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Wisconsin state superintendent blames online school threats on anti-LGBTQ+ hate

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(The Center Square) – Wisconsin’s state school superintendent is blaming a jump in online threats to schools on anti-LGBTQ+ hatred.

Superintendent Jill Undelry said public schools across the state have been hit with a wave of bomb threats, including in Waukesha Schools, which she said is linked to a social media account The Libs of TikTok.

“Let’s not pretend these threats are coming out of thin air. They are generated by hate, especially toward the LGBTQ+ community. We must stand up for, and stand with, every educator and every child. We can’t leave anyone behind,” Underly said. “These threats are based on nothing more than targeted hate. And now out-of-state hate groups are using social media to target all of us.”

Waukesha Schools received four bomb threats last week, all of which police said were bogus, and all of which the school district said came from out of the country.

Undelry is the latest to blame those threats on a reaction to a post shared on The Libs of TikTok from a Waueksha assistant principal, Jeffrey Taege, which said parents shouldn’t control what their kids learn in school.

The post said “He thinks parents shouldn’t have a say in their kids’ education and the community and not the parent is responsible for children’s education.”

Underly called that targeting.

“Our LGBTQ+ staff are being targeted. We must stop dividing ourselves and stripping our students of their identity. We must instead help educators supporting kids – and their colleagues – when we need it most. We must stand with our friends, family, and colleagues and be united in the belief that hate has no home in Wisconsin, and especially in our schools,” Undelry added. “All our students and educators have the basic human right to feel safe, included, and supported – especially when at school and at public libraries.”

Taege is gay, and the post on The Libs of TikTok shows him at Disney with a male partner.

But Waukesha police say three of the four threats Waukesha Schools received came from Nigeria, and the other one came from Russia.

Police also noted Waukesha Schools are not the only ones to get random, out-of-state threats.

Brookfield Schools on Tuesday proved that point when they warned parents about a swatting incident.

“This afternoon (Tuesday, March 19), members of the Board of Education received an email with information regarding a future threat. This email was sent to over 20 municipalities and 20 school districts across Wisconsin,” parents were told in an email. “Elm Grove and Brookfield Police have determined that the threat was not credible. The identifying information in the email has been linked to over 50 swatting incidents.

Underly vowed to fight back against the hatred that she says she sees directed at the state’s schools.

“Under my leadership, the Department of Public Instruction will continue working to create a better, inclusive educational experience for every young person and every educator, including our students and colleagues in the LGBTQ+ community,” she added.

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