‘Fresh Prince’ theme song on phone sparks school lockdown

Incident stems from lyric: ‘And all shooting some b-ball outside of the school’


Take the most ubiquitous of modern gadgets (a cell phone) combine it with a classic '90s sitcom theme song ("The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air") add in overwhelming, unprecedented and fully justified public worry over school shootings ... and you get a story that should be funny but isn't.

From a report in the Beaver County Times:

Beaver County schools had their lives "flipped, turned upside down" Thursday morning when a phone greeting involving the theme song from the 1990s sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" was taken as a threat.

All schools in the county were advised to lock down for about 20 minutes while police searched for a 19-year-old Ambridge Area High School student whose greeting to callers was mistakenly taken as a threat about "shooting people outside of the school."

The actual line from the song is "And all shooting some b-ball outside of the school." It is unclear from listening to Travis Clawson's phone message whether he inadvertently twisted the words or it just was misheard by the receptionist from his Sewickley eye doctor's office who sent the day's events in motion.

The day's events included a full-fledged police response, the arrest of the teenager, his eventual release, and the obligatory indication that a lawsuit may be in the offing.

Not funny for those involved.

(2013’s 25 Geekiest 25th Anniversaries)

But that doesn't mean we can't find some associated humor now that we know it was all a false alarm.

Three videos follow: the real theme song, which has always been a hoot; the song as it might be performed by actor Ian McKellen; and, perhaps the best one, the song performed using lyrics passed through Google Translate in a whole bunch of different languages.

The Ian McKellen version:

From Google Translate:

It doesn't seem that Google Translate had much if any difficulty with "shooting some b-ball outside of the school."

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