Washington Father Investigated After Posting Facebook Comment Calling For Someone To Massacre Opposing School After Close Basketball Game

The-Facebook-message-from-a-Skyline-father-that-started-a-police-investigation-Facebook-via-KATUWe have previously seen parents who appear less mature than their children in responding to sporting events. We would have to add a father of a student with Vancouver (Wash.) Skyview High basketball team who responded to a contentious game with a call for someone to massacre students at Camas (Wash.) High. There are calls for criminal charges and the father, who has not yet been identified, is barred from the school grounds.

Skyview High School beat Camas 44-42. However, that was not enough for the father who went to Facebook to post the following statement: “Camas fans!!!!! Worst in the league!!!!! I hope someone shoots up their school real soon!!!!!!!!”

Parents were understandably a bit peeved at the suggestion of a massacre to address a basketball disagreement. Camas police have launched an investigation.

The man later reportedly sent a message downplaying the comment and, while I find the comment uniquely stupid and reprehensible, I do not believe it should be treated as a criminal matter. What do you think?

Source: ESPN

27 thoughts on “Washington Father Investigated After Posting Facebook Comment Calling For Someone To Massacre Opposing School After Close Basketball Game”

  1. You know guys like this dad are more to be pitied than detested. No rational person makes this kind of comment. Likely he was upset by some actions of fans like himself who believe that loyalty equals acting like an ass to an opponent. I wouldn’t charge this guy with anything. But it is too bad there’s not a civil sanction available for outrageous–but not criminal — conduct. If there were, I’d make him go to Camas High School and meet the kids and teachers whose death he called for in the tweet. Let’s see how tough a guy he is when a call for violence has a face attached to it.

  2. This would never survive scrutiny of the courts in a criminal matter in WA.

    Washington does not have an incitement to violence law. (But there is an old law still on the books relating to advocating “Criminal Anarchy” which is not applicable here)

    The only state law that would be possible to look into from a reasonable suspicion point of view is Harassment

    RCW 9A.46.020

    Definition — Penalties.

    (1) A person is guilty of harassment if:

    (a) Without lawful authority, the person knowingly threatens:

    (i) To cause bodily injury immediately or in the future to the person threatened or to any other person; or

    (ii) To cause physical damage to the property of a person other than the actor; or

    (iii) To subject the person threatened or any other person to physical confinement or restraint; or

    (iv) Maliciously to do any other act which is intended to substantially harm the person threatened or another with respect to his or her physical or mental health or safety; and

    (b) The person by words or conduct places the person threatened in reasonable fear that the threat will be carried out. “Words or conduct” includes, in addition to any other form of communication or conduct, the sending of an electronic communication.

    Case law in Washington puts considerable emphasis on “Reasonable Fear that the threat would be carried out.” and just saying “I hope you die” without any other evidence of harassment is not enought to trigger a violation of the law. (The courts do not consider that statement alone to be a threat and in fact they consider that to be free speech for better or worse.)

    As for the investigation by the police, I can see them looking into this to make sure that it was just some fool blowing off steam and getting carried away with his words. There is a remote, and I mean more academic than practical, possibility this was just the tip of a real intent to cause harm to the students. But then again it could just be window dressing to give the appearance that the gov’t is doing something about it for PR and CYA purposes.

  3. CHICAGO (CBS) — A school shooting drill planned for tomorrow in the far northwestern suburbs has many parents upset.

    According to a letter from Cary-Grove High School principal Jay Sargeant, there will be a code red drill at the school on Wednesday.

    It will include somebody shooting blanks from a gun in the hallway “in an effort to provide our teachers and students some familiarity with the sound of gunfire.”

    Parent Kassy Pinter says: “It’s probably necessary to have the ‘code red’ drill but not really necessary to shoot the blanks in the hallway.”

    Read more: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/01/29/cary-grove-drill-to-include-shooting-blanks-in-hallways/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

  4. The stupidity of that father posting what he did would be dwarfed by the stupidity of any system that would prosecute him for it.

    In the UK a while back there was a famous outbrak of legal stupidity – “THe Twitter Joke Trial”
    A guy teeted what any reasonable person would interpret of nonsense about blowing up an airport because it was closed by snow.
    .
    He was prosecuted under section 127(1) of the Communications Act 2003, which prohibits sending “by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character”.
    He was convicted.
    It took a number of appeals over 2.5 years before sanity prevailed.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2012/jul/27/twitter-joke-trial-high-court

  5. Another “law abiding citizen”? Any firearms in his possession should be confiscated. He’s obviously mentally unstable, and considering violence. Mandatory psychiatric evaluation.

    Imagine, if you will, the questions that would be asked, if this guy later shot up a school. For example, “He mentioned shooting up a school. Why didn’t anyone do anything?”

  6. I think if they are going to treat students like criminals, they should treat parents who act like children the same. How else will we expect our children to learn?

  7. leejcaroll,

    Technically probably sufficient to bring a charge, but it would probably fail on the merits as incitement has a mens rea component. Absent other proof, the defense would probably argue that the statement was a bad joke and no intent to incite was present.

  8. If stupid were against the law, the only noise in Washington would be crickets.

    Oh, you meant Washington State. Never mind.

  9. If anyone needs an example of our gun crazed culture, this is it. While one could argue he was referring to shooting baskets, I for one believe that’s a argument but not really likely what he meant. I fear for his children and the kind of atmosphere in the house.

    Should he be arrested, probably not but you can certainly understand why some parents would argue that this is pretty close to incitement. We live in a scary country when a Father? Thinks that his is appropriate. His wife should take his Internet access away just like one would do with a misbehaving child.

  10. If a kid had done it they would most probably be expelled from school.
    Reading it had I not known it was from an adult I would have assumed a child in thier early teens, if that.

  11. Lets see stupid comments gets one banned….. Agreed that its in poor taste….. But don’t people throw the ball, shoot for the basket….. Could that be what he meant…..not criminal in my mind…..

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