Portland – The terrorizing charge against a Freeport Middle School teacher who spoke in class about shooting a rifle will be dismissed if he avoids criminal conduct for the next 60 days. David Mason, 59, pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court on Monday. Parents have told the Portland Press Herald that Mason spoke about shooting students on the school’s roof with an M-16. John Richardson, Mason’s attorney, disputed that but would not say exactly what Mason said. According to Assistant District Attorney Michael Madigan, Mason said something like, “I’m going to go on the roof with an M-16 and start shooting.” Richardson said he and Mason believed that no reasonable child would have taken Mason’s statement seriously.
But another father, Paul Lowe, said common sense may have been lost in a politically correct environment. “Maybe this guy shouldn’t have said this. It was a poor choice of words. Take him aside and say, ‘Hey you shouldn’t have said that,’ ” Lowe said. “Sometimes, even as parents, we all say things we don’t mean: ‘I’m going to knock your head off.’ I’m not actually going to do that.”
I’m not going to sit here and say that teachers’ should be allowed carte blanche to say whatever they want in classrooms. There have to be lines drawn in the sand at certain points, and I think it’s fairly obvious where those lines are. For instance, if you think it’s okay to teach creationism instead of evolution or if you legitimately threaten kids with violence you’re a fucking idiot. But give me a break with dropping a terrorizing charge on this guy. If you’re at your wits last end like Dave Mason and 30 years of frustration and disappointment all come bubbling out at once, I really don’t think anyone can be mad at him for scaring Tommy and Sally with a little automatic weaponry wordplay. Like the father of one of the students said, “We all say things we don’t mean: I’m going to knock your head off’ I’m not actually going to do that.” Exactly. Mr. Mason just said he was going to climb to the top of the roof and start spraying bodies like it was D-Day. Doesn’t mean he’s actually going to do it. Is it fucked up? Absolutely. Does Mr. Mason need to go on a 2 week “vacation” to the therapist’s couch? Probably. Should he be pressed with a terrorizing charge in court? Fuck no he shouldn’t.
PS – Should probably do a quick check of this guy’s house just in case, you know?