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McGroarty Should Be Arrested and Charged

It's time to stand up to conservative bullies, and it can start with the arrest of the parent who disrupted a Mill Creek kindergarten class in a dispute over the Pledge of Allegiance.

When I read about last week’s Mill Creek Elementary School incident, I desperately wanted to chalk it up to an extreme example of conservatism run amok, but I couldn’t.

You see, the sad truth is, when a plurality of Americans insist upon shrieking socialism, birth certificate, secession, and taking back our country, a parent verbally assaulting a kindergarten class blends right in.

And please don’t try and tell me that the left is just as bad, because they aren’t. Yes! There are real conservatives who refuse to regularly succumb to that uncontrollable urge to control other peoples’ lives, but their capacity to ignore and even subtly encourage their bitter and overzealous brethren is unparalleled.

Incensed over a perceived Pledge of Allegiance omission of the word “liberty,” Colin McGroarty of Rockford launched into a four-letter-word tirade in front of his child’s kindergarten class. Then he left the premises before the sheriff’s deputies arrived.

Still unhappy, McGroarty sent Mill Creek administrators an email threatening, “I've shed blood for this Country and will do so again if necessary,” and, “I'm NOT ALLOWING you to introduce a Nazi way of life into the USA.”

Where’ve we heard that last line before?

For goodness sakes, it's kindergarten! I’m pleasantly surprised whenever any 5-year-old can find his or her left hand, much less regurgitate the Pledge. In third grade I clearly remember wondering who "Richard Stands" was. As in, “and to the Republic for Richard Stands.”

Folks, this is what the conservative movement has become: a group of screeching, paranoid, bigoted, gun-addicted, homophobic, intolerant, terrified and obliviously self-important people who see every cloud as a threat to their sad and stilted existence.

Ain’t it amazing that so many people seem to be out to get them?

And the problems really start when they’re forced to endure self-induced setback after setback and they start running out of excuses and targets. With nowhere left to turn, these neo-McCarthyiasts start seeing fascism in everything from Disney movies to, yes, kindergarten classes.

When all else fails, you call ‘em Nazis. This is the kind of thing that happens when a morally bankrupt movement is on the brink of imploding.

And this absurd self-defeating behavior is why, despite a miserable economy, the president prevailed in an Electoral College landslide. It’s why Illinois Republicans went down in General Election flames at the hands of Democrats who insist on driving the state into insolvency and raising taxes.

McGroarty also threw a hissy fit when the class went right from the Pledge into the school creed. And those principles consist of promising to treat others with respect, follow classroom rules, and do their best.

The horror!

The general innocuousness of that endeavor didn’t stop this irate parent from comparing it to Hitler Youth indoctrination. Ah yes! “Indoctrination!” The clarion call of the conservative who encounters anyone or anything that doesn’t conform to his narrow and hypocritical world view.

Ironically, couldn’t it be said that kindergartners reciting a Pledge they don’t even begin to understand is the very same thing?

And shame on District 304 and Mill Creek School, too. We so desperately want to believe school shootings are random, outside events that we get all wrapped up in complicated security schemes while ignoring the simpler and more effective countermeasures.

These threats almost always come from within. So like most savvy employers would’ve done, a quick glance at McGroarty’s blatantly open Facebook page would’ve revealed he’s the last person who should be volunteering at any school.

The wingnuts are never shy about sharing their viewpoint.

But back to the issue at hand. It’s time to stand up to “conservatives” who, under the guise of patriotism, attempt to hold others to a standard they don’t begin to apply to themselves and use it as a weapon to assert their will upon the rest of us.

As far as this particular case, though I don’t generally encourage prosecutors to engage in message sending, this time I’ll make an exception.

Considering the often-tragic consequences of school violence, not only am I asking the Kane County State’s Attorney to prosecute this man, but I’m thinking a six-months jail term might just send the kind of message that will prevent the next self-appointed conservative savior of our children from considering a similar course of action.

And if he is charged, just watch him fold like a cheap suit. Like most conservative bullies and blowhards, folks like McGroarty can’t stand the thought of having to take responsibility for their actions.

