SUMMERVILLE, SC — Police were summoned to a high school after a boy wrote a story about using a gun to kill a dinosaur. The boy was searched, suspended from school, and subsequently handcuffed and arrested when he did not handle the interrogation calmly.
Alex Stone, 16, said he was assigned to come up with a fictional story for a creative writing assignment at Summerville High School on August 19, 2014. The brief assignment involved writing a few lines that were supposed to mimic a social media post; a “status update” drafted on paper.
Stone’s submission discussed himself and a fictitious dinosaur that lived next door to him. He wrote that he used a gun to kill the dinosaur.
“I killed my neighbor’s pet dinosaur, and, then, in the next status I said I bought the gun to take care of the business,” Stone said to NBC 12.
The mere mention of using a “gun” to “take care of business” prompted school administrators to phone police to report the suspicious narrative. The Summerville Police Department responded to the absurd call, expending taxpayer resources to investigate a boy’s imagination.
Without probable cause of a crime, police searched Stone’s personal belongings, his backpack, and his locker, presumably looking for a gun or a deceased dinosaur. They found neither.
As Stone was interrogated by police and school administrators, he insisted his writing was only make-believe; a joke. They continued to press him, and police documented his eventual reaction as “irate.” They placed the student in handcuffs and hauled him off to jail on a charge of disorderly conduct.
The entire experience could have been avoided if school staff would have accepted the narrative as the fantasy that it was intended to be, as prescribed by the assignment. Such bizarre overreactions have become something to be expected in paranoid, over-policed, government-run “schools.”
Despite the best efforts of the adults, Stone and his classmates likely took away a valuable lesson about the ugly state of freedom and justice in their country.
Summerville Police Department (South Carolina)
Phone: (843) 871-2463