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This high school principal was put on leave after Kobe Bryant’s death. Here’s why

The principal said Bryant deserved to pass away

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant, right, handles the ball while Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, left, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, March 6, 2016.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant, right, handles the ball while Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, left, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, March 6, 2016.
Kelvin Kuo, Associated Press

A high school principal from Washington state has been officially placed on leave because of her comments about the death of Kobe Bryant, CNN reports.

What happened: According to KATU, Camas High School principal Liza Sejokra wrote a negative comment about Bryant on her Facebook page, saying: “Not gonna lie. Seems to me that karma caught up with a rapist today.”

  • Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, died in a helicopter crash at the end of January, sending shockwaves throughout the country.
  • Her initial post was a reference “to a 2003 sexual assault accusation against Bryant. The criminal charge was dropped. Bryant acknowledges that while he viewed the encounter as consensual, his accuser did not. Bryant later settled a civil suit with his accuser,” according to CNN.
  • Sejkora deleted the post. She wrote a separate message: “You are free to judge me for the post just as I am free to judge the person the post was about.”

Sejkora wrote an email to Camas High School parents. It read:

“CHS Families:

“You may be aware that a copy of a social media post I made on my personal Facebook page is circulating digitally in our community. Today, I apologized to my staff, and now I apologize to you.

“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.

“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.

“While what I wrote was posted on a private Facebook account to people who are my friends and was quickly removed, I acknowledge that private does not always mean private. I love being principal at Camas High School. We have tremendous students, staff, and community. I’ve learned an important lesson and I hope that I can earn your trust back.”

What’s next: Superintendent Jeff Snell said in a statement that the school will work to rebuild trust with the principal, according to KPTV.

  • Snell: “As a school district staff we strive to model a high standard for students. This situation did not meet that standard. We do appreciate Dr. Sejkora’s acknowledgment and will work to support her in rebuilding trust with the community she serves.”