(SPENCER, Ind.) — An Indiana mother says her 16-year-old son will not return to his high school as a result of the way he was treated over a Snapchat post featuring an AR-15 rifle.
Less than a week after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 students and teachers dead in Florida, Owen Valley High school student Marcus Padgett took to Snapchat to voice his views on the cause of gun violence.
He posted a picture of an AR-15 with the caption “Waiting for it to go out and start killing people…still hasn’t moved,” referencing the view among gun-rights advocates that people, not guns, are responsible for shootings.
“It wasn’t a threat. It’s simply saying guns don’t kill people. People kill people. It’s the evil behind the gun. It’s not the gun itself,” Tabitha McKeeman, Marcus’ mother, told ABC affiliate WRTV.
Superintendent Chad Briggs confirms that the Spencer Police Department was notified to the post and searched Marcus’ home. They found only a pellet rifle and concluded there was no threat behind Marcus’ post, according to WRTV.
“It was more a freedom of speech type thing and this student had no intent to do anything negative,” Briggs told ABC News. “As a result, there was no discipline administered to any student.”
Even so, the teen told WRTV people are now calling him a school shooter.
“The whole town of Spencer and the school look at me like a psycho. I get dirty looks at work. Everywhere I go, I get dirty looks,” Marcus said.
McKeeman said Marcus will not be returning to the school, even though Briggs told ABC News there are no restrictions on him coming back.
His mom told WRTV she feels they will probably have to leave town. For now, Marcus remains out of school and is working part-time.
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