MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It was supposed to be joke, a sarcastic response. But a two-word tweet caused an uproar in the Elk River School District.
Reid Sagehorn, 17, was suspended for seven weeks after he responded “actually, yes” when a post asked if he’d ever made-out with a teacher at Rogers High School.
Sagehorn later said there was no truth to it, but the tweet led school administrators and law enforcement officers to investigate the teacher. After reviewing the case, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office determined Sagehorn did not commit a crime.
On Monday night, a special, closed-door meeting of the school board was held. It was slated to be followed by a regular meeting at Elk River City Hall, where Sagehorn’s parents and team of attorneys were expected be in attendance.
“A lot of harm has been done to Reid Sagehorn’s reputation,” said Ron Rosenbaum, one of the Sagehorn family’s three attorneys. “Next to his name is an implication that he is a criminal, which he is not and everybody acknowledges he’s not. There was never any crime committed here.”
Sagehorn was a basketball and football captain at Rogers High School, and he had a 3.8 grade point average.
“Really, [this] has been handled as poorly as possible,” Rosenbaum said. “What in effect has happened is they’ve used an atom bomb to kill an ant.”
Elk River superintendent Mark Bezek has said he feels bad for everyone involved in this, but the district has no plans to change the suspension.
“I don’t know if it’s appropriate, but you really need to watch what you say,” said Shane Lammo, an Elk River resident. “Your words will get you in a lot of trouble sometimes.”
Sagehorn’s attorneys say he is now enrolled in a new school, in a different school district.
Members of the community have been vocal about their concerns.
“I think that [punishment] was too harsh,” said Joanne Schlichter of Elk River. “Kids just joke around, shouldn’t take it that serious.”