One teacher at Weston High School says that Eric Hainstock’s claims of harassment are bogus…
The gunfire that killed Principal John Klang early Friday seemed to echo through the rolling hills of rural Cazenovia as residents absorbed the shock of the slaying and the first-degree murder charges.
Some said they were repelled by reports that Hainstock – being held in the Sauk County Jail in Baraboo – told investigators he just wanted someone to listen to his complaints about being tormented by classmates who rubbed up against him and called him “fag” and “faggot.”
His special education teacher on Saturday called the claims a “total joke.” James Nowak said Hainstock didn’t give his anger management counselor a clue of what was to come.
But Nowak, one of three special education teachers at the school, said Hainstock had just finished serving a three-day suspension. Nowak said that about two weeks ago, the student swore at him and, when he fled, threw a stapler at him.
“He said something to me and scared me,” Nowak said. “I backed out of the room and got out of there and ran. The stapler flew past my head and hit the wall. He had the stapler open – it cracked the cement.”
Police were called, and they released him to the custody of his father, Nowak said.
Hainstock told police he gunned down Klang before classes began Friday because he was upset with a reprimand Klang had given him. He was facing an in-school suspension for having tobacco in school Thursday, the criminal complaint said.
He told police he was also upset because he felt teachers didn’t stop students who harassed him, the complaint said.
But Nowak said the youth was unlikely to have been the butt of jokes. “He wasn’t picked on,” he said. “He was the one who would have picked on people.”
The description of Hainstock as victimized is “a total joke,” he said. “We stand up for these kids (special education students) as much as possible. We are advocates for the kids. If they are being picked on, we try to stop it.”
The ultimate bullies are the ones that have to resort to guns to resolve their own issues.