remember when pacey witter had an affair with miss jacobs omg

It’s pretty depressing that when you hear about a teenage boy claiming to have made out with his teacher, you don’t immediately assume that he’s full of it. At least this time, though, the big story isn’t that a teacher preyed on an underage student– it’s that adults just don’t understand Twitter.

This 17-year-old high school senior in Minneapolis, Reid Sagehorn, caused a huge uproar in his hometown when someone asked him in an online forum whether he’d ever made out with his 28-year-old teacher. Sagehorn posted his response on Twitter: “Actually, yes.” The next day at school, he got a two-month suspension.

Sagehorn swears that he never had any kind of inappropriate relationship with his teacher, and that he assumed everyone would understand that he was being ridiculous. He tells his local newspaper,

I thought everybody would take it as a joke. I think it’s definitely important that everybody who has heard about the story know how sincerely sorry I am. No matter how I meant it, it doesn’t matter… sarcasm doesn’t belong on the internet.

I’m so conflicted about this. On the one hand, it’s impossible to have an internet presence and never make a total ass of yourself once in a while– I have a thousand little judgment lapses a day– and it’s even more likely that you’re going to screw up when you’re still a kid. On the other hand, accusations like Sagehorn’s can ruin a teacher’s entire career. Since it seems apparent that he was completely joking and that his teacher didn’t treat him in an inappropriate way, she’s the victim in this situation. I agree that Sagehorn needs to be punished, even though he comes across as sweet and genuinely repentant. It’s important that other students realize that their teachers are real people, and that the things they say about those teachers can have real impact.

According to the NY Daily News,

Last week, police said they were investigating whether the teen could be hit with a felony charge of defamation– but concluded that no crime was committed. Attorneys representing the teen said police and school overreacted to the teen’s comments.

Yikes. I’m glad that people are taking an accusation like this seriously, because it’s BS that people assume women can never be abusers, and it’s even bigger BS that people ignore sexual abuse when it happens to teenage boys. But, since it doesn’t look like any abuse took place, I hope Sagehorn’s whole life isn’t ruined because of one immature tweet, and I hope this teacher’s whole life isn’t ruined by dumb rumors.

Via Daily News / Photo: Dawson’s Creek, Sony Pictures