This Tweet Got A 17-Year-Old Suspended From His High School

Think before you tweet.

This is Leonardo Semma, a 17-year-old graduate of Walled Lake Western High School in Walled Lake, Michigan.

With school over, Leonardo reflected back on what he called his "greatest high school achievement" on Sunday: his three-day suspension over an arguably lewd tweet about shoveling snow.

The whole event leading up to his suspension happened back in January when Michigan was covered in snow. Kenneth Gutman, superintendent of schools for Walled Lake Consolidated School District, apologized to the school district "for the parking lots not being plowed."

"It's unacceptable and we're on it," he wrote.

Leonardo was having a bad day due to the bad weather. He'd been dropped off at school that morning, and as he stepped out of the car, he slipped on ice and hit his head.

"I'm mad, right, but it's whatever," he said. "Push through, I go to my classes."

He and his friends got to talking in one of their classes about the weather and their respective morning challenges because of it; one guy almost got ran over in the parking lot, another was almost hit.

"I'm sitting there like, how did the superintendent let this happen?" said Leonardo.

So he responded to Gutman's tweet with one of his own.

An hour later, Leonardo was called into the principal's office.

He remembers the principal showing confusion about how such a good student could tweet something like that. But Leonardo said he sat quietly during most of the meeting.

He was suspended because of the tweet for three days, which fell during finals week.

He said he was "forced" to write an apology letter so he could take his final exams. His parents, he said, "laughed at the tweet and called Kenneth many names."

The Walled Lake Consolidated School District declined to comment to BuzzFeed News about the disciplinary action, citing the Family Education and Privacy Act.

But according to its "Student Code of Conduct" handbook, the use of profanity amounts to a level-2 violation that can result in suspension.

Leonardo's original tweet appears to have been deleted. But his tweet on Sunday has been retweeted nearly 60,000 times and has more than 129,000 favorites at the time of publishing. People have even started trolling Gutman's original tweet with Leonardo's response.

Leonardo said he never thought his slightly bizarre moment of high school delinquency would catch the attention of people beyond the school district.

"I thought it would give school something to remember — now it's all over the world," he said. "It's definitely gotten out of hand, but it's funny."

Skip to footer