This web page shows a petition in support of Kyle Scheele, who was banned from walking at his high school graduation after a prank was mistaken for a threat. (care2 Petitions)
(Meredith/AP) — One high school student's senior prank did not go as planned.
As a joke, Kylan Scheele listed his school, Truman High School in Independence, Missouri, for sale on Craigslist. Scheele posted the list price as $12,725.
He wrote in the listing things like "Huge 20+ room facility" and "Has centralized air, heating, plumbling."
Scheele also wrote, "Reason for sale is due to loss of students coming up."
Scheele said he was referring to the school's loss of seniors as they graduate and head to college. Unfortunately for Scheele, the prank landed him suspended and banned from graduation.
Some people interpreted the line "Reason for sale is due to loss of students coming up" as a threat to the school. The Craigslist posting was then reported to the school as a possible threat.
District spokeswoman Jana Corrie said several hours were spent tracking down the Craigslist post's source. She said police even issued an emergency subpoena to Craigslist before determining there was not a credible threat.
"A student who makes a real or implied threat, whether it is deemed credible or not, will face discipline," the district said in a statement.
Thus, Scheele was suspended for the remaining three days of school and is not allowed to walk at his graduation ceremony June 2.
The ACLU of Missouri filed a lawsuit against the Independence School District after the district punished Scheele.
Friday afternoon, a judge ruled in favor of the school district to uphold the decision to ban Scheele from walking at graduation.
The ACLU of Missouri spoke out in support of Scheele on Thursday, arguing the district's "disproportionately harsh punishment violates Scheele’s free speech rights and also does a public disservice by discouraging young people from exercising their constitutional right to express themselves."
After investigating the Craigslist post, police said they found no reason to pursue criminal charges.