No more taxes January 14, 2013 at 11:50 PM
He did just apologize. Not sure how many mass murderers would do that. The Facebook page is a sign of how he thinks, his personal life is not in a good place with a divorce. Is there anyone that knows him and can vouch that he is stable?? Facebook friends that agree with his crazy ideas don't count:) What I don't think he realizes is that it is his actions plus the letter were bad, then when people review his site they get real scared and question his sanity. Too much survivalist, weapons, and conspiracy theory stuff makes one wonder. If you say control population he'll think genocide, no machine guns may mean no guns at all and no way to combat the government, government is going to take away all of our freedom.... a person can be well read and recite a whole bunch of books/facts but can still reach some crazy conclusions. He thinks kids say the Pledge wrong and it is the State indoctrinating our children for nefarious reasons and the start of the end of the free United States...
Rudy January 15, 2013 at 12:26 AM
Jeff most people that comment on your articles think you are less than balanced does that make it true? I am not defending Colin or his actions I just don't think he was threatening in the E-mail. I agree with Sherry.
kendra January 15, 2013 at 02:27 AM
I was feeling bad for him and feeling like this was perhaps blown out of proportion, but I just looked over his FB page. He has irrational and intense fear (well before the incident in the classroom) and is certainly not someone you want influencing your children. Now I'm the one afraid of him: https://www.facebook.com/cmmcgroarty I would really like the Republican party back, please. Fox news and right wing extremists are scaring the daylights out of people. Enough.
Jeff Ward January 15, 2013 at 02:31 AM
KLR, That last paragraph is music to my ears! Jeff
kendra January 15, 2013 at 02:31 AM
...and seriously? This was included in his "apology": I’d also like to clarify that the “disturbance” where I told the children they shouldn’t promise to follow rules when they don’t know what the rules are and to ask their parents about the Nazis and why this lesson is important, did NOT include any profanity.
EnoughAlready January 15, 2013 at 02:45 AM
Terry Thank you for your well thought out and insightful comment. I truly hope someone in authority (school district, law enforcement, etc) considers the consequences of not addressing your concerns...our children's safety.
J. C. January 15, 2013 at 02:55 AM
I doubt Jesus would be pro-gun. Jesus loves the poor! Jesus fed the poor and gave people free healthcare! Jesus would never deport anyone. Jesus also loved little kids and I doubt he would be happy with someone taking his father's name in vain in front of them. Clearly, you read some weird evil bible.
Elaine Lane January 15, 2013 at 03:36 AM
His Facebook page content is very intense and one-dimensional. Approximately 280 photos of just the St. Charles Memorial Day parade.........
Justin Eggar January 15, 2013 at 04:34 AM
Some valid points if it wasn't also spewing political nonsense. Don't worry Jeff... One day everybody will learn better and have the same opinion as you. 1. McGoarty likely should have been arrested if his actions were deemed threatening. We don't need that in our schools. (Granted, it's difficult to know what exactly was said and what context it was said in). We should likely give our teachers enough room to make a little bit of a judgement call. Certainly enough to call the police if a situation develops. 2. Conservatives certainly don't agree with an adult frightening or cussing in front of children. Suggesting otherwise is delusional and self serving. 3. Switch it up Jeff - give us something fun rather than the same tune blog after blog. People want to like you... But it's like the one-dimensional soap opera that never develops. Throw a little bit of enlightened Jeff 2.0 out there.
Beth January 15, 2013 at 06:28 AM
Jeff, as usual, I loved the article and your willingness to lay it all out there! I also have children at MCES and am very concerned about this man's views and actions. I'm glad the district acted aggressively. I also agree that Martha, NOYB, J.C., Terry and klr made some great points, specifically the one most pertinent to the issue..background checks for volunteers. Some parents are in the school every day (which is more often than some employees are there) yet there are thorough criminal background checks done on all employees but not volunteers. It always surprised me, but now it concerns me. I also feel bad for his children. Hopefully, they are not being treated badly by their classmates because of something that is out of their control.
Ray B January 15, 2013 at 06:40 AM
Typical paranoid, psychopathic, burned to the bone that there is a black Democrat (read "socialist") President, who, coincidentally, has a "Muslim" name. His children suffer, his community suffers, and all he needs to do is take his medication, see a therapist, and stop wasting his time w/ Fox News, Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh & the like, who only exist to feed on & exploit said paranoia
Ray B January 15, 2013 at 06:41 AM
“Colin says that god is important to him. He also says that people should not just blindly follow authority. He needs to make up his mind.”
Ray B January 15, 2013 at 06:53 AM
They're kindergarteners. If you asked, I bet half of them think "4 witches stand" is in the pledge. Also, "invisible". And some might say I pledge allegiance to the flag, and to the republic for Richard Stands.” And others may say "with liberty and justice for owls" and those that just want to end the pledge say "with liberty and that's just all". C'mon Colin, wise up.
Matilda B January 15, 2013 at 12:59 PM
Thank you for saying what needed to be said. I greatly appreciate it. And I also thank those who have constructively responded. Jeff, you said it all
