A professor at North Idaho College, who defended saying “anyone who’s ever voted Republican” should be executed by noting she delivered her opinion to students “with a smile,” is now reportedly the target of e-mail death threats and offensive comments from people across the country.
Police Sgt. Christie Wood told the Coeur d’Alene Press the threatening messages were sent to Jessica Bryan’s NIC e-mail account.
“We’re probably going to ask the FBI for help on this case,” Wood said. “It’s still under investigation.”
NIC spokesman Kent Propst called the threats against Bryan “reprehensible” and “inexcusable.”
As WND reported, Linda Cook, a student, a Republican and a former aide to the late U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth, R-Idaho, wrote the school asking for a refund on fees she paid for Bryan’s English course after withdrawing because of the instructor’s comments.
Cook told the Spokane Spokesman-Review that Bryan used every class period in the English composition course to criticize and disparage Republicans, including the suggestion of the death penalty for everyone who chooses to support a Republican with a vote.
“I signed up for an English composition course but was dismayed to receive a level of political vitriol that I believe was strictly extracurricular,” Cook said her in letter to the school.
Among the allegations: Bryan reported President George W. Bush won the election “because people … can’t read,” and, regarding the death penalty: “First we line up everyone who can’t think and right behind them, anyone who’s ever voted Republican.”
“Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that anyone would take it seriously,” Bryan, who doesn’t deny making the statements, told the newspaper. “They were always said with a smile.”
She said the comments were an attempt “to get my students to think.”
Bryan’s comments have now provoked responses she didn’t expect.
Among the offensive emails released by authorities are these:
“You contemptuous excuse for an instructor. If you are trying to start another civil war and it comes about, I hope your family will be targeted first. As a Republican, I take umbrage at your suggestion that I should be shot. You’ll find that Republicans can shoot back.”
“Screw you, communist (expletive deleted). Even though you are entitled to your opinion we all have freedom to vote anyway we please. You would do well teaching in Iran hating Jews. Bottom line I feel the same way about liberal (expletive deleted) such as you.”
“I hope you lose your position and cease poisoning the flower of our future who enroll in your class with your leftist indoctrination.”
“Pray that there’s never a right-wing coup d’etat in this beautiful nation [because] you’ll be one of the first ones floating in a river like your cronies did in Argentina and Chile.”
In describing the current threats against Bryan, the Spokesman-Review referenced WND’s earlier coverage of Bryan’s statements and noted WND included the teacher’s e-mail address, which was publicly available on the college’s website.
Probst said Bryan’s e-mail address and phone number have been changed and campus security increased.
“It’s a situation we take very seriously,” he said. “The well-being of the instructor and the students in those classrooms is of paramount importance.”
Cook said she was appalled by some of the responses to her situation.
“Any hate speech directed at her is completely egregious and no one with any decency would suggest she should be killed,” she said. “The heat she is receiving is far worse than the initial conflict, which was a disagreement among adults.
“She’s an excellent teacher when she stays on topic. I feel bad for her because this is a woman with a gift. She motivates kids who might not otherwise be interested in English composition.”
NIC agreed to Cook’s request for a $379 refund for Bryan’s course earlier this week, the Spokesman-Review reported.
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