Teacher on leave for rifle photo

A middle school teacher has been placed on leave for posting a photo of herself with a rifle on her Facebook page, reports WKOW 27 News in Wisconsin.

Betsy Ramsdale was training a rifle at the camera in the photo, which she was removed. She is in her first year of teaching at Beaver Dam Middle School, but has held a teaching credential since 1996.

Schools superintendent Donald Childs told 27 News he is unaware of any sinister intent on the teacher’s part and said the use of the photo “appears to be poor judgment.”

Poor judgment? Surely, that would apply to making a fuss about a teacher’s hobby.

Via Never Yet Melted.

Update: Darren wonders what would happen to a teacher caught with a Massachusetts quarter.

About Joanne


  1. I can’t wait to see the lawsuit on this one. First and Second Amendment here… I’d say that the teachers union will have a field day with this one, but since she’s in her first year there, the unions won’t even give her the time of day even though they take full dues out of her pay and supposedly represent her.

    “School parent Chad Van Loo said the photograph sends the wrong message.”

    What, that as American citizens we are allowed to bear arms? It’s not like she was pointing the gun at a picture of a student or coworker.

  2. Knowing how many hoplophobic dingbats there are out there, it probably would’ve been smart to restrict her photos to friends.

  3. If a student had pictures of himself/herself holding a hunting rifle, they would probably call in district psychologists to determine if this child was a threat to themselves or the school. I guess we now have to hold teachers to this same ridiculous standard. But as Obi pointed out above, a little common sense says just make your profile ‘private.’ Especially so you don’t look like an assassin.

    Hall Monitor

  4. Heaven forbid she had a CCW permit!

  5. Here in Texas this would not be a problem, they regularly publish photos of hunters with their rifles and dead deer in the newspaper.

  6. Doug Sundseth says:

    I certainly don’t have a problem with the teacher carrying firearms or being photographed holding (or firing) them. Pointing the rifle at the camera is poor gun safety, though. Had that been the reason for the suspension, I would have considered the action to be a bit draconian, but defensible.

    In this case, though….

  7. Andy Freeman says:

    > Pointing the rifle at the camera is poor gun safety, though.

    Why? It’s just a camera?

    It’s poor gun safety only if said camera was being held by a person.

    The picture looks like it was taken with a time-delay.

  8. Richard Aubrey says:

    Ace of Spades had your “awwww” moment. A video of a little Belgian kid in what was a good pass for British battle dress. Kilt, knee socks, gabardine blouse with stripes, and a tam. He was waiting for a Canadian contingent to pass in a memorial ceremony. When they did, he snapped a really good brit-style salute. The Canucks gave him a return salute and “eyes right”.
    Worth searching out from a week or so back.
    Some of the commenters observed that, had that been an American kid he’d have been detained for mandatory psychiatric testing and expelled as a threat.

    “hoplophobic” indeed. Good point.

  9. What teachers do on their own time is not the school’s business, unless it directly relates to teaching children.

    I hope those idiots don’t have any Massachusetts quarters in their pockets, what with their representation of a Minuteman on them and all….

  10. Miller T. Smith says:

    “A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity”
    Sigmund Freud

  11. Miller Smith says:

    Well, the school system returned the teacher to the job with the admission that the teacher did nothing wrong.

  12. Bill Leonard says:

    And this woman has done exactly WHAT that was illegal?

    The plain fact is, most of urban America has a pathological fear of any firearm. I find it amazing that this woman was challenged, let alone disciplined in some manner, for exercising her First and Second Amendment rights, on her on time.

    Yes, pointing a firearm at any human being — unless you mean ultimately to fire that weapon — is not acceptable. And yes, it appears this was a time-photo setup.

    Well. We live in a far different, and frankly, far more worse and more hideous country than the one this kid grew up in, in the forties and fifties.

    I started high school in 1957, when there was still a rifle club. Every Thursday, we could bring our own .22 rifles to school, a mentoring teacher placed them in a locked area, and we were able to shoot, learn firearms safety, and range — and military range — protocol, after shcool. Every male teacher in that high school was a WWII or Korean War vet.

    The rifle club is long gone. I was the editor of the high school paper; the girl who became my wife edited the yearbook.

    Today, there is no rifle club. There is no high school paper. There is no yearbook.

    But there is after-school basketball and other sports, subsidized by us taxpayers, and there is a whole curriculum for unwed teenage mothers.

    And the lefties and liberals and fools generally still wonder why so many people are angry, and actually hate the proposed policies of The Anointed One in the white House.


  13. Teachers don’t actually enjoy the same rights as everyone else “because of the children.”

    I am pretty careful about images, but the gun one hadn’t occurred to me. I have bird dogs, and I know there are some photos of me working them in the field that are floating around. Perhaps none of them have my name attached.

    (I think many/most schools still have newspapers and yearbooks?)