SMMUSD-Affiliated Twitter Account ‘Inadvertent’ly Retweets Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory

A screenshot of @SMMUSDbuses Twitter account

On Thursday, Jan. 21, the Twitter account @SMMUSDbuses retweeted a tweet by Twitter user @101PCHCruzGirl that said, “Lol Yeah Biden will be out in March.All the election truth is finally going to come out.” 

The owner of the @101PCHCruzGirl account goes by the username Lisa Aarstad and has the hashtags “#TrumpWon,” “#StoptheSteal” and “RecallGavinNewsom” in her Twitter bio. Aarstad’s own post was in response to a photo of a letter purported to be from former President Donald Trump to President Joe Biden emblazoned with the words “Joe, you know I won.”

According to Malibu High School Principal Patrick Miller, the account @SMMUSDbuses is “the page used by [the school district’s] Transportation Department.” SMMUSD representative Gail Pinsker confirmed via text that the account is one of the district’s “official” accounts, run by an undisclosed person who “is a part of the SMMUSD management team with a long and very highly respected history within the district.”

Pinsker said the retweet was “an accident:” “This is a case of someone showing someone their phone and the retweet was inadvertent by not our official user.” 

The account holder removed @SMMUSDbuses’ post after Malibu parent Jeff Baker tweeted directly to @SMMUSD (the district’s official account) and @MalibuPrincipal (Miller’s account), calling it “wholly inappropriate.” After a SMMUSD representative responded to Baker via Twitter saying they agreed with him and that the account holder was working to delete the post, Baker said he was grateful for their response and deleted his own. 

Miller said in his email that he was glad that Baker had called the tweet out and that the tweet should not ‘in anyway be viewed as a statement of SMMUSD or MHS.” Pinsker also texted that the account holder was “upset this happened.”