Spring Grove student addresses Matt Jansen again
A student attended the Spring Grove school board meeting on Monday evening to speak out about board member Matt Jansen and his latest Twitter controversy.
Amy Gunzelman, a junior at Spring Grove Area High School, addressed the board for the third time about Jansen. She also spoke out during the summer, when Jansen came under fire for tweeting about a sign outside a church that wished Muslims a happy Ramadan.
“If this was a teacher or student tweeting these things, they would be held accountable,” Gunzelman said.
Earlier this month, the Twitter account for Jansen, who also was an elected delegate to the Republican National Convention, reportedly tweeted, "Well than this wetbacks family should be thrown out of the country," in response to an article from Breitbart, a conservative news website.
The article was about the California State Senate leader reportedly saying half his family was in the U.S. "illegally."
Jansen originally apologized for the tweet, but later he claimed his account was hacked. People have since pointed out if he was indeed hacked, it could be reported and investigated by the police. However, if he was not hacked he could be in trouble for filing a false police report. At Monday's meeting, Jansen would not comment on whether he had filed a report or planned to do so, and he has not returned York Dispatch requests for comment on the matter.
Gunzelman was interrupted during her public comment by board member Douglas Stein, who pointed out to president Cindy Huber that Gunzelman’s comment was directed at an individual board member. This goes against the board’s policy, which states you cannot make personally directed comments about an individual during public comment.
Gunzelman adjusted the rest of her statement, referring to Jansen as “them” and his Twitter generally. She said she understood the rules, but when she made similar statements over the summer she was never stopped.
She’s hoping the board will hear her comments and recognize there’s a problem with Jansen’s Twitter account. She pointed out not only the controversial tweet that has made headlines but other tweets he has liked and retweeted that are misogynistic or otherwise inappropriate.
She pointed out one tweet from Jansen's account that reads, "Diversity = the destruction of the host culture aided by annihilist self-loathing left."
"So maybe instead of reading me the diversity statement after this is over, maybe we should actually fix the matter at hand, because someone on the school board doesn't believe in diversity," Gunzelman stated, referring to the last time Jansen's Twitter page came under attack. At that board meeting, the board made few comments other than to read the district's diversity statement.
Ultimately, she said she’s hoping some action is taken this time.
“I want him to step down, but I also want the school board to see if they’re not speaking out, they’re accepting it,” she said after her public comment.
Jansen's demeanor after Monday's board meeting was far different than his demeanor at the June school board meeting, where he made a public apology about his Twitter outburst directed toward St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Dallastown. The church had wished Muslims a blessed Ramadan. Jansen responded with a voicemail message left at the church and a tweet that said "Choose your battles, but if this is your hill here is the churchs' #"
At Monday's meeting, Jansen made one comment.
"My whole attitude is just make American great again," he said, referring to President Donald Trump's campaign slogan.
He refused to comment on whether he had filed a police report about the alleged hacking of his Twitter account, if he would exercise caution on Twitter or if he thought his comments would make it more difficult for him to be re-elected to the school board.