High schools in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, were locked down Thursday morning when a student’s voicemail greeting of himself singing the theme from 1990s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was taken as a threat.
Nineteen-year-old Travis Clawson, a senior at Ambridge High School, had an appointment with an eye doctor Thursday, CBS Pittsburgh reports. When the office’s receptionist called to confirm, she was sent to Clawson’s voicemail, where she thought she heard the teenager say, “I can’t come to the phone right now, because I’m going to kill all the (expletive) at my school.”
As most ’90s kids know, the actual line from the TV show’s theme song is “and all shooting some b-ball outside of the school.”
The frightened office worker called the police, who contacted Ambridge High School officials, who in turn instituted a countywide school lockdown, the Times Online reports. Twenty minutes after Beaver County’s 17 public high schools were put on lockdown, police discovered Clawson “chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool” in the Ambridge High School guidance counselor’s office and took the teen into custody.
After interviewing Clawson and listening to the voicemail message, police determined that he had not, in fact, been trying to “make trouble in [his] neighborhood.” Beaver County District Attorney James Mann told the Times Online that officials listened closely to the message and, after comparing it to the classic theme song, decided to release the young man without charges. The district attorney also advised Clawson to change his voicemail greeting.
School Superintendent Erv Weischedel described the incident as a “wonderful chance to review our emergency procedures,” according to the Times Online. Weischedel called the embarrassing series of events “a good drill that went very, very well.”
Travis Clawson and his family don’t share the superintendent’s positive outlook. “An innocent young man was embarrassed,” Clawson’s father Wendell said. “How is he supposed to go back to school and face his classmates?”
The Clawson family has yet to confirm whether they’re considering sending Travis to live with his auntie and uncle in Bel-Air until this all blows over.