Germantown student busted after tweeting about selling guns

(WMC-TV) - A Germantown High School student was suspended after police said he told friends on Twitter he was going to sell guns at the school.

"The Twitter company called Germantown High School," said Mike Tebbe with Shelby County Schools.

The high school received a call from the social networking company Thursday morning.

"When the high school received the call, they immediately called Germantown police," said Tebbe.

A Germantown student tweeted to two classmates that he planned to bring a .22 caliber pistol to school to sell.

"He said, 'but I wasn't serious,'" said Tebbe.

Germantown police locked down the campus and conducted a search.

"They also went through the three students mentioned in the tweet, and they also found a small amount of marijuana," said Tebbe.

Tebbe said he was impressed that Twitter is keeping such a close watch.

"These social media networks are monitoring what's going on, and I was very impressed," said Tebbe.  "Unbeknownst to me that the Twitter company did that."

Brent Gaia works for a company that researches internet content.  He said he is not surprised Twitter was watching.

"You can't pick and choose which ones you want or not want that's part of Twitter.  That's the good and bad of Twitter," he said.  "The internet uses a lot of key words and phrases, and I know that with a lot of the software like Facebook and Twitter, they're going to monitor bombs, terrorists, threats."

Gaia said although the student said he meant no harm, he and anyone else who uses the internet should be aware that Big Brother is watching.

"You can't hold that against people for watching and following you if you put yourself out there," said Gaia.  "That comes with it.  It's a double-edged sword."

The student who sent the tweet and the student caught with marijuana now face a possible 180-day suspension.

Shelby County Schools said students should be aware that they also face disciplinary actions for any illegal acts on campus or social media.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.