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Old 12-05-2007, 05:11 PM   #1
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Free speech or Crime?

Wis. Teacher Arrested for Blog Comment

By RYAN J. FOLEY – 1 day ago

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Bloggers and free speech advocates are calling on prosecutors not to file charges against a teacher arrested for allegedly posting an anonymous comment online praising the Columbine shooters.

Some were disturbed by the post police say James Buss left on a conservative blog, but other observers said it was a sarcastic attempt to discredit critics of education spending.

The suburban Milwaukee high school chemistry teacher was arrested last week for the Nov. 16 comment left on http://www.bootsandsabers.com, a blog on Wisconsin politics. The comment, left under the name "Observer," came during a discussion over teacher salaries after some commenters complained teachers were underworked and overpaid.

Buss, a former president of the teacher's union, allegedly wrote that teacher salaries made him sick because they are lazy and work only five hours a day. He praised the teen gunmen who killed 12 students and a teacher before committing suicide in the April 1999 attack at Columbine High School.

"They knew how to deal with the overpaid teacher union thugs. One shot at a time!" he wrote, adding they should be remembered as heroes.

The comment disturbed at least one teacher, who called police in West Bend, 40 miles north of Milwaukee and home of the blog's administrator. Police traveled to arrest Buss at his home in Cudahy, south of Milwaukee, last week after the blogger gave them the anonymous poster's IP address.

After his arrest, Buss spent an hour in the Washington County jail before he was released on $350 bail. He did not return phone messages and e-mails seeking comment, and it was unclear whether he had a lawyer.

Washington County District Attorney Todd Martens is considering whether to charge Buss with disorderly conduct and unlawful use of computerized communication systems.

"If you look at all the factors in this case, it's pretty clear it would be a mistake to charge," said Larry Dupuis, legal director of The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin. "At worst, it was somebody expressing admiration for somebody who did something reprehensible. But the more reasonable explanation is this is somebody who is trying to mock the conservative view of teacher salaries."

Police Capt. Toby Netko defended the arrest. He said the teacher who complained was disturbed by the reference to "one shot at a time" and other educators agreed it was a threat.

"What happens when you say bomb in an airport? That's free speech, isn't it?" he said. "And people are taken into custody for that all the time."

Donald Downs, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor and expert in free speech, said that "all sorts of unsavory, controversial speech" are protected by the First Amendment.

"It has to be intended to incite violence" to be illegal, Downs said. "If it's tongue-in-cheek, there's virtually no way they can claim that."

Downs added, however, that the school district might have legal grounds to discipline Buss. The teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave while his school district considers what action to take.

Sara Larsen, superintendent of the Oak Creek school district where Buss has worked since 1994, said she was "dismayed, disappointed and discouraged" by the posting. She had worked closely with Buss when he was president of the teacher's union for three years ending in 2006.

"It's not something that I would have expected any teacher to do. As much as teachers understand the whole situation in Columbine, to reference that is certainly inappropriate," she said.

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Old 12-05-2007, 05:13 PM   #2
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Thoughts? Was this a crime or is this individual protected by his first amendment rights?


...though I disagree with what was said, I think he IS entitled to it-Free speech
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indifferent0028"They've created a nation of spenders, speculators, and consumers, and they've destroyed the savers, producers, and the investing class that built this country. We're moving from a market-based economy to essentially a planned economy. We're abandoning capitalism and embracing socialism. That's a recipe for disaster." - Peter Schiff

Last edited by CaJuNsOuLjA; 12-05-2007 at 05:16 PM. Reason: adding a necessary grammatical item
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Old 12-05-2007, 05:14 PM   #3
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I think he was wrong for saying what he did. The world is too sensitive these days, but there is no way in he should be arrested for that. I think that was overboard in my opinion.
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Old 12-05-2007, 05:29 PM   #4
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i think it was wrong for him to get arrested...people say stupid chit all the time but you don't see them getting arrested.
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Old 12-05-2007, 05:40 PM   #5
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That's complete bullshit, let him go and pay him for wasting his time.
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Old 12-05-2007, 05:46 PM   #6
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Yeah, NOT a crime but an insensitive, stupid thing to say. I say no jail time but he should be kicked in the nads for being a dumass.
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Old 12-05-2007, 05:52 PM   #7
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Yeah, NOT a crime but an insensitive, stupid thing to say. I say no jail time but he should be kicked in the nads for being a dumass.
Agreed...perhaps even multiple times....
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Old 12-05-2007, 07:03 PM   #8
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if i were him id file a lawsuit and shove it right up that cops . he made no terroristic threats of any kind, only stated an opinion (albeit a very, VERY bad one) and is protected under the constitution.
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Old 12-05-2007, 07:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Agreed...perhaps even multiple times....
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Old 12-05-2007, 10:30 PM   #10
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i find it hard to believe they actually tracked him down and arrested him for saying that. i've said at least a million times more ****ed up than that on the internet. free speech ftw
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Old 12-05-2007, 11:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
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i find it hard to believe they actually tracked him down and arrested him for saying that. i've said at least a million times more ****ed up than that on the internet. free speech ftw

