Auto-Correct Error in Text Message Leads to School Lockdown

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Beau Lark / Corbis

Damn You Auto Correct, the popular website dedicated to misspellings, wrong words, and humiliating smart phone-corrected typos, may need to set up a Hall of Fame for one Georgia teen. The high-school student accidentally shut his school down and blamed auto-correct and a wrong number for the mishap.

According to the Gainesville Times, a series of unfortunate phone-related events landed a Georgia teen in the hot seat after he failed to review a text message before sending it. The West Hall student meant to type “gunna be at west hall today,” but his phone’s automatic spelling correction changed “gunna” to “gunman.” Compounding the error, the student then sent the text message to a wrong number.

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The recipient of the message was understandably alarmed by the content of the text and alerted the police. The police did not take the situation lightly and immediately ordered that the middle and high schools of West Hall be locked down until an investigation could take place. The police were then able to trace the text message to the student who had sent the alarming auto-corrected message. The police soon realized that there was no cause for concern and the schools were able to return to normal.

“It was a combination of odd circumstances,” a police spokesman told the Gainesville Times. “We want to emphasize that the recipient did the right thing in reporting the message.” Gordon Higgins, the Hall County Schools spokesman added, “We always take every precaution concerning a potential threat or danger.” Adding to the already stressful situation, schools across the country are facing heightened anxiety from students, parents, and even administrators in light of the recent school shooting at Chardon High School in Ohio, in which three students were killed. All of this could have been avoided if the student had simply reviewed his text message before hitting send.

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