Teacher placed on leave after posting threatening comment about Greta Thunberg's visit

An Iowan teacher has beed placed on administrative leave after he allegedly posted a threatening comment on Facebook in regards to climate change activist Greta Thunberg, the Des Moines Register reports. 

Matt Baish, a science teacher at West High School in Waterloo, was placed on leave last Friday after he purportedly posted "Don't have my sniper rifle" on an article shared from Little Village Magazine about Thunberg the day before. Though the comment was later deleted, a screenshot of it was shared on the Waterloo Community School District Facebook page, sparking outrage from fellow users. 

"How is this man a science teacher if he is not believing world renowned scientists and the science community that climate change is real?" one person wrote. "How is this man allowed to continue to be a teacher at all if he is threatening to shoot a child?? He needs to have his teaching certificate revoked and he needs to find another job field entirely.. one that does not involve him being directly responsible for other's lives, especially children!! And IF he has guns perhaps they should review his permits."

According to a statement from Waterloo Schools director of school and community relations Tara Thomas, teachers and students at West learned about Baish's comment the day he was put on leave. 

"We are aware of a social media situation involving one of our employees," Thomas 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."

Thunberg, 16, rose to prominence two weeks ago when she blasted world leaders for failing to act on climate change in an emotional speech at the United Nations.

"This is all wrong," she told them. "I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean, yet you come to us young people for hope. How dare you."

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Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg
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Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg
Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg greeted as star at Montreal march
Swedish activist and student Greta Thunberg walks off the stage after addressing the Climate Strike in Montreal, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
Climate change teen activist Greta Thunberg signs a book as she receives the key to the city from Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante after a climate strike march in Montreal, Quebec, Canada September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Andrej Ivanov
Swedish environmental teen activist Greta Thunberg speaks after the climate strike march in Montreal, Quebec, Canada September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Andrej Ivanov
Environmental activist Greta Thunberg, of Sweden, addresses the Climate Action Summit in the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, right, shakes hands with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, during the Youth Climate Summit at United Nations headquarters, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
Youth climate change activist Greta Thunberg, left, speaks at a House Foreign Affairs Committee subcommittee hearing on climate change Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, center, who has called on world leaders to step up their efforts against global warming, applauds remarks by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., chairman of the Senate Climate Change Task Force, at a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Swedish youth climate activist Greta Thunberg, center, marches with other young climate activists for a climate strike outside the White House in Washington, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg arrives outside the United Nations to participate in a demonstration, Friday, Sept. 6, 2019 in New York. She is to speak at the U.N. Climate Change Summit on Sept. 23. She'll join world leaders who will present plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, left, meets with U.N. General Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa Garces, Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 at United Nations headquarters. Thunberg is scheduled to address the United Nations Climate Action Summit on September 23. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Climate activists hold a sit-down with peace sign gestures during a climate strike outside the United Nations, Friday Aug. 30, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg participates in a Youth Climate Strike outside the United Nations, Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 in New York. Thunberg is scheduled to address the United Nations Climate Action Summit on September 23. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, sails in New York harbor aboard the Malizia II, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. The zero-emissions yacht left Plymouth, England on Aug. 14. She is scheduled to address the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, speaks in front of a crowd of people after sailing in New York harbor aboard the Malizia II, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. The zero-emissions yacht left Plymouth, England on Aug. 14. She is scheduled to address the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, sails into New York harbor aboard the Malizia II, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. The zero-emissions yacht left Plymouth, England on Aug. 14. She is scheduled to address the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Swedish 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg sails underneath the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge on the Malizia II racing yacht in New York Harbor as she nears the completion of her trans-Atlantic crossing in order to attend a United Nations summit on climate change in New York, U.S., August 28, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar
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The Swedish teenager was one of 16 children who filed a legal complaint with the United Nations against Brazil, France, Germany, Argentina and Turkey for not doing enough to tackle climate change. Last Friday, she joined over 3,000 other activists in demanding Iowa City and the University of Iowa achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.

"We teenagers and children shouldn't have to take the responsibility, but right now the world leaders keep acting like children and someone needs to be the adult in the room," she told the crowd. "The world is waking up. We are the change and change is coming whether they like it or not."

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