Teacher Arrested for Anonymous Blog Comment

MILWAUKEE, Wis. - High-school chemistry teacher James Buss was arrested last week after praising the Columbine High School shooters in an anonymous comment on the Boots and Sabers political blog.


The comment, which Buss made under the name "Observer," was meant be part of a teachers' discussion about salaries in the West Bend area.


"Looking at those teacher-salary numbers in West Bend made me sick: $60,000 for a part-time job where you ‘work' maybe five hours per day and sit in the teachers' lounge and smoke the rest of the time," Buss wrote. "Thank God we won on the referendum. But whining here doesn't stop the problem. We've got to get behind the kids who have had enough of lazy, no-good teachers and are fighting back. Kids like Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, members of the Young Republicans Club at Columbine. They knew how to deal with the overpaid teacher-union thugs: one shot at a time! Too bad the liberals rip them; they were heroes and should be remembered that way."


Blog administrators gave police Buss' IP address, and Buss was arrested at his home in southern Milwaukee. Buss was detained at the Washington County jail for an hour before posting $350 bail.


According to a local report, officials are considering whether to charge Buss with disorderly conduct and unlawful use of computerized communication systems.


Legitimacy of such charges will hinge on whether Buss' "one shot at a time" comment constitutes a threat. The American Civil Liberties Union and others argue that Buss' comments and apparent admiration of the Columbine High School shooters are in poor taste but do not constitute a threat under the First Amendment.