Lakeland middle school dad banned for Facebook post on burning school

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) - The father of a Florida middle schooler is banned from school property after posting on Facebook that he was ready to burn down the school.

Polk County school officials served Chris Stephenson with a trespass notice on Wednesday. Now he has to stay in his car while dropping off or picking up his son at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland.

The Ledger reports Stephenson was angry over being asked to donate to the Parent Teacher Student Association before his son even began the school year.

He added to his Aug. 9 Facebook post that he meant his comment “figuratively” since the building is brick.

Principal Brian Andrews said he considers the post a “credible threat.” Stephenson said is free speech is being suppressed.

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The fundraising letter that Stephenson was upset about asked for PTSA donations and offered children a pass to the front of the lunch line if they donate a certain amount. A spokesperson for Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Polk County said the whole thing was a mistake.

The letter appeared to offer the lunch line pass in exchange for a $100 donation, among other tiers of donation rewards.

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