Schools in a Pennsylvania county were under lockdown after a high school student's voicemail greeting of the "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" theme song was interpreted as a shooting threat.
The chaos in Beaver County began on Thursday when a receptionist at a Sewickley eye doctor’s office called Travis Clawson, a 19-year-old Ambridge Area High School student, to confirm an appointment, according to the Beaver County Times. The receptionist's call went to voicemail, on which Clawson sings Will Smith's "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" theme song for his greeting. Instead of hearing the lyric "Shooting some b-ball outside of the school," the receptionist interpreted it as "Shooting people outside of the school."
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According to area news outlet WPXI, the alleged threat was reported to police, and schools across the county were forced into lockdown for about 30 minutes as police searched for Clawson. The 19-year-old was eventually found at Ambridge High and detained for three hours before police realized it was all a big misunderstanding.
"He was afraid and embarrassed," Ambridge police officer Mike Natale told WPXI. "Obviously staff at the doctor's office was embarrassed about the whole thing too."
Nevertheless, Ambridge Area School District Superintendent Erv Weischedel sent a letter home to parents insisting that the "false alarm" could be seen as a positive.
"As always, the safety of our students and staff are at the forefront of our concern," he wrote. "While this situation can be considered to be a false alarm, it was an excellent opportunity to test our emergency procedures. The procedures in place were efficient and quickly implemented and proved to be successful."
Clawson's father isn't brushing off the "Fresh Prince" threat as a mere misunderstanding, though. “An innocent young man was embarrassed,” he told the Beaver County Times. “How is he supposed to go back to school and face his classmates?”
For your listening pleasure, the "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" theme song:
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