Hastings High student suspended for picture

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Updated: Fri, 27 Sep 2013 07:23:30 CST

Smart phones, the internet, social media, we've got the world at our fingertips. But, are there times when people take advantage of technology.
One Hastings High senior was suspended Thursday for a picture he posted to Twitter.

Police were searching one student's car in the Hastings High parking lot, when another student saw it from the window, took a picture with his phone, posted it to Twitter and then got suspended.

"I felt like this was just a misunderstanding and I did nothing wrong." Said Nick Howard, the student suspended over the matter.

The picture is distant shot of the parking lot and an unidentifiable group of people. Nick says a teacher saw him taking a picture of the scene at a window between classes. When questioned, he admitted to posting a picture on the social media website, Twitter.

"They had me suspended for taking a picture of, for something, or a situation of something in a private setting and putting it on media using the person's name, which I didn't use the name technically." Said Howard.

He used a nickname and no last name of the fellow classmate.

News 5 spoke with the Superintendent of Hastings Public Schools, who wouldn't speak specifically on the matter, but did address school policy.

"Anytime someone uses electronic communication that in our judgment puts another student at risk or in harm's way or is totally inappropriate then we feel we need to discipline that student." Said Craig Kautz, Superintendent of Hastings Public Schools.

The school has a ban on inappropriate use of electronic communication to prevent people from taking pictures in bathrooms or locker rooms.

"There was no obvious thing to it be a private setting. It is on school grounds." Howard told News 5. 

The Hastings Police Department was conducting a routine drug sniffing dog search. Though the dog indicated a scent on this student's car, no drugs were found, and no citations were made.

When asked if Nick Howard learned a lesson he replied, "I don't really. I feel like this was a misunderstanding possibly and I don't really feel like I should be punished for this. I don't feel like I was breaking any rules or anything obvious."

The student whose car got searched by Police told News 5 that he's glad the picture was posted to Twitter, because it clears up some rumors that he didn't actually get in trouble for drugs, when people thought that he did. 

Howard and his parents are trying to fight the suspension, but so far the school is standing by the decision.