EDUCATION
12/21/2012 11:14 am ET Updated Feb 20, 2013

John George III, Crawford County High School Student, Suspended For 'Threatening' Facebook Post That Was Plan To Dress Up As Santa

John George III has a holiday tradition: he goes to school dressed up as Santa Claus and hands out candy to his classmates. But this year, he didn't expect to get in trouble with the school and local police in Roberta, Ga. when he used Facebook to get his high school peers excited the day before.

"Students of cchs ur in for a big surprise tomorrow ," the Crawford County High School sophomore wrote Tuesday on Facebook. A parent who saw the post believe it to be a threatening statement, and called the police.

Police responded to the alert, questioning John and his parents at their home, WMAZ reports. The teen explained his plan, and noted that a teacher was also aware.

"We then spoke briefly about the nature of the post and how with the recent tragedy of school shootings that had occurred that the post could cause unrest if taken the wrong way," the police report reads. "We then left the residence without further incident."

But Crawford County Principal Mike Campbell was dissatisfied with the response, and had police escort John off the school bus to the principal's office, where he was suspended pending the results of an investigation after the holiday break. Campbell issued a public statement Wednesday calling the post "disturbing."

"If I had to do it over again, we'd do the same thing, just to be cautious," Superintendent John Douglas told The Telegraph, adding that it would be horrible if "we knew about this ahead of time, and we did nothing, and something happened."

But the teen's father John George, Jr. doesn't think that his son did anything wrong, and is insulted and hurt by both the school's response and the rumors resulting from the incident.

"You can't be too careful about anything, but I think they should have listened to the children and not overreacted and put someone out of school," George told The Telegraph.

Schools across the country are on high alert this week as parents nervously sent their children back to class after the attack. Districts nationwide have tightened security measures and increased campus patrols, and hypersensitivity to any unusual activity or perceived threats has already resulted in numerous lockdowns.

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