We've long been wary of the mysterious dark powers of The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air theme song—anything that can make a bus full of tourists sing in unison seems like the kind of magic one shouldn't be playing around with willy-nilly. And one teenager in Pennsylvania learned that the hard way this week after a receptionist mistook the student's Fresh Prince voice mail greeting as a threat about "shooting people outside of the school."
The actual line in the song, of course, is "shooting some b-ball outside of the school.” The receptionist, whose name has not been released, had called 19-year-old Ambridge Area High School student Travis Clawson to remind him about an upcoming eye appointment. She misheard the voice mail greeting, and called local Sewickley police, who then contacted Ambridge school officials. Then a countywide schools lockdown happened because no one knew exactly where Clawson was, and the 911 response system is designed to notify all schools of a situation.
Clawson was finally found in the guidance office of Ambridge’s high school, which was subsequently swarmed by officers who took him into custody. Clawson later told investigators his message was just him imitating Will Smith’s rap intro to the show; after listening again, police determined he was in fact saying "b-ball" and not "people."
No charges have been filed, but Clawson's family has met with an attorney. “An innocent young man was embarrassed,” his father, Wendell, told Times Online. “How is he supposed to go back to school and face his classmates?” Very...proudly? With his head held high? Getting all the high fives from classmates? Maybe if he had imitated the Neil Young version, none of this would have happened.