Teacher on leave for ‘sniper rifle’ Facebook post about Greta Thunberg

Iowa teacher is ‘placed on leave’ for writing ‘Don’t have my sniper rifle’ on Facebook in response to a visit from eco-activist Greta Thunberg

  • Iowa science teacher who joked about a sniper has been suspended from school 
  • Matt Baish made the comment in response to a post about Greta visiting his area 
  • Statement released to parents & students saying incident is being investigated 
  • The Swedish activist is visiting the American Indian reservations in the Dakotas
  • She met with native American activist Tokata Iron Eyes to discuss oil pipelines 

A teacher has been ‘placed on leave’ in Iowa for writing ‘Don’t have my sniper rifle’ on Facebook in response to a visit from eco-activist Greta Thunberg. 

Waterloo West High School since teacher Matt Baish has been put on administrative leave after appearing to joke about the sniper after learning the Swedish teenager was visiting his area.  

The comment was left last Thursday on an article shared from Little Village Magazine about Greta making a surprise appearance in Iowa City the following day, with the caption ‘Who’s all going?’  

Waterloo West High School teacher Matt Baish has been put on administrative leave after appearing to joke about a sniper rifle after learning the Swedish activist was visiting his area

Climate change teen activist Greta Thunberg joins a climate strike march in Iowa City on Friday, October 4

It has since been deleted, and it appears Baish’s profile has also been deleted from Facebook. Other Facebook users were left shocked by the comment and took screenshots.  

The screenshots were posted onto the Waterloo Community School District Facebook page and led to the chemistry teacher being suspended a day later. 

According to the Des Moines Register, teachers and students at Waterloo West have since received an emailed statement about the incident. 

‘We are aware of a social media situation involving one of our employees,’ the statement said. 

‘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.’ 

Police are also investigating the incident, according to Waterloo Police Lt. Kye Richter. 

Greta made a surprise visit to Iowa City and spoke at a 3,000-strong climate strike march on Friday afternoon.

The Swedish climate change activist, who garnered international attention when she scolded world leaders at the United Nations, is now visiting American Indian reservations in the Dakotas to talk about oil pipelines. 

Activist Greta Thunberg (left) joins Red Cloud Indian School student and activist Tokata Iron Eyes (right) at a youth panel in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, on Sunday, above and below 

Tokata (left) was involved in the 2016 protest against the now-completed Dakota Access Pipeline. Speaking in a packed high school gymnasium, Tokata said: ‘We know what we need as individuals and we know what makes us happy, what makes us healthy. And the fact that we can recognize that and deny that to the people around us by being complacent is really a strange phenomenon’


The Lakota People’s Law Project says Thunberg is concerned about the proposed path of the Keystone XL pipeline through South Dakota, as well as plans to double oil flowing through the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota. Thunberg traveled to the United States in August on a sailboat to promote her climate change campaign

She met with native American activist Tokata Iron Eyes during a youth panel discussion in South Dakota on Sunday.  

Greta attended the panel discussion at the Red Cloud Indian School Field House on the Pine Ridge Reservation, where she spoke alongside Red Cloud Indian School student Tokata. 

Tokata was involved in the 2016 protest against the now-completed Dakota Access Pipeline. She had previously spoken with Greta at an Amnesty International event at George Washington University.

Speaking in a packed high school gymnasium to a crowd of around 200 people, Tokata said:  ‘We know what we need as individuals and we know what makes us happy, what makes us healthy. 

Greta attended the panel discussion at a high school on the Pine Ridge Reservation, where she spoke alongside Red Cloud Indian School student Tokata

A crowd of around 200 people turned out to the high school gymnasium to listen to young activists speak at a youth panel in Pine Ridge 

‘And the fact that we can recognize that and deny that to the people around us by being complacent is really a strange phenomenon.’

The young native American added: ‘We are at the edge of a cliff in regards to our timeline to save this planet and the indigenous people will be the ones to lead the movement off of the edge.’ 

A similar event is planned Tuesday morning on the North Dakota side of the Standing Rock Reservation. 

The Lakota People’s Law Project says Thunberg is concerned about the proposed path of the Keystone XL pipeline through South Dakota, as well as plans to double oil flowing through the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota.

Thunberg traveled to the United States in August on a sailboat to promote her climate change campaign.

 

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