A tweet from his personal account led to Compass Elementary principal Dr. Chad Searcey being placed on administrative leave by the Platte County School District.
Early Wednesday afternoon, June 12, the district issued a press release stating an employee was placed on paid, administrative leave while investigating the situation.
The R-3 district didn’t name the employee, but screenshots provided to The Citizen showed Searcey, whose Twitter account is no longer active, responding to a threat about gun violence.
An individual on Twitter who interacted with Searcey took screenshots of the tweets and shared them with the paper prior to Searcey closing or deactivating his account.
The district stated it learned of the tweet on Wednesday, a day after Searcey responded to a post from David Hogg. A student that survived the Parkland, Fla., shooting last year at Stoneman Douglas High School tweeted about the #WeNeedtoKnow campaign urging Congress to fund gun violence research. He asked people to record a video explaining why there needs to be gun violence research and tag congressmen and senators.
Searcey’s reply to Hogg, A March 4 Our Lives and Brady Buzz Twitter accounts that showed three photos and the hashtag #Merica. Searcey posted a photo of a man holding a rifle and two children holding guns.
“We understand why the public response has been strong with regard to student safety in our nation’s schools,” the R-3 press release said. “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.”
The district added the post from the employee does not reflect the views or opinions of the district.
He later apologized for how the photos were perceived, adding, “I reflected on the feedback and will continue to apologize to anyone who is offended. I hope you and others can accept my apology” in response to @AMpplH8r.
Hogg replied to Searcey’s tweet by saying, “Cool guns, you know what’s more cool? Mom’s and dads getting to see their kids graduate high school alive. Kids not having to step over bloodstained sidewalks on their way to school. Parents not coming home to find their child with a self inflicted gun shot wound.”
FOX4 and KCTV5 each ran a story on the incident and sister stations across the United States have shared the story.
A bio on Searcey showed that he was in his 14th year working for the district.