PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The principal of Camas High School has been put on administrative leave after making controversial comments about Kobe Bryant on her Facebook page shortly after his untimely death.
On the day Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others died in a helicopter crash, Dr. Liza Sejkora wrote, “Not gonna lie, seems to me that karma caught up with a rapist today,” according to The Columbian.
Sejkora’s comments were in reference to Bryant’s 2003 arrest for a rape accusation.
The principal later deleted the post and posted a message saying, “You are free to judge me for the post just as I am free to judge the person the post was about.” She then sent an email to Camas High School families on Monday offering an apology to what she called a “personal, visceral reaction” that was “inappropriate and tasteless.”
That letter read:
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.
Liza Sejkora, Principal
Camas High School”
Students at CHS had planned a walk-out for Wednesday but were informed by Camas School District Superintendent Jeff Snell it would not be supported.
“We understand [the students’] frustration, but given the day I would appreciate them going to class at the end of the second lunch,” Snell said in a statement.
Snell’s response to Sejkora’s apology on Tuesday stated he and fellow district officials will support Sejkora’s process of “rebuilding trust with the community she serves.”
Camas School District sent an email out to Camas High School families, saying threats were being made and additional security staff will be on campus throughout the school day on Wednesday. They stated they take any type of threat seriously and that student and staff safety is the number one prioroity.
“We appreciate that each parent and student will make their own decision about attending today,” the email stated.
Sejkora has worked at Camas High School since 2017.
Bryant’s female accuser eventually dropped the rape charges after refusing to testify. She was 19 at the time of the alleged encounter. In 2005, Bryant settled a civil lawsuit with the woman for an undisclosed amount.