PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Last month, Michael Bodomov got an assignment for a Drama Class at Mt. Lebanon High School.
It was to create a character of his own choosing. His choice: a homeless man named John.
The 17-year-old’s costume was layers of coats, fingerless gloves, a grimy face and carrying a garbage bag. He also did a lot of mumbling. On the day the assignment was due his Mom dropped him off at school early in disguise.
“And kind of knocked on a door, an exterior door, and they were immediately confronted by an administrator,” said Mt. Lebanon Police Lt. Aaron Lauth.
Bodomov may have given an award-winning performance, but he also got a two-day suspension — and a lesson in ever-increasing school security.
Police were called, because Michael continued to stay in character.
“Pretty shortly after they arrived they determined that this was a student playing a role,” Lauth said.
The school district would not comment directly on the incident, but Superintendent Dr. Timothy Steinhauer issued this statement: “Student and staff safety is always our first concern. This is non-negotiable. If someone attempts to enter our building without identifying themselves it is considered a school security issue … staff responded exactly as they have been trained.”
Freshman Matt Kelly can see both sides.
“School shootings and stuff like that,” he said. “I guess they had some kind point of saying it’s dangerous – but it wasn’t.”
Bodomov was not given the two-day suspension because he dressed up for a classroom assignment. It was because he didn’t identify himself. That is a violation of the student code of conduct.