National

‘Kill Kavanaugh’ tweet lands teacher paid leave and investigation, Minnesota school says

Retired Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, right, administers the Judicial Oath to Judge Brett Kavanaugh in the Justices’ Conference Room of the Supreme Court Building. Ashley Kavanaugh holds the Bible. At left are their daughters, Margaret, background, and Liza. (Fred Schilling/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States via AP)
Retired Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, right, administers the Judicial Oath to Judge Brett Kavanaugh in the Justices’ Conference Room of the Supreme Court Building. Ashley Kavanaugh holds the Bible. At left are their daughters, Margaret, background, and Liza. (Fred Schilling/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States via AP) AP

A Minnesota teacher is on paid administrative leave after a threatening tweet about the newest justice on the Supreme Court, according to the school district.

“So whose [sic] gonna take one for the team and kill Kavanaugh?” the Oct. 6 tweet asked, according to the Star Tribune, which did not identify the teacher because she hasn’t been criminally charged in the incident.

The user’s account has now been suspended, KMSP reports. The instructor involved teaches special education, according to the Star Tribune.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the nation’s highest court over the weekend after a rocky, contentious and lengthy battle over his nomination in the Senate — which included multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh, a marathon hearing into one of those alleged incidents and a supplemental FBI investigation.

Mark A. Zuzek, superintendent of Intermediate School District No. 197, said in a statement Monday morning that the teacher will remain on paid administrative leave “pending the outcome of the investigation.”

Zuzek said the district got a complaint about the teacher over the weekend. He added that because of “the data practices act, we are limited to providing additional information regarding this matter.”

The Dakota County Sheriff’s Office said Monday that it’s aware of the “an incident involving alleged social media use by an employee of a school” in the county. The sheriff’s office also said the FBI is aware and “will follow up as appropriate.”

Menacing social media posts and other threats have cropped up across the country during the debate over Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the California professor who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her while the two were in high school, has been subject to “unending” threats that are “extremely distressing,” her attorney Debra Katz told NBC.

“Her family has been through a lot,” Katz told NBC host Kasie Hunt. “They are not living at home. It’s going to be quite some time before they’re able to live at home. The threats have been unending. It’s deplorable.”

Other threats have targeted members of Congress.

Just last week, a Central Florida man was arrested and accused of threatening to kill Democrats and “weak Republicans” who don’t support Kavanaugh.

That man, 53-year-old James Royal Patrick, Jr., said in Facebook posts that he had a sniper rifle and “plenty of ammo” to carry out the threats, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Patrick told authorities he was only trying to annoy liberals with the incendiary posts, and “thought he could get away with it” because he didn’t single out specific senators, deputies said.

“People need to calm down, and stop making threats of violence — we will not tolerate it,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement announcing the Florida arrest. “Anyone who threatens to kill a public officer or law enforcement officer will go to jail.”

The U.S. Senate confirmed Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Oct. 6 in a 50-48 vote.

Related stories from Belleville News-Democrat

  Comments