Principal Under Fire After Posting ‘Karma Caught Up’ With Kobe Bryant On Facebook

Kobe Bryant

Principal Under Fire After Posting ‘Karma Caught Up’ With Kobe Bryant On Facebook

The Washington state educator spurred a student protest

Published February 7th

Written by Madison J. Gray

A high school principal in Washington state was placed on administrative leave after a Facebook post suggesting NBA legend Kobe Bryant deserved his fate.

According to The Oregonian, on the day the former L.A. Lakers star was killed in a helicopter crash with his daughter, Gianna and seven others, Liza Sejkora, principal of Camas High School in Camas, Wash., wrote on her page: "Not gonna lie. Seems to me that karma caught up with a rapist today.”

Later that day she wrote that she deleted the post saying, “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.” Later, on Feb. 3 she wrote to the school’s families that she wished “to apologize for suggesting that a person’s death is deserved. It was inappropriate and tasteless,” and called it “a personal, visceral reaction.”

The principal was referring in her original post to the 2003 rape allegations against Bryant by a then-19-year-old employee of a Colorado resort. Bryant had said he thought the sexual contact between them was consensual, but later publicly apologized. Prosecutors dropped the case at his accuser's request as she refused to testify against him. A civil suit was filed later and settled privately.

However, Sejkora’s apology for her comments was not enough to prevent officials from penalizing her for her actions. 

“In light of threats to Dr. Sejkora and concern from our community, Dr. Sejkora has been placed on administrative leave today pending the outcome of our investigation,” Camus school district superintendent Jeff Snell said in a message to the community.

"My focus right now is on supporting the school and the students and really listening to them in terms of what they think should be the next steps forward in terms of repairing trust,” Snell told Portland station KOIN.

Police were investigating several electronic threats against Sejkora, but found nothing credible. Meanwhile, Camus students staged a nine-minute walkout in protest of their principal’s comments, one minute for each victim of the Jan. 26 crash, according to news reports.

A public memorial will be held for Bryant on Feb. 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Two sources familiar with the event told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday that Bryant, along with his daughter Gianna and seven other people, will be memorialized. The date was selected to pay homage to Bryant and his daughter’s  jersey numbers, 24 and 2. 

The National Transportation Safety Board is continuing its investigation into the fatal crash. Officials have not announced a reason for the crash, but are closing in on releasing its preliminary findings, according to the L.A. Times.

Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

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