Why does it have to be a science teacher?

Matt Baish is a terrible person.

He’s “angry” about Greta Thunberg visiting his area, so he “jokes” about not having a sniper rifle. Funny. Hilarious. Except that it’s sad how going right-wing causes atrophy of one’s sense of humor.

Fortunately, he’s been placed on administrative leave, so he won’t be poisoning students’ minds. This still disturbs me:

Baish, who is listed as a science teacher on the Waterloo West High School’s website, was placed on administrative leave after responding to a Facebook post about Thunberg visiting Iowa City this week, a local ABC affiliate reported.

Thunberg’s reputation rests on her fierce support for taking action against climate change; she spoke to congress and told them to listen to the scientists. This bozo so strongly hates that message that he’d make veiled threats against her? How can he be teaching good science?


  1. raven says

    Fortunately, he’s been placed on administrative leave,…

    Well that is a good start I guess.
    This guy is amazingly dumb and tone deaf to mention rifles in the context of…school children.
    One of the common atrocities of our era is school shootings resulting in dozens of dead children.

    Let’s see. Matt Baish doesn’t understand that the USA is sensitive and alert to potential child massacres.
    He is apparently a climate denialist.
    We don’t have any more information but it is quite possible he is also a Trump voter, a fundie xian, and a creationist.
    Ignorance, hate, and fundie xianity are a package deal, after all.

  2. PaulBC says

    It would be no better if he were an English teacher, a social studies teacher, or a gym teacher. Adults who make threats against minors should not be in any position of authority over them. (Adults who make threats against other adults aren’t so great either, but this case is clear cut and I’m relieved he was fired.)

  3. microraptor says

    Administrative leave isn’t being fired. It means he’s temporarily not teaching but still receiving full pay and benefits.

  4. PaulBC says

    @3 Yes. Sorry. I realized that when I reread the OP. I hope he is fired anyway, and banned from any job where he is in charge of kids. (But I’m dreaming for sure.)

  5. sockjockwarlock says

    It keeps getting more & more telling that these men are hiding behind the facade of science to justify their hatred towards activists such as Thunberg, as well as their blatant harassment towards women and wilful ignorance towards other minorities, from within the atheist/skeptic sphere as well as outside. Just because they have “science & reason” on their side doesn’t mean they have the license for being dumbasses.

  6. Erp says

    He’s been a teacher there since the mid-1990s. His high school is the whiter of the two in two but still only just white (60% white, 18% black) in a city that is 77% white. The Catholic school system seems to reflect the racial diversity of the area. The Lutheran school system is very white (but not very big). The county is Democrat but not overwhelmingly so (I suspect a urban/rural divide).

    BTW the nearby (adjacent?) school district has some recent issues also but on LGBT bullying. A middle schooler was bullied and anti-gay slurs where used. A group of parents including a state senator set up a anti-bullying welcome at the school and handed out doughnuts and rainbow stickers; they were approached by an upset and intimidating parent (who was also a cop). The school then stated it had approved the doughnuts but not the rainbow stickers; it later backtracked and said it had approved the stickers but didn’t expect them to be handed to the students. https://wcfcourier.com/news/local/education/c-f-s-peet-junior-high-kindness-event-turns-controversial/article_fac12a44-aea2-57d9-8ac6-888fa0e5bd8e.html

  7. kome says

    If a student had made a joke in the same vein, I’m pretty sure the student would have been arrested instead of whatever the student equivalent of “administrative leave” is. Goddamn, grown ass conservative white men get all the breaks.

  8. blf says

    I presume he taught facts, trivia, and tidbits (hopefully all essentially correct), rather than method and critical analysis. Sometimes, trivia et al., is confused for being “science”.

    The mildly deranged penguin suggests he was teaching bullshiteistics.

  9. jrkrideau says

    This bozo so strongly hates that message that he’d make veiled threats against her?

    I don’t know the age or race of the teacher but his reaction sounds like the reaction of a lot of middle age or older white males whose vitriolic attacks on Greta Thunberg seem to be a mixture of misogyny, indignation that a little girl would dare question them, and some climate denial.

    The viciousness of some of the attacks that I have read is amazing and compounded by the fact that most of the old crocks do not seem to have actually seen, heard, or read anything that she actually has said. She is shaming a lot of these old characters they are reacting wildly, flailing about, making any kind of nasty accusation they can think of.

    I was reading some posts on a another blog and it seems like every second or third contributor was claiming that she was mentally ill or worried that she had had mental problems. This seems to contribute to the general level of ignorance since as far as I can see she has Asperger’s Syndrome, not a mental illness.

  10. azpaul3 says

    To a child? Are you kidding?
    Not just inappropriate and disgusting but evil.
    If not fired then the entire school board needs to be recalled.

