Publisher drops children’s book illustrator after threatening to ‘shoot’ kids following Nashville shooting

An Alaskan children’s book illustrator has been dropped from his publisher and tossed in jail for reportedly making terrorist threats directed at little children.

Suspect Mitchell Thomas Watley, 47, posted threatening “notes” at several locations throughout the Alaskan city of Juneau on March 31st, including at a local grocery store, at the State Office Building, and at a Costco, according to the Juneau Empire.

The disturbing notes read as follows: “Feeling Cute Might Shoot Some Children.” Each note also contained an image of an assault rifle overlaid over a transgender flag.

“Watley is charged with a Class C felony, which can result in up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine. His next scheduled court date is a preliminary hearing on April 11,” the Juneau Empire reported on Monday.

The motivation for his stunt remains unclear, in part because it’s unclear whether Watley is a raging leftist or a raging right-winger.

Critics for their part suspect he’s a left-winger, given as this stunt happened only days after a “transgender man” shot up a children’s school in Nashville.

Critics specifically wonder whether Watley was trying to continue “transgender man” Audrey Hale’s apparent mission of killing children.

Note also that Watley posted the notes throughout Juneau on the same day as the so-called Trans Day of Visibility and a day before the since-canceled Trans Day of Vengeance.

What’s known for certain about Watley is that he’d worked for Sasquatch Books as an illustrator for children’s books written by his wife, Sarah Asper-Smith. Thanks to his abysmal behavior, his wife is now reportedly also paying the consequences.

“In Juneau, booksellers removed the books Watley illustrated for his wife, Sarah Asper-Smith. Their publisher, Sasquatch Books, owned by Penguin Random House, said Wednesday it has ended its publishing relationship with Watley and will discontinue selling their books,” according to the Associated Press.

“Whatever the motivation, we feel Mitch’s actions were not consistent with our values or the values of our community. In that light, we’ve decided to pull all of Mitch’s books and artwork from our shelves,” one local business reportedly wrote on social media.

Christy NaMee Eriksen, the owner of another local business, has reportedly also removed their books.

In a social media post of her own, she called Watley’s behavior “terrifying and transphobic.”

“We have little patience for acts of disrespect, and we have no tolerance for hatred against marginalized groups. Members of the trans community are our community,” she said.

Though again, just to be clear, the motivation for Watley’s behavior has yet to be discerned, and so it’s not clear that he’d been targeting the transgender community. If anything, he may have posted the notes in solidarity with the community.

Another local business owner, Tori Weaver of Rainy Retreat Books, said she pulled the books as well, despite them being “incredibly” popular.

“We don’t want to alienate any of our customers,” she said.

Speaking of the books, the AP notes that “Watley is best known as the illustrator for three children’s books written by his wife, including ‘I Would Tuck You In’ and ‘You Are Home With Me.'”

“The books for children ages 1 to 5 feature mother animals snuggling their young and trying to make them feel safe with loving, affirmative statements like ‘wherever you may be, you will always have a home with me,'” the AP reported Wednesday.

(Source: Amazon)

All this comes about a month after Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy introduced a bill similar to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill.

“The bill would require school districts to separate student locker room and bathroom facilities by biological sex rather than gender identity, provide access to single stall restrooms or adopt other protocols to address ‘the physical safety and privacy of students in locker rooms and restrooms,'” according to local station KTOO.

“Parents would also need to provide written permission for students to change their names or pronouns at school,” the station reported last month.

If passed, the bill would also make it so that children would need parental permission before they could take a sex-ed class or join a gender/sexuality-related club.

“There should never be a case where a parent sends their kids to school, and the child comes back having discussions about things they’ve learned in school that may be a sensitive issue or an affront to a parents’ values,” Dunleavy said at the time.


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