A Minnesota teacher who called for the death of Brett Kavanaugh on Twitter has been suspended with pay after the threat was reported to the FBI, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. The unnamed teacher, who goes by the Twitter handle @lookitsSammm, got her fifteen minutes of viral infamy after the minatory tweet on Saturday, according to the Star Tribune.
“So whose (sic) going to take one for the team and kill Kavanaugh?” @lookitsSammm wrote.
As expressing political rage goes, this wasn’t a particularly great idea, particularly when it happened just hours after Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate:
The not-good-idea-iness factor of this whole thing was significantly heightened by the fact that the tweeter was a Rosemount, Minnesota, educator — and there are bigger issues with that than the fact a teacher doesn’t know the difference between “whose” and “who’s.”
“The teacher, listed as an instructor at the Intermediate School District 917’s Alliance Education Center, has since deleted her Twitter account but her tweet was captured and shared by scores of users who said they reported it to the FBI and U.S. Secret Service,” the Star Tribune reported.
As an aside here, I can understand deleting a tweet after it becomes clear you’ve said something cretinous (or possibly illegal). No, it’s not going to stop the whirlwind of problems you’ve invited upon yourself, but I suppose it at least shows some good sense. Deleting your account, however, just makes you look very guilty. For every soi-disant Twitter politics expert who could see themselves typing out something this addle-pated in the future, please keep this in mind when you eventually decide to say something profoundly asinine and/or felonious.
So, back to @lookitsSammm. Mark Zuzek, the superintendent of Intermediate School District 917, acknowledged they’d received a complaint regarding her social media musings and that she was “on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation,” according to a statement on the center’s website.
“Pursuant with the data practices act, we are limited to providing additional information regarding this matter,” Zuzek added in the statement.
In an ideal universe, that “investigation” would consist of this:
Superintendent Zuzek: So, uh, did you tweet this garbage?
@lookitsSammm: That depends on what the definition of “tweet” is.
Superintendent Zuzek: Is there any possible way I can verbalize an ellipsis? No?
@lookitsSammm: [heavy sigh] I have my First Amendment rights, Superintendent Zuzek. I, for one, believe all survivors, and you should, too. I was merely–
Superintendent Zuzek: Good luck with your next job.
My ideal world, alas, is one where teachers unions aren’t 100 percent insane and that clearly isn’t going to exist anytime soon. That being said, one can likely guess that once the wearisome process concludes, it’ll probably conclude with @lookitsSammm @lookingforanewjob.
Of course, our unidentified educator has a bit more to worry about than her employment status. There’s also a law enforcement investigation to consider.
“It is unclear whether the teacher will be charged with a crime or what law enforcement agency is responsible for investigating the tweet,” the Star Tribune noted.
“While Twitter users wrote that they reported the tweet to the FBI and Secret Service, the U.S. Marshals Service is responsible for protecting the federal judiciary. The U.S. Supreme Court also has a small federal police force in Washington, D.C.”
An FBI spokesman for the Minneapolis office said that the bureau was aware of the remarks, the Star Tribune reported. While this could end up resulting in absolutely nothing, I’ve found it’s generally not good to have federal authorities aware of anything you happen to be doing, particularly if it involves encouraging assassination.
Regardless, the federal attention is going to make a harsh lesson in itself. Combined with complications at work, it all just might be enough to teach this teacher something to remember.
Yes, I get that this was supposed to be a joke and that nobody is likely to be goaded into taking a shot at a Supreme Court justice in 280 characters or less, especially from a random Minnesota teacher.
With that in mind, nobody finds jokes about murdering people particularly funny. Much more importantly for @lookitsSammm, that includes both her employer and law enforcement.
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