Metro-East News

Ken Bone says son allowed back in school after social media post raised ‘concerns’

Ken Bone talks at his Shiloh home about his experience as a guest at the presidential debate Oct. 9 in St. Louis. Bone inexplicably became famous after he appeared before millions of viewers watching the debate.
Ken Bone talks at his Shiloh home about his experience as a guest at the presidential debate Oct. 9 in St. Louis. Bone inexplicably became famous after he appeared before millions of viewers watching the debate.

School officials say they contacted police about a photo of Ken Bone’s son shooting a gun at a range because “there was ambiguous language that raised our concerns.”

Bone, the Shiloh man who became a celebrity after appearing in a presidential debate, said Thursday that his son was suspended from school over the photo posted on Twitter, but the suspension was lifted Friday.

Bone said his son, Logan, who goes to the St. Clair County ROE Safe School in Belleville, was suspended Friday after the elder Bone posted a picture on Twitter of the two of them at a shooting range. In the photo, Logan is shooting a SCAR17 semiautomatic rifle that Bone rented for the day at the range.

Friday afternoon, however, Bone tweeted that his son was cleared to return to school on Monday.

St. Clair County Regional Superintendent Susan Sarfaty said there was an investigation by both the school and Belleville Police that was prompted by a Twitter post.

The St. Clair County Regional Office of Education oversees the safe school program. Sarfaty declined to talk in detail about student discipline matters and the investigation.

Bone’s post with the photo was in response to a tweet from a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla.

The student, Kyle Kashuv, who is against gun-control measures, posted a picture of himself and his father at a gun shooting range. Kashuv said he was then brought into the school security office and “interrogated.”

On Monday, Bone replied to Kashuv’s tweet, which has since been deleted, with the photo with his son.

“Here’s a pic of my son learning to shoot safely under my supervision. Maybe those security guys want to talk to him,” Bone said in the April 23 tweet.

Bone said the picture of himself and Logan at the shooting range was from two years ago.

“I’m furious. I’m just trying to show some support for one of the Parkland survivors,” Bone said. “Now my son is suspended for my social media. He didn’t have anything to do with it. You can’t even see his face in the picture. You couldn’t prove it was him except I identified it as him.”

On Thursday, three days after Bone posted the photo, he wrote on Twitter: “Remember this photo from a few days ago? Well, a school administrator saw it and now my son is suspended from school pending a police investigation.”

Belleville Police Capt. John Moody said he was not aware of any investigation. Belleville Police Master Sgt. Todd Keilbach could not immediately be reached for comment.

Last year, Logan, who is in eighth grade, was expelled for one year from Whiteside Middle School for bringing a pocket knife to school, according to Bone.

“He fully owned up to it, ‘Yeah, I did it. It was dumb,’ and he fully accepts his punishment,” Bone said.

Bone added there is no agreement with the school that he or his son stay away from weapons.

In a letter to parents of students who attend the safe school with Logan, school officials said they were made aware of the tweet “depicting one of our students and their father with a weapon” late Thursday afternoon.

“There was no specific threat noted in the tweet, but there was ambiguous language that raised our concerns,” the letter stated. “In order to best protect our students, we have referred the matter to the Belleville Police for further investigation. As you know, we have strengthened our school security in the last several months and we will continue to work hard to ensure everyone’s safety.”

Bone became famous after appearing in the 2016 presidential town hall debate at Washington University in St. Louis between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Donald Trump.

His tweet about the photo leading to a police investigation had almost 4,600 retweets and 2,000 comments as of Friday. It was retweeted by NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch, who wrote, “Seriously?”