A Tennessee public school district is investigating after a physical education teacher allegedly said on social media that a teen girl who punched a man in the face who was wearing a President Donald Trump costume "should have shot" the victim, the Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle reported.
What's the background?
The man who was struck went to the teen and asked her why she punched him. He then asked a fairgrounds worker to contact law enforcement. A deputy then filed a report after speaking to the girl and her parents. She was also kicked out of the fairgrounds, according to one report.
What happened in this new twist?
Seems the story became a topic of conversation on Facebook after the original poster stated, "I hope she gets slammed for it. These kids think they can do anything with no consequences for their actions," WZTV-TV reported.
Then a comment attributed to Byrns Darden Elementary School teacher David Mosley read, "She should have shot em," the Leaf-Chronicle reported.
That ignited an online argument with Facebook user Kirk Strieter, who emailed screenshots of the conversation to members of the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System School Board with concerns of a "disturbing encounter with one of your educators," the paper said.
"As a teacher he needs to hold himself to a higher standard. My concern, and the concern expressed to me by friends of mine with children in the district, is this, if he is on Facebook advocating deadly violence against a person that simply dressed like the President for Halloween, what exactly is he saying to his students when no one is around?" Strieter asked, according to WZTV.
Mosley's Facebook profile indicated his occupation as a CMCSS physical education teacher — that is, until the day after the comments allegedly were made, the Leaf-Chronicle said, adding that his occupation field was not listed Wednesday, and by Thursday his Facebook account appeared to be hidden or deleted.
Mosley did not return messages seeking comment, the paper said.
'If you identify yourself as a school system employee, then in fact you are somewhat speaking for the school district'
The alleged comments were being reviewed last week by the district's human resources department, the Leaf-Chronicle noted.
District spokeswoman Elise Shelton declined to comment on the specific situation since it's still being reviewed, she did tell the paper that district employees are responsible for online content.
"We have a social media policy in place for a purpose not to infringe upon freedom of speech, but to be appropriate and respectful," Shelton told the Leaf-Chronicle, adding that "if you identify yourself as a school system employee, then in fact you are somewhat speaking for the school district."