The U.S. Secret Service has been notified of an incident at Ordean-East Middle School in Duluth, Minnesota, in which a photo of President-elect Donald Trump was placed in a trophy case with the caption “You’re a dead man.”
Duluth was one of only two areas in Minnesota that voted heavily for Hillary Clinton, the other being Minneapolis-St. Paul. The rest of the state was solid red in voting for Trump, with the overall popular vote going to Clinton by a much more narrow margin than predicted by pollsters.
The principal of the school was notified of the threatening image only after it was brought to light on a local talk radio show Tuesday. It had been in the trophy case at least since Monday, said Tim Jezierski, a Duluth resident who was interviewed on AM 710 The Patriot, a Fox News affiliate.
The number 4 is used in place of the letter “a” while “u” is substituted for “you” and “r” is used in place of “are.”
Principal Gina Keive removed the picture immediately after the incident was exposed by the radio station and launched an investigation. She released a statement later in the week saying the perpetrators had been caught and will be disciplined according to the student handbook.
But Jezierski and others are wondering why the image was not seen and removed earlier.
“There were two pictures taken of this incident, the close-up of the ‘wanted’ picture and the second a more distant shot of the glass case. The first was taken at 5 p.m. Monday, the second at about 4 p.m. on Tuesday, showing it had been there at least 24 hours.”
The display case sits in a high-traffic hallway right outside the school’s main office.
“We don’t know how long it was there, but we know it was at least since Monday, and people walked by this thing for a minimum of 24 hours and did not remove it,” Jezierski said.
The school sent a letter to parents Wednesday afternoon saying the students had been dealt with but the letter did not mention the nature of the crime.
“Because there is video monitoring, like in every school, the letter makes it appear they have caught the person or persons who have done this,” Jezierski said. “But, the question is, how many staff members saw it in that prominent of a spot and did nothing for 24 hours?”
Jezierski said the trophy cabinet was locked but somebody slid the threatening photo between two pieces of glass, so they would not have needed the key to pull off the stunt.
He was interviewed Tuesday by Brad Bennett, host of a local radio program called “Sound Off.”
“And the Secret Service is looking into this. They were notified and they were not happy,” he said. “We are an extreme union town, this is an old-fashioned union town.”
The use of numbers along with single letters to form words makes the message “a little cryptic,” he said. “But it’s not a real tough code to crack. And for kids these days in their texting “u” and “r” immediately means “you are.”
Local media ignores incident
Jezierski also forwarded the photos to KBJR TV 6 in Duluth, which ran one brief article on the incident.
The local newspaper, the Duluth News Tribune, buried the story, giving it a two-sentence mention in an unrelated story bashing Trump for his “anti-Muslim campaign rhetoric.”
“On Tuesday, a picture of Trump with an inflammatory message was found inside a trophy case at Ordean East Middle School,” the newspaper reported. “The school and its police resource officer are investigating.”
Hijab day at local Duluth high school
That local newspaper story, a warm and fuzzy feature about students and teachers donning hijabs to support a Muslim girl, contained many blatantly false statements such as “no one can force a Muslim woman to wear a hijab.” Apparently the author did not consult women in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan and practically every other country in the Middle East where Muslims rule.
And one teacher is quoted in the News-Tribune story saying the goal of the event was to “normalize” the wearing of the hijab by female students in Duluth.
In the days following the Nov. 9 announcement that Donald Trump had won the presidential election, Twitter and other social media were alight with threats to assassinate Trump and dozens of incidents have been documented of violence against Trump supporters. The FBI has reported no arrests for the assassination threats made openly on Facebook and Twitter.
Yet, when young Muslim refugees allegedly raped a little girl in Twin Falls, Idaho, this summer federal prosecutor Wendy J. Olson threatened to prosecute any member of the public who posted “false or inflammatory” information about the perpetrators.
After the jihadist attack that killed 14 people at a Christmas party in San Bernardino last year, Attorney General Loretta Lynch also threatened to prosecute anyone who made comments about Muslims that she considered “edging toward violence.”
But threatening the president-elect of the United States drew no such warnings from the Obama Justice Department.
Students, anarchists and other “protesters” filled the streets of Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, New Orleans, Boston and other cities. Many of the protests turned violent, with cars set on fire, store windows smashed and flags burned.
Media complicit in spawning threats, attacks?
And many pundits and journalists in the mainstream media seemed to be egging on the violence in the days leading up to the election.
Washington Post editorial writer Richard Cohen compared Trump to Hitler.
In fact, Cohen is one of five Washington Post writers to compare Trump to Hitler, as WND previously reported.
And several media giants including NBC compared him this week to Stalin, saying Trump had initiated a “Stalinesque purge” of his transition team. They forgot to mention that Stalin’s purges usually ended with a bullet to the back of the head.
These sensational accusations only encourage the young, the mentally unstable and those who live in isolated left-wing communities to commit violence against Trump and Trump supporters, explains WND Executive Managing Editor David Kupelian in a recent column.
“So, what does this say about the Washington Post – and others in the “mainstream media” who consider themselves America’s arbiters of truth – continually comparing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump with Hitler? Does such “journalism” legitimize threats and violent attacks on Trump and his supporters?
“If someone, God forbid – convinced he is a modern-day von Stauffenberg, heroically attempting to rid the world of this generation’s Hitler – were to shoot Donald Trump, would the Washington Post deserve any of the blame?
“I say yes.”
Jezierski said he was disappointed at the tone and content of the principal’s letter.
“She never says this was a threat against the president-elect of the United States. They don’t say it was a federal offense,” he said. “It was more like, ‘nothing to see here move along,’ a complete cover up.”
And the photo was not the only threat issued in Duluth this week.
In another incident, someone posted a threat on social media involving a bomb at an unnamed school in the city.
“They caught that person too and made an arrest of a person who made a threat in a chat room. A threat of violence against an unnamed Minnesota school.
The school principal, Klieve, released a statement Wednesday saying, “Sadly, (it’s) another example of the increase in inappropriate and unacceptable behavior related to the election that we’re working to address in our schools.”
Below is her statement in full:
We have so much to be proud of at OEMS. I commend our students and staff for continuing to focus on teaching and learning.
Unfortunately, students slid a threatening sign in between the glass doors of the trophy case, outside of the office on Monday late afternoon. It was not brought to our attention until Tuesday evening. At that time, it was immediately removed and we began an investigation. We were able to bring closure to the incident this afternoon and we followed district policy, with regards to the standards of conduct in the Family and Student Handbook.
Community members were aware of the sign, but did not alert anyone in the OE office. Instead, it became the focus of conversation on a public radio show this morning. I am sorry that such slanderous and judgmental comments were made of our school and staff. We do not condone or support hate in our school. We will continue to provide a safe, responsive and challenging learning environment.
The recent media communication from the Duluth Police Dept and Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is unrelated to the sign at Ordean East.
The safety of our students and staff is my highest priority. Thank you for working with me.
–Gina Kleive, principal