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A High School Teacher Who Made A "Sniper Rifle" Facebook Comment About Greta Thunberg Has Resigned

Matt Baish, a chemistry teacher, was put on administrative leave after he wrote a threatening Facebook comment about the teenage climate activist's rally in Iowa.

Posted on October 11, 2019, at 1:54 p.m. ET

Daniel Acker / Reuters

An Iowa high school teacher who made a threatening Facebook comment about teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg's rally in Iowa City last week resigned on Friday, the school district said.

Matt Baish, a chemistry teacher at West High School in Waterloo, had been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the school district. He wrote on Facebook that he would not be attending 16-year-old Thunberg's rally in Iowa City because he didn't "have [his] sniper rifle."

A spokesperson for the Waterloo Community School District told BuzzFeed News on Friday that Baish had resigned, effective immediately.

Baish did not respond to a request for comment.

"West High School and the District are working to ensure classroom instruction continues for courses impacted by the departure," the spokesperson said.

Baish made the comment in response to a Facebook post from Mason Severson, a former student of his. Severson shared a news story about Thunberg's climate strike rally in Iowa City, writing, "Who's all going?"

In his now-deleted Facebook comment, Baish wrote, "Dont have my sniper rifle."


His comment sparked outrage from several community members and parents. They pointed out that the teacher was threatening violence against someone who is the same age as some of his students.

Thunberg has been frequently attacked by right-wing personalities, including President Trump, after she accused world leaders of failing her generation in a powerful and damning speech at the UN Climate Action Summit.

A Fox News guest called Thunberg "a mentally ill Swedish child," a comment for which the network later apologized. Trump mocked her fiery UN speech about the dangers of climate change by tweeting that she seemed "like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future."

She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.