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Utah teacher under investigation by school district for a tweet wishing death on GOP Senators

Feb 25, 2021, 6:03 PM

PAROWAN, Utah– An Iron County high school teacher is being investigated by the school district for a tweet that appears to wish death upon Republican Senators. 

The tweet posted by Brian Townsend, a humanities teacher at Parowan High School on Feb. 13, stated, “I only hope the next time a President incites a riot at the capitol, more Republican Senators are killed.”

This screenshot shows a Feb. 13 tweet, which appears to be posted to Parowan High School humanities teacher Brian Townsend’s page. (KSL-TV)

When a former student of Townsend’s came across the tweet, Brandon Harris said he was angry. “I really was genuinely surprised,” Harris told KSL. “I was just appalled at how a teacher could say that because he knows he is an influence on all the younger generation.”

Harris responded to his humanities teacher with “I’m coming for your job.” The tweet later became Townsend’s banner photo on his Twitter account. 

In disapproval of the teacher’s tweets, Harris said he is writing a letter to the school board asking for Townsend to be fired or be reprimanded. 

KSL reached out to Townsend but has not heard back. 

Iron County School District responds to teacher tweet

In reaction to Townsend’s tweet, the Iron County School District offered this response Wednesday:

“We’ve only recently become aware of these tweets. In light of the impact on the educational process and on Iron County School District, we are reviewing with legal counsel our appropriate response and we are investigating the matter. His statements do not represent a statement or the opinions of the Iron County School District. In fact, the school district ensures that where it may be a matter of free speech we are very serious about protecting free speech. However, all matters that affect the educational system adversely are not protected and above all we want to make sure that the educational process and the education for our students is protected.”

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Utah teacher under investigation by school district for a tweet wishing death on GOP Senators