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Debate celebrity Ken Bone says school suspended his son over gun picture

Debate celebrity Ken Bone says school suspended his son over gun picture

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Kenneth Bone

Undecided voter Ken Bone, of Shiloh, asked a question about energy policy during the presidential debate at Washington University on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, and soon became an internet sensation. Still image from video feed of debate

Ken Bone, the Shiloh man made famous by asking a question during a 2016 presidential debate in a bright red sweater, is again in the spotlight after saying on Twitter that his son was suspended for a photo that Bone had shared on social media just a few days before.

The original tweet, shared on Monday, was in response to tweets sent by Kyle Kashuv, a survivor of the shooting massacre at a Parkland, Fla., high school and a gun rights supporter. Bone said that when he saw Kashuv getting grief for sharing a photo of himself at a gun range, Bone wanted to send a message of solidarity.

Kyle Kashuv tweet

Tweet by Kyle Kashuv, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

He shared a photo of his son aiming a rifle away from the camera with Bone standing behind, saying in his tweet that his son was learning to shoot under his supervision. Bone added in an interview Thursday that they had been at a gun range.

On Thursday afternoon, Bone said on Twitter that his son had been suspended because of the photo.

Bone said he talked to a detective with the Belleville Police Department, who told Bone that they would call the principal of his son’s school, St. Clair ROE Safe School, in the morning. Belleville police confirmed that they took a report about the incident.

“I’m not sure what the school wants investigated,” Bone said Thursday evening. “There’s no threat to the school — the picture is over a year old.”

Bone said he pointed out to the principal that his son hadn’t posted the photo.

“It’s mine,” Bone said. “(My son) doesn’t even have a Twitter account.”

School officials said they could not comment on student discipline or ongoing investigations.

St. Clair ROE Safe School in Belleville, which Bone’s son Logan attends, is a high school for students who are “expulsion-eligible,” according to its website.

Bone said his son was expelled from his previous school for bringing a pocket knife to campus, adding that it was a “mistake” and his son hadn’t threatened anyone with it.

As for the original tweet of the photo, Bone wanted to convey that Kashuv is a “good kid that gets a lot of flack,” though Bone himself does support some “common sense” gun control, he said.

“I just wanted to tell (Kashuv), you didn’t do anything wrong, you were learning to shoot with your father, I do the same thing with my son,” Bone said.

Bone drew national attention in 2016 after he asked a question at the debate between then-contenders Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton at Washington University. He was among 40 undecided voters featured at the debate.

On Thursday, despite being prodded by angry Twitter commenters to sue the school, Bone said he didn’t want to go to such extremes. But he does hope that things are clarified soon so Logan can go back to school.

“I’m glad they’re looking out for the safety of the kids, but this seems like something that could be settled with a phone call or a meeting with school officials,” Bone said. “The photo was taken before he even went to that school. He hasn’t done anything wrong or illegal. And it was said by me, so there’s no reason to punish him for it.”

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