A high school junior is in trouble with the law in Pinellas County, Florida for a comment on Facebook. Allie Scott was charged with stalking regarding a comment she posted. The comment: “Oh, so you keyed my car. Your karma is going to be a whole lot worse than that.”
The car was vandalized when parked in another student’s parking space. Scott had been asked to move the car and discovered the damage when going out to move it at the end of the day.
Allie was suspended from Osceola High School for three days for the Facebook comment. Her mother hasn’t punished her for the incident, but had to retrieve her from the Sheriff’s department. Scott’s hearing is next week.
I wonder why Allie parked the car in the space anyway. She was driving her brother’s car, so she may not have known the space belonged to another student. I find it interesting we don’t know what the school or Sheriff did about the vandalism, or if the office was informed the car was parked in another student’s space. I doubt the school or the Sheriff condones vandalizing a car for improper parking. It is improbable the charges will stick – things would be different if there was a name mentioned in the comment, or actual physical harm occurred, unless there’s more to this beyond Facebook and the information in the news report.
If Allie were to share information about the vandalism incident, it should have been with the authorities first. She could have used her Facebook post more effectively by showing the damage and posting “look what someone did to my brother’s car”. This is what I did on Google+ when offensive notes were left on my car. Leaving a nasty note isn’t vandalism or a crime, merely a cowardly commentary designed to annoy me. I am not sure who left the notes, so to make threats wouldn’t accomplish much. I did let the city know, they could care less.
There’s always more to the story. In my case, the mayor wants cars to voluntarily comply with parking off-street weekdays during certain hours, because the residential street supposedly isn’t wide enough to facilitate on-street parking and leave sufficient space for a garbage truck or school bus to pass (odd, there’s been enough space for over 10 years now). I have a one-lane driveway and comply when possible. Sometimes I can’t do that without playing “swap-the-vehicle” in the driveway, which is not fun, especially in the winter months. I was complying, but since the notes continue anytime I don’t, I decided to stop trying. The mayor threatened to draft an ordinance to force the no-parking request. At this point, I would rather have the ordinance than the notes, so bring on the ordinance. I have to move the car anyway, so what’s the difference? No more notes, that’s what.
My point in mentioning my experience is there has to be more to Allie’s story. I hate to think a girl that has never been in trouble would cause such a ruckus on Facebook out of spite or vindictiveness. This could be a whole rivalry that has been going on since grade school, a blossoming Hatfields versus the McCoys feud, that has spilled over to the Internet. Sometimes that is exactly what happens when a perfectly innocent person gets behind a computer screen and a keyboard… or a pen and paper.