Freeman spotted

Brandon Schroeder, Staff Writer

    Phones are out, and cameras are ready as RJ Reynolds Principal Calvin Freeman patrols the hallways, ensuring students are getting to their next classes. Students walk through the hallways taking pictures of the principal or taking selfies with Freeman in the background. Once the picture of Freeman is taken, it is posted on the “Freeman Spotted” Snapchat story and is seen by many students. 

     “I didn’t know about it until about a month ago,” Freeman said. “One of the students came up to me asking for my picture. She told me the picture was for ‘Freeman Spotted.’ I asked her what it was, and she showed me all these pictures with me in the background.”

    “Freeman Spotted” is a collaborative Snapchat story anyone can post on. People add their friends to the story and share the pictures taken with or gotten of Freeman. 

    “Mr. Freeman is a pretty nice principal, so I thought it would be a good idea to share interactions with him with my friends,” sophomore and “Freeman Spotted” creator” Emmy Henthorn said. “It was originally just a group of close friends, but everyone loves Mr. Freeman, so it grew.”

    In the past, RJR had a problem with school satirical Instagram pages because they weren’t always positive and tended to focus on slander.

    “The moments we use social media for good nature or having a good time, not at the expense of someone else, I think that is the proper use of social media,” Freeman said. “But when we are trying to bring someone down or trying to attack someone’s character, that’s not the proper use of social media.”

    The “Freeman Spotted” story has been popular, with multiple people posting on the story when they see Freeman at lunch, in the hallways, in the teacher’s rooms, and sometimes even during fire drills.

    “The story has been a thing for a while, so there’s more people, and most of the school is on it,” Henthorn said. “Everything on the story has been positive. There’s been a lot of positive engagement.”

    While “Freeman Spotted” may have been started on social media, Freeman feels it is a great way to help make RJR the place he wants it to be. Freeman loves the fact that students feel comfortable enough going up to him for pictures.

    “I want to break the typecast that the principal’s office is a bad place to be, that you did something bad if you are in the principal’s office,” Freeman said. “This is a student space, student center, welcoming, and that’s how I want the relationships to be in this building.”