#FREEREID: Superintendent says police involved - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

#FREEREID: Superintendent says police involved

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  • #FREEREID: Rogers student suspended over tweet

    #FREEREID: Rogers student suspended over tweet

    Monday, February 17 2014 12:13 PM EST2014-02-17 17:13:07 GMT
    A controversial Twitter conversation booted a Rogers High School student from school, and now the very arena that got him in trouble is working to bring him back.
    A controversial Twitter conversation booted a Rogers High School student from school, and now the very arena that got him in trouble is working to bring him back.
ROGERS, Minn. (KMSP) -

The story of how a Rogers High School senior wound up getting suspended for months over Twitter activity is spreading on social media, and Fox 9 News has learned police are involved with the case.

The trouble for Reid Sagehorn began with a controversial tweet he posted about a teacher. Now, it seems that message not only got him suspended, but also has the attention of police.

Sagehorn's student career seemed very much in limbo in Monday, but district officials are starting to talk about the decision to bar him from the school and the more serious consequences that could be yet to come.

It was just a couple of words on a social media site that started it all, but Elk River District Superintendent Mark Bezek told Fox 9 News just a few characters caused a lot of strife.

"It's been an emotional toll on a lot of people -- everyone involved in this, more than one or two people," he said.

Bezek said he can't discuss the specifics of the Sagehorn case since the investigation is still open and the 17-year-old is a minor; however, he did respond to criticism about the response.

"I feel bad this whole thing happened and came down the way it did," Bezek said. "But again, when you look at the situation, these are new grounds we are treading on here."

According to Bezek, those new grounds are what he calls digital citizenship -- proper, respectful behavior online and particularly on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Sagehorn is a wildly popular three-sport athlete and member of the National Honor Society. Off camera, he told Fox 9 News the digital debacle began when he responded to an anonymous post that suggested he might have made out with a young, attractive gym teacher.

Thinking it was a joke, Sagehorn said he replied to say, "Actually, yes."

Although the teen considered it to be flippant fun, administrators weren't laughing. The teacher was said to be crushed and felt the public exchange had ruined her reputation.

"I think it's being belittled out in cyber world, but when you have to sit down with police and the parties involved, it's a traumatic event," Bezek said.

With Sagehorn's future in doubt, his fellow classmates have rallied to get him reinstated. They've also taken to Twitter to promote their cause with the hashtag #FreeReid.

As for the community, at least one district parent close to the Sagehorn family said he believes a fair resolution needs to be found.

"The boy made a mistake. He stood up, admitted it," Tony Hajder said, adding that he doesn't believe the punishment fits the crime.

Students will return to school from the holiday weekend on Tuesday, and some are organizing rallies while others plan to protest with a mass skip day. A special school board meeting will also be held on Tuesday, but no public comments are planned. Even so, plenty of people are expected to attend.

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