A Washington state high school principal resigned in shame Friday, exactly 12 days after the now-unemployed woman had responded to the death of the late Kobe Bryant (and thus also the death of his daughter and seven others) by describing it as an act of “karma.”
“Not gonna lie. Seems to me that karma caught up with a rapist today,” former Camas High School principal Liza Sejkora wrote on Facebook on Jan. 26.
Much like Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Bryant was once accused by dubious accusers of committing certain sexual crimes, but was never convicted for them.
Sejkora’s post was reportedly uploaded only hours after a Sikorsky S-76B helicopter carrying Bryant, his daughter, and seven others crashed in Calabasas, California, killing everybody on board.
After receiving backlash from her friends and family, she reportedly deleted the post and replaced it with one bashing her critics.
“I just deleted a post. It was deleted because the comments missed my Intent. You are free to judge me for the post just as I am free to judge the person the post was about. Also — if you are shocked I speak my mind on my page, I am honestly surprised.” she wrote.
She later removed this post as well, she admitted in an interview with Lacamas Magazine that was published this Tuesday.
“That was ill-thought, and, as I’ve shared in an apology, the result was tasteless, and so my apology’s around a poor decision I made,” she said.
While it’s not clear when exactly word of her Facebook posts began spreading, she reportedly sent an email to Camas High School parents this past Monday apologizing for what she’d written.
“On January 26 after news broke Kobe Bryant’s death, I made a comment to my private social media which was a personal, visceral reaction. I want to apologize for suggesting that a person’s death is deserved. It was inappropriate and tasteless. Further, I apologize for the disruption it caused to our learning environment today,” she wrote.
“In education, we remind students to think before they post online, especially when feelings are inflamed. We also teach our students about context. My emotions and past experiences got the best of me in that moment. We also teach our students that what we share online has permanency.”
She concluded by noting that she’d written the post “on a private Facebook account” and “quickly removed” it afterward — and would therefore like a second chance.
“I’ve learned an important lesson and I hope that I can earn your trust back,” the letter read.
Three days later, students chanting “Kobe! Kobe! Kobe!” reportedly walked out of Camas High School and protested her original Facebook posts.
“District officials said the students had agreed to gather inside the high school’s common area, but not to go outside. Instead, shortly after students had gathered, they marched outside the front entrance and gathered, as teachers and security guards milled around,” Clark County Today reported.
“I want to say sorry to the administrators, I know you trusted me,” the protest’s organizer, student Kaeden Blackmon, said to the paper. “But I had to do it the right way.”
See images from the protest below:
Students at Camas High School walked out to protest comments online by school Principal Liza Sejkora about the death of Kobe Bryant. https://t.co/pSLDiC9DlM#CamasWa #CamasHighSchool #ClarkCounty #Washington #Students #KobeBryant #LizaSejkora #CamasPrincipal #JeffSnell #Walkout pic.twitter.com/SqIns0QGF9
— ClarkCountyToday.com (@NewsFromCCT) February 7, 2020
Superintendent Jeff Snell originally placed Sejkora on temporary leave, thus giving her a chance to regain trust.
“You know, they say hindsight is 2020. I think in that visceral response to his death, I made a really bad choice, posted something you know that was in bad taste, and that’s what I’d like to rebuild from,” she said.
“I mistakenly felt authentic in a moment when I was being distasteful and I deeply regret that, however today I had to live in my bravery. I had to own my mistake and I had to show up because my job is to be here for kids whether I made a mistake a week and a half ago or not.”
But a day after the protests, she submitted her resignation.
“My responsibility is Camas High School and how to best move forward,” he wrote. “I have accepted Dr. Sekjora’s resignation as principal of Camas High School. Losing a principal during the school year in this way is obviously very difficult. …,” Snell confirmed in a statement Friday.
“I ask that you rally around Camas High. Our students and staff did not ask to be put in this situation. They deserve the space to move forward. As you know, each one is pretty amazing and together they make up an incredible school.”
BREAKING – Camas High School principal resigns after fallout over FB post regarding Kobe Bryant. Here is a letter to parents from district superintendent: https://t.co/6iEbEOtDVV pic.twitter.com/c5reVSY1Uu
— Katherine Cook (@KCookKGW) February 7, 2020
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