A receptionist at an eye doctor’s clinic thought an Ambridge, PA high school senior was going to cause some trouble in the neighborhood Thursday morning after hearing a disturbing message on the student’s voice mail. The student, 19-year-old Travis Clawson, had an upcoming eye exam, and the receptionist was calling to confirm the appointment. Clawson didn’t answer, and the call was sent to voice mail, where the receptionist heard the words “shooting people outside of the school”.
The receptionist immediately notified police, who then contacted Ambridge High School. Nobody could find Clawson, so the district went into lockdown mode for 20 minutes until the missing senior could be located. Turns out he was just chillin’ out, maxin’ and relaxin’ all cool in the guidance counselor’s office (at Ambridge High School, of course). Police later determined the cause of the panic: the receptionist had mistaken the classic Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song line “all shooting some b-ball outside of the school” as the far more heinous “shooting people outside of the school”.
Rather than admit not being with the times (yes, even if it’s a 20-year-old theme song), the district took the opportunity to applaud itself on a job well done in handling the situation:
District Attorney Anthony Berosh said it was determined after listening to the message closely that it did follow the Quincy Jones-penned song and Clawson was released.
Berosh said authorities decided not to charge Clawson in the incident. However, Mann said he urged Clawson’s parents to have him change the message.
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 chose to look at Thursday’s events as a positive.
“It gave us a wonderful chance to review our emergency procedures,” he said. “It was a good drill that went very, very well.”
However, not applauding the district’s actions is Clawson’s father, Wendell, who isn’t too happy with the ordeal his son went through:
Clawson’s father, Wendell, said Thursday night that “this was just a big misunderstanding.”
“An innocent young man was embarrassed,” he said. “How is he supposed to go back to school and face his classmates?”