- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2015

An Indiana high school girls’ golf coach has been suspended without pay after she posted a tweet threatening to burn down a Walkerton pizza shop for refusing to cater gay weddings.

Jess Dooley, who coaches at Concord High School, made the threat to Memories Pizza, which created a social media firestorm this week after the owner said they would have no problem serving gay couples but would not cater a gay wedding because of their religious beliefs against nontraditional marriage.

“Who’s going to Walkerton, IN to burn down #memoriespizza w me? Agree with #FreedomofReligion bill? ‘That’s a lifestyle they CHOOSE’ Ignorant,” she wrote before her account was deleted, a local ABC affiliate reported.

Owner Kevin O’Connor told TMZ that he had to temporarily close his business after being flooded by threatening phone calls and negative Yelp reviews.

Concord Community Schools issued a statement condemning Ms. Dooley’s tweet, saying “the active promotion of illegal violence cannot be permitted.”

“On March 31st, Jessica Dooley, a Concord High School athletic coach stepped outside that boundary, when on her Twitter feed she advocated for the burning down of a business located in neighboring St. Joseph County,” the statement said. “That feed is followed by many Concord High School students, including athletes on her teams. Ms. Dooley admitted making this statement and she was suspended without pay pending the completion of Concord Community Schools’ investigation. Law enforcement authorities are also investigating this matter.”

The Walkerton Police Department also issued a statement asking residents “that all frustrations and rebuttals with Memories Pizza’s recent media statements remain within the law.”

“The Walkerton Police Department is committed to extending professional police services to all in need, regardless of said person’s sexual, religious, or political views,” the statement said. “The Walkerton Police Department has finished an investigation into this statement and submitted a case to the St. Joseph County Prosecutors office for possible charging of harassment, intimidation, and threats.”

A GoFundMe page called “Support Memories Pizza” has received more than $61,000 in funding from more than 1,700 donors in 15 hours.

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