Donald Trump's mock assassination draws ire at Texas high school

By Kristine Guerra at Washington Post

Two Texas students and their teacher were reprimanded after the 10th-graders performed a skit portraying the assassination of President-elect Donald Trump.

One of the boys used a gunfire sound effect from a cellphone while the other student, who was portraying Trump, fell to the ground, according to the San Antonio Express-News. The skit, titled "The Assassination of Donald Trump," was performed as a class presentation last week for the students' English class at John Marshall High School in San Antonio.

The boys' teacher instructed her students to create and perform a skit following their study of Shakespeare and asked them to submit their scripts for approval, Brian Woods, superintendent for the Northside Independent School District, said in a statement on Friday.

Woods said the two students changed their skit after their original script had been submitted, and the teacher did not know beforehand that they planned on performing a mock assassination of Trump.

The teacher stopped the skit immediately, Woods said.

"I want to be clear: NISD does not condone the action of these students or anyone else who would threaten violence," Woods said.

The school district did not release the names of the students or their teacher.

Barry Perez, school district spokesman, said that "appropriate action" had been taken against the three, and the teacher had apologised, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Harold Bean, a parent of a student who watched the skit, told the paper that he doesn't believe the teacher's apology was enough, saying "it does not make the situation right".

"Honestly I have run out of words to describe how angry I am and how shocked I am that they're still in school today," his wife, Melinda Bean, told the paper on Friday.

Part of Matt Harrigan's posts to his personal Facebook page.
Part of Matt Harrigan's posts to his personal Facebook page.

This is not the only instance in which violence against the president-elect was portrayed or communicated in some way.

Last Tuesday, the former chief executive officer of a cybersecurity start-up in San Diego resigned after attracting criticisms for threatening Trump's life in a series of Facebook tirades on election night.

"I'm going to kill the President Elect," Matt Harrigan, former CEO of PacketSled, wrote on Facebook. "Bring it secret service."

Harrigan's post was private and was meant to be read only by his Facebook friends. But pictures of his posts later showed up on social media and quickly went viral.

Harrigan has since apologised for the threats, saying they were meant to be a joke.

"I said some things that I'm deeply regretful for, and I would apologise to anybody, including the President-elect," Harrigan told The Washington Post. "If I could take it all back, I absolutely would, because of course I don't mean any of those things. They're absurd."

In Ohio, a 24-year-old man is facing a federal charge after he allegedly tweeted violent messages against Trump on November 9. Zachary Benson was charged last week with threats against the president and successors to the presidency.

Zachary Benson. Photo / Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Sheriff's Office
Zachary Benson. Photo / Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Sheriff's Office

Benson told investigators that he was in his room watching the election returns when he decided to post the threatening messages, according to a federal complaint.

"Diplomacy. (Expletive) fools. I hate you all. I want to bomb every one of your voting booths and your general areas," Benson tweeted at 1.25am, the complaint states.

Seventeen minutes later, at 1.42am, Benson tweeted again:

"My life goal is to assassinate Trump. Don't care if I serve infinite sentences. That man deserves to decease (sic) existing."

Benson said he has no intention to harm anyone and was just frustrated with the result of the election. He added that he knew he "went too far" with the posts, which he later deleted, the complaint states.

Benson was arrested after the US Secret Service was alerted of his tweets. He appeared in federal district court in Cleveland on Thursday.

The president-elect's victory was followed by a wave of anti-Trump protests in several cities across the country. Thousands took to the streets for several days following the election, holding signs that say "Not my President."

Supporters of the president-elect, and even Trump himself, have criticised the protesters. Some called them paid or professional protesters. Rudolph Giuliani, former mayor of New York City and a Trump adviser, had said they're "a bunch of spoiled crybabies."

- Washington Post

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