Less than a week after practicing physician “Dr. Love” was exposed as a mere teen, the good (fake) doctor’s prank throne is under attack. His competition: Eighteen-year-old Izaha Akins, who is now facing felony charges after Ohio school officials realized the state senator who had given a lecture to a high school class was actually just a teen. A normal, non-senator, prank-lovin’ badass teen.
Akins’s ruse, while elaborate, wasn’t sophisticated. After learning about Ohio Senator Dave Burke’s upcoming visit to the school’s American government class, Akins called the class’s teacher to explain that Burke had been forced to resign due to an illness. Akins, naturally, had been chosen as Burke’s replacement, “making him the youngest state senator ever.”
Should Akins have done this? No, probably not. But should an American government teacher have known that this teen probably wasn’t an actual state senator? Why, yes—yes he should have.
When the teacher, Henry Stobbs, asked why he hadn’t heard about Akins’ appointment, the teen replied that he was the second choice and that the first choice had declined the offer. He also said that Burke had yet to publicly announce his resignation but would do so in the coming weeks.
Akins’ request to move his visit from January to December was approved and the teen and people posing as his aides secured a car and driver from a local car dealership, according to reports. When he arrived at the school for his visit, he used his own ID card to sign in. He received a tour and went on to give a lecture to the students, authorities said.
Everything seemingly in perfect order, the young Senator’s visit went off without a hitch. As the school’s superintendent, Ken Ratliff, told The Toledo Blade, “The presentation was about being active in politics, political processes. Everyone thought it was legit, bought into it, including the teacher.” Until several weeks later, that is.
When Burke showed up on January 14—a month after Akins’s staged event—school officials realized that perhaps the 18-year-old child roaming their halls had not been a state senator after all. According to a statement from the (actual) Senator’s office: “This was an extremely elaborate scheme and not a [sic] simple as walking through the door. When I learned about this, the school and I immediately began working with law enforcement.”
Akins has since been arrested and is facing one count of impersonating a peace officer and one count of telecommunications fraud. Both are felonies.
Now, there are two major injustices at play here.
The first: Any teacher who would believe this kid without faltering probably isn’t the best person to be teaching our nation’s youth about government. If anything, teen senator did a public service by exposing yet another crack in the foundation of our education system.
The second: Anyone who manages to pull off a cool prank of this magnitude deserves a reward, not jail time.
Justice For Teen Senator.