steve todd January 15, 2013 at 06:14 PM
Jeff, I agree with Sherry. I found your article extremist. Are you now a liberal bully? ..put the guy in jail? I think the police spoke to the guy, got the facts, and with the judicial system took the proper, cautionary response to keep the guy away from the school (no trespass order). They got the facts and acted, and I believe they took the correct action....I only say that because they did get all the facts, which we don't all have.. Also, Jeff, a plurality of Americans are not secessionist or extreme....more and more they're just sick of the Democrats and Republicans pulling the country apart. Did you write this article before your morning coffee or something?
Jeff Ward January 15, 2013 at 06:51 PM
Steve, Coffee? Can you imagine me on caffeine? Jeff
JC January 15, 2013 at 08:53 PM
Jeff, You and Colin are the reason there are so many people registering as independents. you are both extreme and use bully tactics. Colin seems to use the constitution as a shield even if he does not really know what it says. you seem to hide behind your employer to protect you from danger. Colin took his stances and violated the very principles by reacting inappropriately in front of children, I believe it is safe to assume that at least a couple of the kids were frightened by his actions. this is against the law. You print in an article that he "launched into a four-letter-word tirade in front of his child’s kindergarten class." This statement has not been validated by any source as there has been no report of profanity or vulgarity. This is defamation of character, which is also illegal. as the pot has now called the kettle black maybe both of you should become educated and stop being so radical that everyone only reads your writings for the humor found in your stupidity.
JC January 15, 2013 at 09:09 PM
Background checks are state law to volunteer at the schools in Illinois.
Jeff Fairchild January 15, 2013 at 10:47 PM
In the interest of discouraging “bitter and overzealous” bloggers, I feel compelled to post my agreement with Sherry, Dave, Justin, and Steve. Ward's column is extreme in its attempt to smear "conservatives" and evidences a potentially dangerous level of hatred towards those unfortunate enough to wear that political label in Jeff Ward’s view. Thank goodness this ranting column was presented in the Patch and not some kindergarten class. Somewhat tongue in cheek, I will state my hope that the police are present to protect the innocent if Ward ever approaches a school or other public space, glassy eyed and mumbling semi-coherent phrases about “screeching, paranoid, bigoted, gun-addicted, homophobic, intolerant, terrified and obliviously self-important” conservatives.
Kate Oakley January 16, 2013 at 02:20 AM
He. Said. NOTHING. Against. Those. Who. Believe. In. The. Bible. Nada. Zip. Zero. Nor did he say anything about Food Stamps, or illegal aliens, or Rahm Emanuel, or ObamaCare. Why drag all that other stuff in? It has nothing to do with the conversation at hand. Why the need to stir things up and create conflict where there is none? I am also a "Bible believing, gun owning, responsible citizen" - but I don't feel threatened by this post at all. WHY? Because my Bible doesn't teach intolerance or spite. Perhaps you need to return to 3rd grade - to improve your reading comprehension.
juicebox January 16, 2013 at 06:55 AM
this man needs to be permanently banned from school property and if his ex wants to make her tro stick, i would support that also. this is no time to mess around with threats, dont be fooled by his poor excuse of an apology. i will not subject my children to any risk in their school not even 1 in a million.
juicebox January 16, 2013 at 07:37 AM
one more thing - the background check is a great idea. i bet most of us assumed it was done on all. i'd only suggest that an extensive background check be done now on the mcgroarty parent. ...and published for all parents to see
JC January 16, 2013 at 11:27 AM
I was under the impression that it is state law that all volunteers have to have a background check.
JCLK January 19, 2013 at 02:48 PM
Wow! Guilty until proven innocent? One so called conservative defines all conservatives?
Thomas Kibort January 21, 2013 at 05:16 AM
Martha, if one wants to place the blame for cutting education and mental health funding in the failed State of Illinois, one need not look any further than to the modern day 3 Stooges, Chicago Democrats Pat Quinn, Michael Madigan and John Cullerton. And your obviously race baiting and naive statement about the election of Barack Obama is without merit and quite pathetic.
MaryfromIL January 21, 2013 at 05:26 AM
WWJS .... Who Would Jesus Shoot? Yet more conservative attacks on half the country, not backed up by any facts.
Jeff Ward January 21, 2013 at 01:23 PM
Mary, LOL! Jeff
Jack January 24, 2013 at 02:14 PM
What language? Where is there a verbatim report, or is everyone making assumptions?
Jack January 24, 2013 at 04:52 PM
I should have said that. It needed to be said. Thanks
juicebox February 17, 2013 at 05:58 PM
JEFF WARD's article is proof in the pudding identifying the problem as being America's division between left and right, blame, finger pointing, denial and open minded disgust. Those who need to link violence to politics are part of the problem. Jeff is doing that here. Although the pledge parent appears to be a far right political fundamentalist, the truth is, he is an end of his rope psychotic whom cannot be trusted with children or authority figures. He believes everyone is his enemy and he will do anything to justify his own irrational thoughts and behavior. Stay away from this man, keep our children away from this man, or we will be wondering why no one warned us, no one cautioned us... It's not political. It's Sandy Creek, Aurora, Colorado, Virginia Tech, NIU on and on and on... Psycho's everyone of them.

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