Threats on social media are nothing to make light of but many are wondering if the punishment for a satirical post by Caleb Clemmons, a 20-year-old former student at Georgia Southern, is excessive.
Clemmons, who made a joke Tumblr post that said he was going to shoot up his school, has been in jail for six months due to the indiscretion.
The psychology major, who maintained a high G.P.A. and received a scholarship to the university, posted the below on his satirical site on February 8th:
“hello. my name is irenigg and i plan on shooting up georgia southern. pass this around to see the affect it has. to see if i get arrested.”
An anonymous individual reported it and Clemmons was arrested in a matter of hours and taken to Bulloch County Jail. Though the authorities did not find evidence that Clemmons actually planned to attack the schools nor weapons in his possession, he has been at Bulloch County Jail ever since.
He says the post was “an experimental literary piece and an art project,” but he is being charged with making terroristic threats on a computer, punishable by up to five years in prison and his bond was set at $20,000, which his family couldn’t afford.
His family reports that he has been physically abused while in county jail, and they fear that they don’t have the money to provide a proper defense.
The county’s take on Caleb’s offensive is glaringly different than that of the university where he attended school. They were not even notified of his Tumblr post until March and the Dean of Students is reported as saying: “there was no continuous threat.”