Education

After Greta Thunberg 'sniper' post, Waterloo teacher quits

School district probed his comment on climate activist's visit

Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg is interviewed Oct. 4 after speaking in Iowa City. The Waterloo West High School teacher who posted a “sniper” comment on social media about her visit resigned on Thursday, the school district confirmed. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg is interviewed Oct. 4 after speaking in Iowa City. The Waterloo West High School teacher who posted a “sniper” comment on social media about her visit resigned on Thursday, the school district confirmed. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

WATERLOO — A Waterloo West High School science teacher has resigned after being put on leave for a “sniper” social media comment he posted about a teenage climate activist’s appearance in Iowa City.

Matt Baish resigned effective Thursday, according to a document prepared for an upcoming Waterloo school board meeting.

Baish had been put on leave the week before after writing “Dont have my sniper rifle” in response to a Facebook post about an appearance in Iowa City by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

District officials began an investigation once they were made aware of the post.

“That investigation has concluded, and the employee has resigned effective immediately,” Waterloo schools spokeswoman Tara Thomas said Friday.

Thomas declined to say if Baish was asked to resign.

“I can’t comment beyond the statement on the personnel decision,” she said.

Thomas said information about Baish’s resignation was shared with West staff and families earlier Friday.

Baish was involved with the Waterloo Education Association and had served as its chief negotiator in contract talks since at least 2015.

Thunberg’s appearance at the climate strike last week in Iowa City drew about 3,000 people, police estimated.

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