The governor of West Virginia, where public schools statewide have been closed for three days due to a teacher’s strike, opened a speech Spring Mills High School on Monday by joking about getting shot.
“Okay everybody, nobody’s going to shoot at me or anything, are you?” Gov. Jim Justice (R) asked the crowd, some of whom responded angrily.
“Okay, you don’t have to promise,” he said.
Jess Spring, who told TPM in a Facebook message Monday evening that she teaches PE at a middle school in Berkeley County, West Virginia, captured video of the comment.
“This was our greeting from the governor of the state,” she wrote in the video description. “Glad I got it on tape.”
“Myself and others with me were shocked and saddened at his choice of words when the country is still reeling from the Florida school shooting,” she told TPM. The governor’s office did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.
The comment, and the rest of the speech, provoked passionate responses from West Virginians.