CAMAS, Wash. (AP) — Some high school students in Washington state prepared to walk out of class Wednesday to protest a Facebook post by their principal that suggested the late NBA superstar Kobe Bryant deserved to die.
The Camas School District said in a statement Tuesday that it was placing Camas High School Principal Liza Sejkora on administrative leave while it looked into the post she wrote on her personal Facebook page on Jan. 26, KGW-TV reported. That was the day Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people died in a helicopter crash in California.
Sejkora wrote in the post, “Not gonna lie. Seems to me that karma caught up with a rapist today.” She deleted the post after an hour and apologized Monday, calling the message “inappropriate and tasteless.”
In 2003, Bryant was accused of raping a 19-year-old employee at a Colorado resort. He said the two had consensual sex, and prosecutors later dropped a felony sexual assault charge at the request of the accuser. The woman later filed a civil suit against Bryant that was settled out of court.
“In education, we remind students to think before they post online, especially when feelings are inflamed,” Sejkora said. “My emotions and past experiences got the best of me in that moment.”
The school district said Sejkora had been put on leave “in light of threats to … Sejkora and concern from our community,” according to the Portland, Oregon, TV station.
Students told KGW-TV that they planned to walk out of class just after 1 p.m. Wednesday for nine minutes — one minute for each victim of the helicopter crash.
“It’s just really insensitive,” senior Adam Hoteit told the station. “There’s no real position for her to say that. Especially when she’s in such a place of power that she is right now. She represents the school and that’s how everyone’s gonna see this town and this school.”
Camas, once mostly known as the headquarters of a major paper-making company, has become a rapidly growing commuter city in southwest Washington, about 20 miles northeast of Portland, Oregon.