i believe it. ive said way more ****ed up things as well, but nobody ever called the police on us tho. even if they did, houston pd would be like "and?".
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Old 12-06-2007, 03:56 AM   #12
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Free speech. Whoever made the decision to arrest him should be fired.
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Old 12-06-2007, 09:02 AM   #13
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The statement that i would be concerned about is this.
"They knew how to deal with the overpaid teacher union thugs. One shot at a time!" and for that I agree with them taking him in and questioning. Is is a thin line? Yes, but id rather be safe knowing this guy didnt have a stock pile waiting to go to a school one morning and kill teachers
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Old 12-06-2007, 10:20 AM   #14
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The statement that i would be concerned about is this.
"They knew how to deal with the overpaid teacher union thugs. One shot at a time!" and for that I agree with them taking him in and questioning. Is is a thin line? Yes, but id rather be safe knowing this guy didnt have a stock pile waiting to go to a school one morning and kill teachers
Its ok, where I went to school all the teachers were too old to be working anymore anyway. They were so grouchy from working for 50 they needed a house cleaning. Ok ok, i'm kidding.......please don't call the cops.
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Old 12-06-2007, 10:35 AM   #15
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I am beginning to believe that freedom of speech is not so free since we get censored all the time and punished for having an opinion.
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Old 12-06-2007, 11:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherub View Post
The statement that i would be concerned about is this.
"They knew how to deal with the overpaid teacher union thugs. One shot at a time!" and for that I agree with them taking him in and questioning. Is is a thin line? Yes, but id rather be safe knowing this guy didnt have a stock pile waiting to go to a school one morning and kill teachers
Even given the aforementioned statement/text, I don't see the justification. I see what you are saying, but disagree with the legality/constitutionality of apprehending him based on the nature of the statement. He was speaking in past tense about an event which occurred in the past. How is it that such a statement can be twisted into a perceived valid potential threat or danger? As far as the stock pile he may or may not have had, he could very well be a legal carrier (CHL), in which case he would be fully within the confines of the law and legality doing nothing more than making an insensitive, stupid statement. Nothing illegal.
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Old 12-06-2007, 11:48 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Yeah, NOT a crime but an insensitive, stupid thing to say. I say no jail time but he should be kicked in the nads for being a dumass.
Agreed
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Old 12-06-2007, 11:50 AM   #18
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Oh this is a crime alright, a huge ****ing crime. And they should arrest the cops for arresting someone for this. Seriously, is this the middle east now? Should we hang him too?! He was insensitive and may have offended someone, so he should be arrested?!?! What the **** is going on here?!?! This me off...makes me sick as .

Smell that? That's *****, and it's running rampant in America!
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Old 12-06-2007, 11:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jus10 View Post
Oh this is a crime alright, a huge ****ing crime. And they should arrest the cops for arresting someone for this. Seriously, is this the middle east now? Should we hang him too?! He was insensitive and may have offended someone, so he should be arrested?!?! What the **** is going on here?!?! This me off...makes me sick as .

Smell that? That's *****, and it's running rampant in America!
Amen

Why TEH **** are people so sensitive now that people are fired, arrested or otherwise vilified for making stupid comments? IT'S A GROUP OF WORDS...get over the shyt...

(Yes that is a direct allusion to what happened to Imus, this guy and other folks that this has happened to respectively)
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Old 12-06-2007, 12:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaJuNsOuLjA View Post
Even given the aforementioned statement/text, I don't see the justification. I see what you are saying, but disagree with the legality/constitutionality of apprehending him based on the nature of the statement. He was speaking in past tense about an event which occurred in the past. How is it that such a statement can be twisted into a perceived valid potential threat or danger? As far as the stock pile he may or may not have had, he could very well be a legal carrier (CHL), in which case he would be fully within the confines of the law and legality doing nothing more than making an insensitive, stupid statement. Nothing illegal.
+1


Quote:
Originally Posted by jus10 View Post
Oh this is a crime alright, a huge ****ing crime. And they should arrest the cops for arresting someone for this. Seriously, is this the middle east now? Should we hang him too?! He was insensitive and may have offended someone, so he should be arrested?!?! What the **** is going on here?!?! This me off...makes me sick as .

Smell that? That's *****, and it's running rampant in America!

+1
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