Skip to comments.Teacher arrested for pro-Columbine blog post
Posted on 12/04/2007 5:19:45 PM PST by Baladas
MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) -- Bloggers and free speech advocates are calling on prosecutors not to file charges against a teacher arrested for allegedly posting an anonymous comment online praising the Columbine shooters.
In 1999, two Columbine High School students killed 12 fellow students, a teacher, and themselves.
Some were disturbed by the post that police say James Buss left on a conservative blog, but other observers said it was a sarcastic attempt to discredit critics of education spending.
The suburban Milwaukee high school chemistry teacher was arrested last week for the November 16 comment left on www.bootsandsabers.com, a blog on Wisconsin politics. The comment, left under the name "Observer," came during a discussion over teacher salaries, after some writers complained teachers were underworked and overpaid.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
Where’s the crime?
I agree, there probably is no crime here, but this guy is most certainly a nutjob. He also slandered Mark Belling (local talk radio conservative) by liberally making things up and posting them on this blog entry. Belling never said those things on the air.
What did he say precisely?
Agreed. If this teacher faces charges, someone ought to warn Ward Churchill and Bill Maher that the cops will be coming for them also. Reprehensible, yes, illegal, no.
This guy just let us know that he has removed all doubt from our minds that he’s an idiot. People these days will say anything to get attention.
Agree the teacher’s a little mental, and this:
“They knew how to deal with the overpaid teacher union thugs. One shot at a time!” he wrote, adding they should be remembered as heroes.
He sounds like any member of the NEA...
Liberal troll on a conservative site. The guy is a teacher and a former head of a teacher’s union. Basically, the guy got arrested for trolling. No way in hell those comments were serious.
I’m trying to imagine a mother of high school age kids sitting on a jury and having the phenomena of “sock puppeteering” explained to her. I suppose that anyone busted for making terrorist threats, assassination threats or inciting others to commit violent acts over the internet can claim a sock-puppet intent with this precedent...if the excuse ends up working.
so...how did they find him?
I don’t think being stupid and irrational is a crime. After all, Reid and Pelosi are still walking around.
Yes, and our local ABC affiliate whislt reporting on this story left out the fact that his post was meant to discreedit coservatives,leaving the impression that he meant what he said.
Let me get this straight - a troll is a liberal posting on a conservative site, who may be using the tactic of posting outrageous comments to inflame and discredit the conservatives.
Or vice-versa. Basically, a troll is one who posts on internet forums just to make trouble. Some are open about their intentions, some hide it. This guy was a special kind of troll. He tries to posts outrageous comments on a forum in an effort to besmirch the forum and by proxy, the people who post there.
Buss, a former president of the teacher's union, allegedly wrote that teacher salaries made him sick because they are lazy and work only five hours a day. He praised the teen gunmen who killed 12 students and a teacher before committing suicide in the April 1999 attack at Columbine High School.
"They knew how to deal with the overpaid teacher union thugs. One shot at a time!" he wrote, adding they should be remembered as heroes.
Yeah there's no reason to home schools these days .......< /sarcasm>
Just curious if it's someone young -- possible in or recently out of HS in 1999.
Sheesh...Buss should have chosen his words a l-i-t-t-l-e more carefully! Columbine was a tragedy, but this guy certainly hasn’t helped things.
The url is http://www.bootsandsabers.com/index.php/weblog/permalink/bs_commenter_arrested/
[Begin quote. The first part of the website owner's statement is apparently from a news article (source not given) His personal statement follows below]
"An Oak Creek High School teacher who allegedly praised the actions of the Columbine School shooters and threatened local teachers on a Web site blog was arrested Thursday. The 46-year-old Cudahy man was arrested with the assistance of Oak Creek and Cudahy police departments after West Bend police were notified of a threatening post on Nov. 16.
The actual blog, posted at 6:50 p.m. and provided in a release by the West Bend Police Department, states: Looking at those teacher salary numbers in West Bend made me sick. $60,000 for a part time job were you work maybe 5 hours per day and sit in the teachers lounge and smoke the rest of the time. Thanks God we won on the referendum. But whining here doesnt stop the problem. Weve got to get in back of the kids who have had enough of lazy, no good teachers and are fighting back. Kids like Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold members of the Young Republicans club at Columbine. They knew how to deal with the overpaid teacher union thugs. One shot at a time! Too bad the liberals rip them; they were heroes and should be remembered that way.
