One Ohio elementary school principal is under fire after making a series of controversial and offensive posts to social media, WYSX reports. Fairfield Elementary Principal Ruth Stickel received a warning from Pickerington Local Schools for her recent social media activity. If she violates district policy again, she could lose her job.
“Future use of social media should reflect professionalism and behavior consistent of a school employee and, more specifically, as a building principal that leads staff in ensuring professionalism and protecting the goodwill and reputation of the school district,” Chief Administrative Officer Dr. Zack Howard wrote to Stickel, WYSX reports. “This unprofessional behavior will not be tolerated and any future violations will result in future disciplinary action, including possible termination of employment.”
The Principal’s Controversial Posts
Stickel’s social media activity was brought to attention after several parents made complaints to the district and sent the offending posts to them. According to WYSX, one post stated that “Black Lives Matter is a leftist lie” while another referred to George Floyd as a criminal.
One other comment made by Stickel indicated that Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris would make the US a communist country.
Another comment alluded to the conspiracy that COVID-19 was created in a lab in Wuhan, The Columbus Dispatch reports. It suggested that Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases should be charged with murder, stating “his little [President Barack] Obama and Fauci lab in Wuhan is cooking something up.”
“This could be a moment of ignorance on her part but there are too many resources,” Charles Newman, who has three children in the school district, said to WYSX. “What are we doing to ensure that when my Black child walks into a classroom that they’re able to be who they are and have a teacher who is able to receive them?”
Policy Violations in the District
According to WYSX, Stickel violated the district’s social media policy that states that the board can regulate employees’ personal accounts when they create a hostile work environment or harms the reputation of the school district.
Earlier this year, the same policy was violated by another staff member of the district, Damicka Bates. Bates was previously an assistant principal of Tussing Elementary School but was set to be promoted to principal at Pickerington Elementary School.
However, after she posted a photo of her daughter posing near graffiti, with one phrase saying “F*** police,” her promotion was revoked. Like Stickel, Bates was determined to have violated the district’s policy on social media.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that Stickel said she would delete the posts. One Twitter user responded to news of Stickel’s warning, saying it was “absolutely unacceptable” that one staff member was demoted while Stickel received a warning.
The district has also announced that all of its administrators will undergo additional sensitivity training with the focus on the use of social media.
Pickerington Principal Social Media — Sources
The Columbus Dispatch: Pickerington principal gets discipline letter for anti-BLM, political comments on Facebook
The Columbus Dispatch: Pickerington principal loses promotion due to social media post