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An educator wore a rainbow facemask. Then the bomb threats started.

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A Wisconsin middle school has received multiple bomb threats in the two weeks since Libs of TikTok posted about its out assistant principal.

On March 4, the anti-LGBTQ+ X account run by hate influencer Chaya Raichik published a post about Jeffrey Taege, the assistant principal of Butler Middle School in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The post included a screenshot of Taege’s Facebook page with a photo of Taege and his partner wearing rainbow face masks.

“Acceptance, equality, and inclusion should be cornerstones of our schools,” Taege wrote in the April 2022 Facebook post, above his own screenshot of another post arguing that “the purpose of a public education in a public school is not to teach kids only what parents want them to be taught. It is to teach them what society needs them to know.”

Raichik wrote that Taege “thinks parents shouldn’t have a say in their kids’ education and the community and not the parent is responsible for children’s education.” Her post has been shared over 3,000 times and has received nearly 300,000 views.

On March 8, four days after Raichik’s Libs of TikTok post, Butler Middle School received the first of four bomb threats, Wisconsin Public Radio reported. Three other threats followed on March 11, 12, and 14, one of which mentioned a school shooting as well.

Waukesha Police Lt. Chad Pergande told WPR that all four threats had come from outside the country — three from Nigeria and one from Russia — and were deemed not credible.  

“They are meant to create fear and disrupt our learning environment,” Pergande said.

While Pergande didn’t mention either Libs of TikTok or Taege, he said there may be a correlation between social media posts from a “staff member” and the threats. “This is consistent with similar instances reported across the country,” Pergande said.

Pergande may have been referring to recent reports linking Raichik’s social media posts to real threats directed at the schools, libraries, hospitals, and individuals she has targeted. Media Matters has tracked harassment and threats of violence aimed at at least 39 institutions, events, and individuals after Raichik posted about them via her Libs of TikTok account. Raichik’s posts have also lead to the resignation of multiple educators who have faced harassment due to her online attacks.

Waukesha School District, where Butler Middle School is located, has also gained national media attention in recent years for its anti-LGBTQ+ policies. The district instituted a ban on political signage in school in August 2021, leading to one special education kindergarten teacher being suspended for displaying a Pride flag. The district currently faces a federal lawsuit brought by a teacher who was fired last year after she criticized her school on social media for not allowing kids to sing the Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus song “Rainbowland,” which the district had deemed “controversial.”

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