Autocorrect usually causes a sexually mortifying text exchange when it goes off the reservation, telling your mom to pick up dildoes instead of Draino or replacing “brb” or “baby” with “Ben” or “Abby,” suggesting to a boyfriend or girlfriend that you’re cheating on them. Awkward.
But it was pretty inevitable that autocorrect would eventually cause a school lockdown, and after the tragedy at Chardon High School in Ohio earlier this week, it isn’t entirely surprising that now is the time for such an unfortunate occurrence. A Florida middle or high school student- who should be fined for terrible spelling– sent a pal a text that was supposed to read “gunna be at west hall today.” Of course, being autocorrect, you know how the story goes.
The notoriously interfering service that lives in your phone intervened, autocorrecting to the embarrassing and alarming “gunman be at west hall today.” Furthering the clusterfracas that immediately ensued, the kid who texted the inadvertent threat sent it to a wrong number. Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks of the Hall County Sheriff’s Office explained what happened next:
“It was a combination of odd circumstances. We want to emphasize that the recipient did the right thing in reporting the message.”
West Hall middle and high schools were then locked down in what officials say was “standard procedure,” and by all accounts, the outcome was fine because police and the district felt it was better safe than sorry in the presence of a potential shooter. In a statement, Hall Superintendent Will Schofield commended execution of the safety measures:
“I am extremely proud of our school team members as they handled a challenging situation well. While this event caused a great deal of anxiety among students, staff and parents, be assured that we will always err on the side of caution when it comes to the safety of our boys and girls.”
At least if anything, the brouhaha could be counted as a drill. Lockdown was lifted at 1:45 PM yesterday, and lasted for about two hours.