A high school senior in Indiana is facing intimidation charges and possible expulsion after he posted a video of himself playing a video game in the halls of his school.
According to WAVE, Sean Small, 18, recorded himself playing an augmented reality video game called “The Walking Dead: Our World” and posted the video to Facebook. The smartphone game makes zombies appear in your location, and the objective is to shoot them and kill them.
In this particular video, the location was the hallways of Scottsburg High School, where Small attends. WAVE reports that another student saw the video and alerted school officials. Authorities then questioned Small and he was later arrested.
Now, the community is split on whether Small was just playing a harmless video game or if the video demonstrated concerning behavior on a school campus.
“It’s a simple game, that’s all,” Sean Small’s father, Kris Small, said.
Superintendent Mark Slaton said this case isn’t that cut-and-dry.
“In today’s society where schools have become targets of violence, we must take a serious and deliberate approach to our investigations,” Slaton told WAVE. “Scott County School District 2 takes the safety of our students seriously and as a result, we will do our due diligence in providing as reasonably safe as possible environment for our students and staff.”
Slanton also said every potential threat to the school district is taken seriously and investigated. If officials deem the threat legitimate, it is then handed over to law enforcement.
Small’s family supports the need for a thorough safety protocol but said that because the video doesn’t show Small targeting students, he shouldn’t be punished.
“He’s targeting zombies,” Kris Small said. “So unless zombies are now a protected class in Scott County, I don’t think anyone’s at threat by this.”
Small faces an expulsion hearing next week, and any criminal proceedings could affect his future in in the National Guard.