Asked on Twitter about a rumor he'd been seen making out with a teacher, Rogers High School senior Reid Sagehorn jokingly replied with something to the effect of, "Actually, yes."
Sagehorn's now-deleted tweet wasn't meant to be taken seriously, but Rogers and Elk River Area Schools officials didn't kid around with their response when they learned about it. Sagehorn -- an honors student, captain of the football and basketball teams, and a baseball player -- ended up being suspended for more than two months, until April 22.
Officials have so far been tight-lipped about why they thought it appropriate to suspend Sagehorn for so long, and voicemails left with the Rogers High School principal and the district superintendent hadn't been returned as this was published. But news of Sagehorn's suspension sparked a #FreeReid movement on Twitter, and an online petition entitled "Immediately restore the enrollment of Reid Sagehorn" has been signed by more than 3,000 people as of this morning.
Here's a sampling of some of the #FreeReid tweets:
During the Senior Night basketball game on Friday, Rogers students honored their banished team captain by wearing black shirts adorned with Reid's jersey number (3). According to the aforementioned petition, boys players wore #freereid on their shoes, and girls players wore the same hashtag on their shirts:
As the petition explains, the situation should get more interesting tomorrow night.
"The damage that has already been done by Reid's punishment cannot be taken back, but you can help prevent any further harm to Reid's present and future," it says. "All are urged to attend the ISD 728 school board meeting on Tuesday, February 18 at Elk River High School Community Room 105, 7:00 PM."
We've reached out to Sagehorn himself for comment and will update if we hear back from him.