An Oakland, Maine high school resource officer had to educate a student about identifying satirical news articles after the teen claimed it was perfectly legal for him to stare the officer in the eyes while ripping a burnout after reading about it online.
According to the Boston Globe, Sergeant Tracey Frost found himself staring down a bold young teen shredding his truck’s tires in front of Messalonskee High School:
Frost said he pulled the student over and asked him point-blank: “Really? Have you lost your mind?!”
The student, confident he did nothing wrong, told Frost, “You can’t do anything about it anymore,” Frost said, and then pulled out his smartphone to show the officer a news article that claimed Maine’s Supreme Court had ruled recently that burning rubber is “now protected free speech.”
Turns out, the so-called news article was written by “New Maine News,” a popular satirical website that posts content similar to what one might find on “The Onion.”
Frost ultimately explained to the kid that it was a satirical website, gave him tips on how to identify articles like it in the future, and didn’t end up giving him a ticket. The officer posted about the incident on Facebook.
Frost figured that would be obvious because the fake article includes a quote from a chief justice that reads, “What good is a huge truck? What good are fat tires, a screaming exhaust set up, and a killer big block if all that power can’t be used to make a statement?”
I mean, the fake chief justice is not wrong!