A district-wide school lockdown went into effect last week in Ambridge, Pennsylvania after someone who misheard the lyrics to “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” theme song reported to police that a student was preparing to commit a mass shooting at his school.
According to the Beaver County Times, a receptionist at an optometrist’s office was calling a 19-year-old student at Ambridge High School last Thursday to confirm his upcoming appointment. But after the teen didn’t pick up, she was sent to his voicemail, which was a recording of the theme song for the popular 90’s sitcom starring Will Smith.
Apparently, the woman misheard the line “shooting some b-ball outside of the school” as “shooting some PEOPLE outside of the school,” and she immediately called the police and told them that the student was threatening to gun down everyone at his school.
Of course no one was preparing to shoot up a school, but that didn’t stop the police — who don’t take reports of mass shooting threats lightly, especially these days — from taking the woman’s word for it 100%, and they advised the entire school district to be put on lockdown while they looked for the teen.
Police eventually found the teen “chilling out, maxing and relaxing all cool,” just like the song’s lyrics say, in the school’s guidance office, which was swarmed by officers who took him into custody.
Travis Clawson was interviewed by police and he told them that he had no plans to shoot up people at his school, and after listening to his VM closely, police determined that the teen was in fact reciting the “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” and they released him.
The School District Superintendent released a statement about the embarrassing incident, saying that it gave the district a chance to review their emergency procedures. “It was a good drill that went very, very well,” he said.
But the Clawson family don’t think things “went very well” at all. In fact, Travis’ father Wendell Clawson has said that his family is seeking the advice of an attorney.
“An innocent young man was embarrassed,” Mr. Clawson told the Beaver Times. “How is he supposed to go back to school and face his classmates?”
The kid shouldn’t be embarrassed, but that receptionist lady sure should be.