shelter in classrooms, or evacuated from the cafeteria, or simply fled the premises. “People were jumping the fences, people were freaking out, scared cause we thought we were going to get shot,” said freshman Devn Reinke.
The Alton Telegraph provided updates throughout the afternoon: officers swept the building and by 2:20 p.m. had concluded there was no active threat on campus. Early reports stated that authorities had taken three people into custody, but it was later noted that just one “person of interest” was being interviewed by detectives.
There’s every indication this was a bad joke gone horribly awry—though if it’s hard to imagine how it might have gone better. Perhaps the term “shots fired” was being used in its newer, slangy, Internet-ready sense, as in, “wow, you’re gunning for a fight with that tweet.”
Unfortunately for everyone involved, semantics can be a very tricky thing indeed.
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'