Teacher arrested for pro-Columbine blog post

weakside

He was stupid. I was lucky. I will visit him soon.
Dec 9, 2004
3,871
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California
#1
Wow, be careful what you write from now on...

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/law/12/04/blog.arrest.ap/index.html

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.

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.

The comment disturbed at least one teacher, who called police in West Bend, 40 miles north of Milwaukee and home of the blog's administrator. Police traveled to arrest Buss at his home in Cudahy, south of Milwaukee, last week after the blogger gave them the anonymous poster's IP address.

After his arrest, Buss spent an hour in the Washington County jail before he was released on $350 bail. He did not return phone messages and e-mails seeking comment, and it was unclear whether he had a lawyer.

Washington County District Attorney Todd Martens is considering whether to charge Buss with disorderly conduct and unlawful use of computerized communication systems.

"If you look at all the factors in this case, it's pretty clear it would be a mistake to charge," said Larry Dupuis, legal director of The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin. "At worst, it was somebody expressing admiration for somebody who did something reprehensible. But the more reasonable explanation is this is somebody who is trying to mock the conservative view of teacher salaries."

Police Capt. Toby Netko defended the arrest. He said the teacher who complained was disturbed by the reference to "one shot at a time" and other educators agreed it was a threat.

"What happens when you say 'bomb' in an airport? That's free speech, isn't it?" he said. "And people are taken into custody for that all the time."

Donald Downs, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor and expert in free speech, said that "all sorts of unsavory, controversial speech" are protected by the First Amendment.

"It has to be intended to incite violence" to be illegal, Downs said. "If it's tongue-in-cheek, there's virtually no way they can claim that."

Downs added, however, that the school district might have legal grounds to discipline Buss. The teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave while his school district considers what action to take.

Sara Larsen, superintendent of the Oak Creek school district where Buss has worked since 1994, said she was "dismayed, disappointed and discouraged" by the posting. She had worked closely with Buss when he was president of the teacher's union for three years ending in 2006.

"It's not something that I would have expected any teacher to do. As much as teachers understand the whole situation in Columbine, to reference that is certainly inappropriate," she said. E-mail to a friend .
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
43,052
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#2
my question is how did they track it back to him? hmmmmmmm. patriot act maybe?
 

mikeybot

SPANAKOPITA!!!
Jul 25, 2005
19,318
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philly
#3
To quote Anthony
"Doomed, fucking doomed"
 

mascan42

Registered User
Aug 26, 2002
19,051
5,845
848
Ronkonkoma, Long Island
#4
If you can get arrested for making a tasteless joke on the internet, imagine what they'd make of this place.
 
Jul 13, 2006
12,836
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Arkansas
#5
Fuck the cops and teachers there. The guy said what he said but there were NO threats. Now if he said that's what he wanted to carry out himself then it would be a threat.

People need to fucking lighten up. Is the guy an ass? Maybe, but there is no need to arrest the fella.

It just goes to show you how little a lot of cops know about the Constitution and how little they respect it. They need to think before they fucking act.

Disorderly conduct is a bullshit charge only created to detain people and be cunts by throwing police weight around. It NEVER sticks and it doesn't hold a real fucking charge. It's too fucking abiguous. It means nothing.
 

Fr. Dougal

Registered User
Feb 17, 2004
5,853
0
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#6
I actually admire this guy. Yeah he's dealing with the headache now... but hooooleeeeeeee shit is he gonna make a fortune in the lawsuit. And rightfully so. Speech, no matter how tasteless, is still Free Speech in this country.
 

Vyce

Light-skinned, with no Negro dialect.
Feb 11, 2006
8,171
10
496
Washington D.C.
#7
I work pretty much every day FIGHTING the teachers and the DC public school system.

I wouldn't go so far as to say I'd want to shoot any of them, but I can certainly understand this man's frustration.

The system is filled with individuals who are criminally incompetent and do not give a shit whatsoever about the children they're responsible for. So many of them are basically just stealing a paycheck. I can't even begin to tell you the horror stories.
 

domelogic

Registered User
Feb 16, 2005
12,244
3,204
631
Center Valley, Pa.
#8
forget about free speech for a moment and ask yourself why would someone post something so stupid? tasteless joke or not, i wouldnt want him teaching my kids as he is a loose cannon. being in that profession and knowing what happened why would you even attempt humor using that type of situation

people are really stupid sometimes. that being said he should not be prosecuted in any way. the blogger gave the police his ip address, which it sounded like willingly and that shouldnt be either
 

Stormrider666

Hell is home.
Mar 19, 2005
28,200
2,839
673
Bronx, NY
#9
my question is how did they track it back to him? hmmmmmmm. patriot act maybe?
But remember no American has been arrested through the use of the Patriot Act. I put this story under the category of, have some fucking common sense, before you speak sometimes. Just because you have the right to say something, doesn't mean you have to.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
43,052
9,858
848
#10
ahhhhhh, no American has been prosecuted, trust me plenty have been arrested.
 

Aizazzle

I always have a plan
Jul 27, 2006
5,000
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Philly
#11
Yup the U.S is pretty much doomed as a nation...