The identity of a kindergarten teacher who was charged last month with ripping up a bunch of pro-Scott Walker signs at a county fair and then stomping all over them has been revealed.
The kindergarten teacher is April Kay Smith, according to Wisconsin Reporter. Smith, 38, teaches at Amy Belle Elementary School in the suburban Germantown School District.
She was cited with disorderly conduct after a lengthy and impressive chase during which she allegedly grabbed the arm of 62-year-old woman and spouted, “You must like the Koch brothers!”
The action went down on July 9 around closing time at the Jefferson County Fair in rural central Wisconsin.
The 62-year-old woman, Roxane Stillman, was sitting on a bench with a friend near the Jefferson County Republican Party’s fair booth. They were munching on kettle corn. Stillman she said she watched a woman squat down at the GOP booth as if she was about to use the bathroom. The woman — later identified as Smith — then proceeded to obliterate the signs.
Understandably alarmed for a host of reasons, Stillman told Smith she was would be calling the police.
That’s when the kindergarten teacher took off like a garden-variety criminal, according to Stillman.
“I said, ‘Honey, I’m good for about five miles. If you want to run, that’s okay. I’ll stay with you,'” the senior citizen told Wisconsin Reporter. “When she realized she wasn’t going to outrun me, she started walking fast all over the fairgrounds trying to ditch me. Everywhere we walked, I yelled out, ‘Someone get the police! This lady damaged property.'”
At some point during the hot pursuit, Stillman alleged, Smith clutched the 62-year-old woman’s arm hard and made the Koch brothers comment.
Eventually, a sheriff’s deputy, Heather Larson, intervened.
Larson’s ensuing Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department report, which Wisconsin Reporter obtained, states that the kindergarten teacher initially claimed she had “no idea” why Stillman was following her.
“I advised her again that I believe she was being untruthful and asked her how she would feel if one of her students lied to her,” Larson’s report explains. “At this time, she confessed to damaging and ripping out the signs, She stated her husband told her to lie and that she’s just so angry with Scott Walker due to the fact that she was a school teacher.”
It’s not clear where the husband, Andrew Smith, was during the chase.
The deputy added that the kindergarten teacher appeared “to have glassy and bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.” In a breath test on the scene, Smith blew a 0.06 — under the state’s intoxication limit.
Along with Deputy Larson, Smith returned to the scene of the crime to “pick up the signs and together we placed them in a neat file,” the police report relates.
Smith will appear in court on Aug. 19 to account for the $40 worth of damage she caused, reports Germantown Now.
Teachers and other union members across Wisconsin have been heavily demoralized in recent months by the Wisconsin supreme court’s decision to uphold Act 10, Gov. Scott Walker’s set of collective bargaining reforms. (RELATED: Wisconsin Teachers Unions Weakened, Demoralized)
The case was organized labor’s last hope of undoing the law through the courts, after an effort at the federal level had already been rejected. If Walker is reelected and Republicans are buoyed by the midterms, it will be even harder to turn back the clock legislatively.
While supporters of Act 10 and Gov. Walker celebrate a law they say saves the state hundreds of millions of dollars every year, opponents say that in just three short years it has already left the state’s teaching force smaller — due to a wave of resignations — and substantially unhappier.
Wisconsin Reporter noted that the sheriff’s department dragged its feet for two weeks in releasing the details of the bizarro incident.
Flying in the face of at decades of police-beat reporting in every American newspaper, the chief deputy suggested that department policy is to conceal the names of suspects involved in police reports.
Stillman said she wanted the kindergarten teacher’s name to be made public because she is concerned that an enraged person who goes around destroying property is allowed to supervise children.
A representative from the Germantown school district promised that an internal investigation into Smith’s behavior is ongoing but made no other statement.
News of Smith’s sign-destroying shenanigans initially became public knowledge when Jefferson County Republicans alerted a local conservative talk radio host about the incident at the fair.