PLATTE COUNTY, MO (KCTV) -- A Missouri elementary school principal is on paid administrative leave after posting a tweet mocking a tweet by a school shooting survivor.
KCTV5 Investigative Reporter Emily Sinovic looked into the massive backlash the tweet caused.
Dr. Chad Searcey is the principal for Compass Elementary in Platte City who is now in hot water.
It all started with a tweet from David Hogg, a Parkland, Florida school shooting survivor who was calling for congress to invest in research on gun violence
In a video, Hogg said: “Gun violence is the second leading cause of death for the young people in the United States, yet basically gets no research funding from the federal government at all whatsoever. We have a chance to fund it currently in this Congress with this Senate and give $50 million to the CDC and NIH.”
In response to that tweet, Principal Searcey tweeted a collage of pictures he put together showing him and his sons shooting and holding guns. He included a hashtag that read “’Merica”.
There have been thousands of replies and mentions on Searcey’s Twitter handle since he posted.
Some were more forgiving, writing: “Dr. Chad, You and your boys enjoy target practice. I am not afraid of you and your boys hunting me down to kill me. I AM afraid of the mentally ill person who can buy the rifle you hold as easily as you did and murder kids or coworkers . #GunControlNow #KeepOurChildrenSafe”
Another wrote: “If he had chosen it post it on the twitter-verse as a stand alone tweet no one would respond in this way. He is a school principal. As an educator myself, it is my opinion that he should be fired for this.”
The school district released a statement reading in part:
“On June 11, 2019, a school district employee posted a tweet in response to a comment encouraging Congress to fund research on gun violence. The post was made from the employee’s personal Twitter account. Posts from employee personal social media accounts do not reflect the views or opinions of the Platte County R-3 School District.
The District learned of the tweet on June 12, 2019, and immediately placed the employee on paid, administrative leave while we investigate the situation. We understand why the public response has been strong with regard to student safety in our nation’s schools. We intend to address the situation immediately and in a manner consistent with our Board of Education policies, as well as our goal of ensuring a safe and caring environment for our students, staff, and community.”
Searcey’s Twitter account has been taken down. We reached out to Searcey for comment but were unable to make contact.