  11. raven says

    Report: FBI Seized Guns From Ex-Marine Who Allegedly Vowed To ‘Slaughter’ Antifa
    HuffPost Mary Papenfuss , HuffPost•August 30, 2019

    Some of us are getting tired of these endless mass murder shootings.
    A few states now have Red Flag laws that allow law enforcement to seize guns from people making death threats.
    A guy in Oregon threatened to kill a bunch of people and the FBI took away his guns.
    He is dimwitted enough that he is still trying to figure out what happened.

    I doubt Iowa has any such law.
    If they did, Matt Baish would be threatening people with his broom stick after the FBI raided his house.

  12. numerobis says

    jrkrideau: lots is made of her diagnosis of aspergers, but has anyone looked into her debilitating condition of swedishness?

    I read all this speculation of what made her be who she is as in large part an attempt to divorce her accomplishments from her own responsibility, so that she’s a mere pawn.

    Greta had the guts to protest. Greta had the charisma to build a following. Greta had the media savvy to spread her message beyond personal contact. Greta had the political ability to build alliances and to choose the right key supporters to advance her cause.

    Greta, not Asperger, did this.

  13. blf says

    From about a month ago, Greta Thunberg responds to Asperger’s critics: ‘It’s a superpower’:

    Teenage climate activist responds to criticism, saying ‘when haters go after your looks and differences … you know you’re winning’


    She said she had not been open about her diagnosis of being on the autism spectrum in order to “hide” behind it, but because she knew “many ignorant people still see it as an ‘illness’, or something negative”.


    Tony Attwood, a world authority on Asperger’s, has said people diagnosed are “usually renowned for being direct, speaking their mind and being honest and determined and having a strong sense of social justice”.

    […] She has acknowledged that her passion for her climate crisis work was partly down to viewing the world in stark terms.


    From the embedded link above, Greta Thunberg teaches us about autism as much as climate change (my added emboldening):

    Greta Thunberg is an impressive individual. […] There is a glorious simplicity to her arguments that makes them hard to refute. What, she asked, was the point of pupils like her learning anything if politicians ignored the glaring facts on climate change? So she sat down outside the Swedish parliament with a hand-painted banner declaring a school strike — and eight months later, is a global icon who has helped to fire up a resurgent green movement.

    “Being different is a gift,” she told Nick Robinson when interviewed on [UK] Radio 4’s Today programme. “It makes me see things from outside the box. I don’t easily fall for lies, I can see through things. If I would’ve been like everyone else, I wouldn’t have started this school strike for instance.”

    She admitted her passion was partly down to viewing the world in stark terms. The result of her simplistic approach, fuelled by her condition, is that she has presented this issue with more clarity and competence than almost any adult activist or politician in recent years. And there is something rather beautiful in hearing this teenager demonstrate by her actions how society is stronger when it embraces difference — a message that seems so pertinent to our troubled age. Indeed, this aspect of her stance as a now-public figure on the autism spectrum is arguably as important as her bold stand on climate change, given many prevailing attitudes.


  14. unclefrogy says

    making any kind of nasty accusation they can think of.

    instead of actually addressing climate change or any of the substance of her criticism
    uncle frogy

  15. anchor says

    His first calling and essential identity is as an asshole. Anything else he does or happens to do for a living is entirely secondary and incidental.

  16. says

    It’s amazing how wound up some people get when you tell them to listen to scientists because their work is accurate, reproduce-able and tends to get born out by the evidence. But then you get those on the Christian Right saying that people should not listen to scientists because their work contradicts a 2000 year old religious text that was never intended for use in science, provides no verifiable information and makes no predictions that can be verified until it’s far too late to do anything about them, if they’re correct, but can never be shown as wrong since no one can know when the will come true.

  17. jack16 says

    It should be remarked that the “bibles, King James, etc ” are compendiums created by scholars who do a lot of guessing and frequently disagree.


  18. brain says

    @1 raven:

    Let’s see. Matt Baish doesn’t understand that the USA is sensitive and alert to potential child massacres.

    USA is so sensitive and alert that allows anybody to buy war weapons as we buy spaghetti.

    In Italy such a remark would have been taken much less seriously: not because it’s a sensible thing to say, but because we are preytty sure that if someone says such a stupid thing, he does not actually owns a fucking sniper rifle.

  19. Phrenomythic Productions says

    My daughter is approximately the same age as Greta, has a similar diagnosis and the same challenges/talents, and wonderful in so many ways too. So all those angry attacks, mostly from white male morons, regularly make my blood boil. I regularly shut down social media and the news for my own peace of mind. The good news is that she and those who share her goals, will eventually win, by the looks of it. She’s being tremendously successful and effective and that’s why they’re so angry.

    Fear her, fellows. Your days are soon gone.