The wrong way to do an assignment

Charged with making prof's dog famous, student threatens canicide on MySpace. Now both the dog and the incident are famous, but the student's name is being withheld.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor

A student at a Virginia University recently took the old adage "The only bad publicity is no publicity" to heart. In response to a school assignment to make his advertising teacher's six-year-old pug famous, the student posted a notice on MySpace that he would kill the dog, Tech News World reports.

The fiasco started when students in Mike Lear's class at Virginia Commonwealth University's Adcenter, gave an assignment to make his 6-year-old pug famous. While most students went for the "cutest ugly dog approach," the MySpace user chose a darker marketing message.

Someone calling himself "Jason" on MySpace threatened to kill the pug, Oscar. After a bit of sleuthing, the school traced the postings to a school computer.

Within a very short period of time, animal activists and concerned citizens called the Adcenter and local police to report the threat. After investigating, Richmond police issued an alert saying, "This threat is the result of a VCU student's assignment that went awry. We want to stress that at no time was any animal in danger."

"The VCU Adcenter is very upset about this incident and will use 'Oscar' as an example of what not to do for classes in the future," Rick Boyko, Adcenter's managing director, said Thursday in a statement from the school.

The student's identity won't be revealed, but VCU officials stated that charges won't be filed against the student. The university said, however, that the postings violate VCU's honor code and rules regarding the use of university computers and that the student could receive sanctions, including expulsion.

Even so, can anyone doubt that the student deserves an A?

Editorial standards