The man, who admitted to posting the message, was arrested and a search warrant was served at his home. He is in custody at the Washington County Jail and charges of disorderly conduct and unlawful use of computerized communication systems will be referred to the Washington County District Attorneys office. The Cudahy man has no previous arrest record that the police department is aware of, according to a statement. "
[here is the personal statement from the website's owner]
Yes, the comment in question was posted in a comment thread on B&S. Let me fill in the details
Late on the evening of Friday, November 16th, Jed and I received an email from a detective with the West Bend Police Department asking me about the above comment. Do you remember what was happening that weekend? Yep. Gun deer season.
I saw the email at about 7:30 AM on the 17th while I was sitting in my deer stand. I promptly called the detective and consequently woke him up. He asked if we would provide the IP address of the commenter. Since I wasnt anywhere near a computer and wouldnt be for some time, I emailed Jed who sent the information in a matter of minutes. I guess Jed was let out of the bunker for a while.
The next week the detective called and we spoke about it. At no time did the detective even so much as hint that the proprietors of B&S were at fault. He asked us to remove the comment if we could preserve a permanent record. He also revealed that the complaint was filed by a member of the West Bend school administration.
The next thing I knew about this was when I read this news story saying that the commenter had been arrested. In case you were wondering, you are not anonymous on the internet. I have received several calls from reporters with various news organizations seeking comment. I havent returned any calls yet, because I wanted to write out the story in full form before somebody misquoted me.
This evening I called and spoke to the detective. He did confirm that no other evidence was found at the mans home and that the charges are based on the comment he left here at B&S. Its an ongoing investigation, so he couldnt say much, but between him and some other sources, I think I have the majority of this story put together. The paperwork for the investigation was finished this afternoon and it will likely be referred to the District Attorney as soon as tonight (which probably means Monday, in reality).
What do I think?
At first blush, I think its a gross overreaction for a comment left on a blog. Yes, the comment was idiotic and over the top, but it hardly constitutes a direct threat to anyone. It was explained to me that it was not believed that the commenter had any intent to harm anyone, but that the mere presence of a comment appearing to condone such violence had to be punished because it might encourage someone else to engage in violence against schools. I dont buy that argument. In fact, lets put it in context with the commenters next comment on that thread.
I am NOT advcting shootng teachrs. I agree with Mark belling when he said that theese kids were pushed into doing this by the stupid union teachrs at Colmbine. belling said that to bad only one teachr got it and lots of kids. shuld have been the other way. belling hates teachrs I like belling
It appears to me that the commenter is attempting to do one of two things. Option 1: the commenter is a right wing whack job that isnt violent, but likes to engage in outlandish rhetoric. Option 2: the commenter is a liberal who is trying to discredit conservatives by acting like option 1.
As you can see from the story, the commenter is actually a union teacher from Oak Creek, but it gets more interesting than that. The commenter was also once the president of his local teachers union. This leads me to believe that Option 2 is the truth. This commenter is just a liberal union teacher who was trying to make conservatives look bad by pretending to be one and acting like an imbecile.
That being said, I still believe that the arrest was unwarranted. I realize that in a post-Columbine world that everyone is hypersensitive about any mention of Columbine or school shootings. But this comment was clearly just talk. When I gave the detective the IP address, I assumed that they would find him, chew him out a bit for being an idiot, and leave it alone. The fact that the West Bend Police decided to actually arrest him in the absence of any additional evidence of this guy being a threat is out of line.
I encourage the District Attorneys office to promptly no bill this matter. Yes, we need to be concerned with statements like this and it was appropriate for the police to look into it. But once they found out that he was no threat and once the comment had been removed, thus eliminating the likelihood that the comment would encourage anyone else to commit violence, they should have dropped it.
I guess Ill call those reporters back now
[end of quote from website owner]