Students suspended for posting mugshot of principal

7:58 PM, May 9, 2013   |    comments
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  • (File photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)

RIVERDALE, Ga. -- Most of us have done it at some point. Searched someone's name on the internet. But one Riverdale High School senior took it a step further, posting what he found on Instagram.  It's a decision that could have kept him from walking on graduation day.

Ke'andre Varner says he had time to kill in class on Monday, so when a buddy found a mugshot of their principal he decided to take a picture with his phone and pass it along, posting it on instragram.

As word spread, one student asked why she was arrested. Varner thought he'd chosen his words carefully.

"I put I thought she got arrested for DUI instead of saying she did get arrested for DUI," explained Varner.

Regardless, it wasn't true. A spokesman for the Clayton County School District says the principal, Jamille Miller-Brown, was arrested, after missing a court date on a speeding ticket.

"I guess they spread it around the school, from the students to the teachers, it got back to her," said Varner's father, Daniel Steverson.

Less than two hours after Varner says he and dozens of other students had posted the picture, the principal had police and Varner her office.

"The principal wanted him arrested for doing that, for putting it on instagram.  But the police officer said I can't arrest him for that," said Steverson.

But she could suspend him and that's what Varner's family says she did.  His parents agreed it was a mistake to post what he did, but felt a four day suspension right before finals, was unfair.

"This is crucial week for the seniors. You've got finals week, got to study for finals," said his father.

The district called Varner's behavior beligerent and defended the suspension by pointing out the student handbook prohibits the use of cell phones on campus.  But eventually the principal did agree to reduce the punishment, allowing Varner to return to class on Thursday.

Varner says he returned with a valuable lesson, not taught in any of his school books.

"I know next time not to post anything about other people, unless I have their permission and I really learned a lesson from this," said Varrner.

Varner will still have two days of in-school suspension, but they won't interfere with his finals.

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