Auto-correct texting error causes school lockdowns in Georgia


As reported by the Gainesville Times earlier today, the auto-correct feature on a student’s cell phone prompted local authorities to lockdown middle and high schools in Hall County. Mistakenly sent to the wrong number, a student typed the message “gunna be at west hall today,” but the auto-correct function on the smartphone changed the text message to “gunman be at west hall today.” The recipient of the text message notified police around 11:30 A.M. and the West Hall school campuses were locked down while the police took time to investigate the origin of the message. After police determined that auto-correct was to blame for sparking the reaction, the schools reopened to the public around 1:45 P.M.

gunna-autocorrect-gunmanAccording to Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks of the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, he stated “It was a combination of odd circumstances. We want to emphasize that the recipient did the right thing in reporting the message.” Hall Superintendent Will Schofield added “While this event caused a great deal of anxiety among students, staff and parents, be assured that we will always err on the side of caution when it comes to the safety of our boys and girls.” 

The response to this incident comes just a few days after a 17-year-old Ohio teenager shot and killed three students with a .22-caliber gun at Chardon High School. The student allegedly fired 10 shots from his gun in the school cafeteria and now faces three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and one count of felonious assault.

While pokes fun at these types of auto-correct, texting mistakes, Apple is currently fighting with Samsung over the auto-correct patent‎. Apple is requesting an injunction against the Korean electronics maker, but hasn’t specified if they are going after anything beyond the Galaxy Nexus in the United States.