High School Principal Who Said Kobe Bryant's Death Was 'Karma' Placed On Administrative Leave
The principal has since issued an apology, but the damage has already been done.
February 06, 2020 at 4:52 pm
A high school principal in Washington is on administrative leave after an insensitive remark following the death of Kobe Bryant.
Following Bryant's January 26 death, Camas High School principal Liza Sejkora made a Facebook post, which in part read, "Not gonna lie. Seems to me that karma caught up with a rapist today." The sentence also ends with a shrug emoji, reports We Are Iowa.
The principal was referring to the basketball legend who tragically perished in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on January 26. Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others also died.
The post was made on the day of the tragedy. The principal deleted the post then followed up with another message.
"You are free to judge me for the post just as I am free to judge the person the post was about," Sejkora commented, according to KOIN.
The latter has also been deleted.
Sejkora's fiery statements point to a 2003 assault charge against Bryant. Bryant was accused of raping a hotel concierge in Colorado. Bryant stated it was consensual. The case was eventually dropped by prosecutors when the woman refused to testify, reports The New York Times.
On Monday, Sejkora sent an email to Camas High School parents, reports CNN.
"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," Sejkora said in the statement.
"In an educational institution, we hope that students learn that you make mistakes, you own it, you learn from it and move on. That’s how we grow as humans. I am hoping to model that I messed up pretty big here. I want to earn their trust back, I want to earn my community’s trust back. I want people to trust that they’re sending their students to Camas High School and not have it be tarnished with a bad decision I made," Sejkora said in an interview with KGW on Tuesday.
Despite the apology, the incident has sparked inflammatory responses. The principal has received threatening online messages which have since been investigated by police and were found to be baseless.
Increased Camas Police presence at Camas High School after the school’s principal received multiple electronic threats after a post she made regarding the death of Kobe Bryant.— Devon Haskins (@devonhaskins) February 5, 2020
The district said police have investigated those threats and have found nothing credible pic.twitter.com/uNXP559WuX
Superintendent Jeff Snell said that Sejkora's comments did not set an appropriate standard for teacher conduct.
"We do appreciate Dr. Sejkora's acknowledgment and will work to support her in rebuilding trust with the community she serves," Snell said in a statement.
Over 1,000 Camas students were absent for school on Wednesday.
"Saying things, you should watch what you post because you know you might get backfire and that's what happened in this situation. It just backfired pretty hard," senior Dorian Dahdli said.
The students also threatened to walk out of school on Thursday at 1:04 p.m. for nine minutes, one minute for each of the victims of the helicopter crash. The walkout was originally scheduled for Wednesday but was postponed to Thursday due to the threats.
Specific details about an investigation surrounding Sejkora's comments have not been made public, reports CNN. It is unclear what additional repercussions, if any, Sejkora will face.
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