A high school principal who reacted to the January 26 death of retired NBA superstar Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash by calling the tragedy “karma” in a social media post has resigned from her job. The move comes despite her apologizing for the post and subsequently being suspended by Camas High School in Camas, Washington, where she had served as principal for three years.
Though her post on Facebook was quickly deleted, a CNN report quoted principal Liza Sejkora comment on her personal page.
“Not gonna lie. Seems to me that karma caught up with a rapist today,” she posted.
The comment was a reference to Bryant’s 2003 sexual assault case, in which the then-24-year-old Bryant was accused of raping a 19-year-old woman in an Edwards, Colorado, hotel room. The victim was an employee of the hotel. According to a 2016 report on the case by The Daily Beast, Bryant later issued a statement admitting that the sexual encounter was not consensual on the victim’s part, though he initially claimed that she had, in fact, consented.
Bryant was never tried on the charge, which was dropped after the accuser declined to testify. He later settled a civil case, after the accuser sued him over the alleged sexual assault.
Sejkora faced a public backlash over her post, even after she called her Facebook comment “inappropriate and tasteless,” and she publicly apologized “for suggesting that a person’s death is deserved,” according to the CNN report.
Sejkora also said that what she called her “visceral” reaction to Bryant’s death was the result of “some personal experience,” and that this experience had caused her to fail to “think before I posted.”
On Friday, she handed in her resignation to Camas Superintendent Jeff Snell, according to an NBC News report. In a statement, the now-former principal said that she resigned to avoid causing disruptions to the learning environment at the school.
Snell also said that students at the school deserve the space to move forward, and did not ask to be put in this situation, as quoted by NBC News.
Mentions of the Bryant rape case in the wake of the 41-year-old basketball legend’s death — along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others in the Calabasas, California, crash — have been a source of controversy resulting in consequences for those who have brought up the case. A Washington Post reporter who tweeted about the rape allegations was suspended from her job by the paper.