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Dec-16-2013

Hoax story about “Argon” student suspension puts real school on edge

The National Report, a website that claims it is “a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways” (and features photos of Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz in their masthead), published a story last week claiming a 9 year old student was suspended from a San Francisco elementary school after wishing their teacher a “Merry Christmas”.

The school mentioned in the article was “Argon Elementary School” in San Francisco, eerily close to our own Argonne Elementary School here in the Richmond District.

No national media picked up the story but it did pick up some steam on smaller internet sites and blogs, who missed the fact that it was all a hoax. Readers left over 100 comments of outrage on the story, angry at the school for taking punitive action against the harmless act of a 9 year old.

“Good grief. Every time I read a story like this I am amazed that parents continue to stupidly send their kids to these schools where liberal leftists can indoctrinate them with all their perverted, godless, communist philosophies,” one commenter wrote.

At the bottom of the article it even offers a fake Gmail account for the “Atheist” teach in the article who suspended the student, encouraging angry readers to send him a “Merry Christmas” e-mail. The photo used in the story is actually of one in Maryland.

The “Argon” name of the school in the article caused a ripple of confusion among real Argonne parents and students last week as well. One parent told us that there has been increased security on the school campus since the story spread, and that Argonne’s Principal, Cami Okubo, had to post an explanation on the school website denying that the story had anything to do with their campus or students:

    Dear Argonne School Community,

    I am writing to inform you that a news story was published stating that a fourth grade student from Argon Elementary in San Francisco was suspended for saying “Merry Christmas” to a teacher. The incident did not occur at our school, Argonne Elementary or any school in the San Francisco Unified School District.

    Thank you for continuing to support our school community.

    Warm regards,
    Cami Okubo Principal at Argonne Elementary

The posting from Okubo is the only thing on the Argonne website at the moment – no other content is reachable.

The article on National News Report has since changed the name of the alleged school to “Anon Elementary School”, but it seems the damage has been done. What was meant to be a holiday prank turned into a real school incident, alarming parents and confusing readers. But let’s set the record straight – the story was a hoax and had nothing to do with Argonne Elementary School.

Sarah B.

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12:22 pm | Posted under Schools | 1 comment
  1. Misha said:

    Looks like it’s now Anon Elementary. Sad and hilarious how far this has gone.

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