You can’t even draw video game symbols on the whiteboard anymore without someone thinking you’re an evil little terrorist. That’s what happened at one school after a kid drew the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate symbol on the whiteboard in class on November 30th, 2018 a week before the game launched on December 7th. The school administrators panicked, contacted the police, and shut down class because they thought there would be an active shooter coming to school on December 7th.
Comicbook.com did an article about the event, questioning if any of it was real, and it turns out that there are several other unredacted images floating around of the letters that were sent out by the East Clinton Local Schools in Sabina, Ohio, informing people about what happened, and the scare generated by the rumors about a potential school shooting taking place.
A separate redacted version of the letter was posted up on Twitter.
this is a real document sent out to everyone that attends my school pic.twitter.com/VTWFbMeQXF
— fungus amongus (@nuzfungus) December 5, 2018
If you’re unable to read the letter from the Superintendent, it states…
“Dear East Clinton High School and Middle School Students and Parents,
“This letter is to communicate to you the details of a rumored threat of a shooter on Friday, December 7th. First, I would communicate that the threat is nothing more than a rumor. Last Friday, there was a writing left on a classroom whiteboard that said “Dec. 7th, time to [Smash Bros. Symbol]”. There were some students who did not know what that symbol stood for and interpreted it as a threat of a school shooter on that day.
“As we would expect and encouraged, this was reported to the office as a concern. The situation was investigated in conjunction with the Clinton County Sheriff Department. The symbol was found to be a symbol for a video game that is set to be released on Friday, December 7th. The statement on the board was merely a statement of anticipation for the release of this new video game.
“From this, rumors began to spread and morph into bigger and bigger issues. Several off-shoots of the rumors were reported to local police departments as well as to our offices. Each of those reports were thoroughly investigated and traced back to the original statement about the video game release date.
“With all the information presented to us, it has been determined that there was never any actual threat, just misinterpretations of the message about the video game.
“We appreciate the reports of suspicion and would ask that anytime any of our students or parents see anything out of the ordinary, please report to the proper authorities as was done in this situation.”
The issue managed to spread its way online into the realm of gaming news YouTubers such as ReviewTechUSA, who took the angle that while it was just a mistake, he did bring up how sad it is that even drawing video game symbols on the whiteboard has resulted in schools needing to shut down just in case.
The original kid who drew the symbol on the chalk board also fessed up to the event over on Reddit. User XenonXenu confessed to the whole thing and explained his side of the story and all of the chaos that spawned from drawing the Super Smash Bros. symbol on the whiteboard, writing…
“All I wanted was to do was show my love and excitement for Smash Bros by writing a message on the board. When a teacher saw the message, it got reported to the principal and I was called down to talk to her. I explained what the symbol was and that it wasn’t a gun or anything like they thought.
“The story should of ended there, but instead rumors began to spread that I was shooting up the school on December 7th. Soon parents caught wind of it, the police were being contacted, and people were scared of December 7th. I had to talk to a police officer, explaining that all of these rumors were just other students wanting to cause problems for me. Luckily, justice prevailed and I was deemed innocent. […]”
Basically, due to all the recent school shootings, some schools are paranoid when they misinterpret video game logos. And given that some school kids are vindictive little snots, even when people attempt to proclaim that their drawings are only video game logos and they’re just excited for one of the biggest AAA releases of the Christmas season, they still get pulled into the principal’s office and have to talk to police officers because everyone thinks they’re going to become the next Nikolas Cruz.
(Thanks for the news tip Rala Cloft)
(Main image courtesy of Mario Warfare)