According to a Mar. 1 CBS News report, a bad “Fresh Prince” rap caused a school lockdown. One teen’s voicemail greeting caused a lockdown at his Ambridge, Pa. school after a receptionist misinterpreted his greeting featuring the theme song from Will Smith’s 1990s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”
According to the local timeonline news, a receptionist from a student’s eye doctor’s office who was attempting to confirm his eye appointment, misinterpreted the simple phone greeting as a threat and called 911. This led to a 20 minute lockdown for Beaver County schools, while authorities searched for the owner of the greeting message about “shooting people outside of the school.”
Smith’s original song refers to “shooting some b-ball outside of the school,” which CBS News clarifies is merely a reference to basketball. Police eventually arrested the student, Travis Clawson, who then explained the rap song message to authorities. District Attorney Anthony Berosh concurred that Clawson’s message followed Smith’s version and the teenager was not charged.
Acting Police Chief James Mann urged Clawson’s parents to encourage him to change the greeting. Even though the situation turned out to be a mistake, Mann said, “I believe everyone acted appropriately. Our first concern is the safety of kids.”
Ambridge Area Superintendent Erv Weischedel saw the bright side of the incident. “It gave us a wonderful chance to review our emergency procedures,” he said. “It was a good drill that went very, very well.”
In his statement sent to all district parents, Weischedel said even though the threat turned out to be false, authorities acted with “all precautions and due diligence” in their response. “The procedures in place were efficient and quickly implemented and proved to be successful,” he said.
Clawson’s family, however, is not so happy with the way things were handled and have reportedly consulted an attorney about their options.
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