By Victor Skinner
GRAYSLAKE, Ill. – A substitute teacher in the Grayslake elementary school district is facing criminal charges for allegedly threatening a school board member during a strike in January.
Christopher Culp, 43, faces a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct/telephone harassment for allegedly leaving an obscene and threatening message for former board member Shannon Smigielski, the Daily Herald reports.
Culp allegedly told Smigielski in a message left Jan. 14 – during a recent teachers strike – that he “would really hate to see what happens” to the woman’s daughters when he instructs his own kids to taunt them at school, the news site reports.
Smigielski reported the harassing call to police, who tracked it to Culp’s home. Smigielski resigned from the school board this month, in part she said because of the harassment.
“I am so pleased that the Grayslake Police Department and Lake County state’s attorney’s office have taken this matter seriously and followed through in seeing this man brought to justice,” Smigielski told the Daily Herald. “This behavior cannot be tolerated, or it could affect how elected or appointed officials run the government.”
It seems like it already has.
The worst part is that voters elected Smigielski in 2011 on her desire to bring fiscal responsibility and transparency to school operations. The teachers strike in January is a clear sign that Smigielski was attempting to follow through on her word.
Local taxpayers should be outraged that a public employee attempted to use intimidation and threats to put their own interests ahead of students and the financial well being of the district.
Culp, if guilty, should be ashamed of himself for his childish behavior, and for dragging his own children into his misguided mission.
We hope the Lake County Circuit Court judge who handles Culp’s case issues a punishment that will send a strong message that this kind of conduct won’t be tolerated. Failing to take the issue seriously will only embolden radical activists to increase their bully tactics during the next round of union contract negotiations.