You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

'Then I felt scared': NZ teacher abused over mistaken identity

Newshub logoNewshub 11/10/2018 Cleo Fraser


An Auckland teacher has been sent abusive emails after being mistaken for another US teacher with the same name accused of making death threats against Brett Kavanaugh.

The bitter controversy around America's new Supreme Court judge has dominated headlines for weeks.

Few Kiwis could imagine being caught up in the drama, but that's exactly what happened to North Shore teacher Samantha Ness.

"It did creep me out when people were starting to request friendship on Facebook and start to get into my life and then contacting my boss," she told Newshub.

Alarm bells started ringing when a message appeared on one of her public Facebook photos.

"Your disgusting (sic)," it read - and hinted more was to come.

Ms Ness fobbed it off at first, but things got serious when an email was sent to her school principal.

"I hope and pray that you will not tolerate the behavior of Samantha Ness," it read. "Threatening lies because she disagrees with people; she should not be around children."

Another rolled in, simply reading: "You're fired!!!!"

She soon found another in her own personal inbox, which said: "Low life. You need to lose your teaching job."

Then came a threat: "You have been reported to your School Director in Rosemount MN, as well as the FYI and Secret Service for soliciting murder of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a sitting Supreme Court Justice!! Your days are numbered."

"Then I felt a bit scared, I guess," she says.

The penny dropped after Ms Ness' husband Googled her name alongside that of Brett Kavanaugh.

He found a tweet from a Minnesota teacher, also called Samantha Ness.

"So who's going to take one for the team and kill Kavanaugh?" it read.

a screenshot of a cell phone © Provided by MediaWorks NZ Limited

What added to the confusion is that the Kiwi Samantha Ness is actually on holiday in the US right now.

"At school, we teach our kids about cyber safety - and this is a perfect example of what you have to be careful of," she says.

The American Samantha Ness has since deleted her social media accounts and has reportedly been stood down.

Her Kiwi namesake says she's learnt a serious lesson that she'll be passing on to her students.

More From Newshub

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon