Iowa teacher suspended for posting a threatening 'sniper rifle' comment about Greta Thunberg's visit
The Waterloo West High School teacher, identified as Matt Baish, left his controversial comment on an article shared from Little Village Magazine about the 16-year-old's surprise visit to the region.
A school teacher from Iowa has reportedly been "placed on leave" for writing "don't have my sniper rifle" on Facebook in response to a report about climate change activist Greta Thunberg's visit to the state. The Waterloo West High School teacher, identified as Matt Baish, left his controversial comment last Thursday on an article shared from Little Village Magazine about the 16-year-old's surprise visit to the region.
Although Baish's comment was soon deleted along with his profile from Facebook, many users who were left shocked by the comment took screenshots of it and shared on social media expressing their outrage. Reports state that the screenshots were posted onto the Waterloo Community School District Facebook page, which eventually saw the chemistry teacher being suspended from school a day later.
Shortly after Baish's suspension, teachers and students at Waterloo West received an email statement informing them about the incident. "We are aware of a social media situation involving one of our employees," the statement read, according to the Des Moines Register. "The nature of the content shared rose to the level of putting this employee on administrative leave pending an investigation. We appreciate your patience as we sort through the details and thank you for respecting the process."
Waterloo Police Lt. Kye Richter, also released a statement, saying that the department officials are also investigating the incident.
The 16-year-old Swedish climate activist made a surprise appearance to Iowa City on Friday afternoon and addressed a climate strike march attended by nearly 3,000 demonstrators. The teenager drew national attention last month after she slammed international leaders at the United Nations in New York for their inaction against climate change.
Thunberg, at the UN conference, told world leaders: "This is all wrong. I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words."
Thunberg, who was in Canada earlier last week, is now visiting American Indian reservations in the Dakotas to talk about oil pipelines, reports state.
Thunberg, who rose to popularity through her weekly Friday protest outside the Swedish parliament a year ago, inspired millions of people across the world take to the streets in an effort to demand an emergency action on climate change from their governments.