High School Principal Sorry After Suggesting Kobe Bryant 'Deserved' Death

A high school principal in Washington is apologizing after she said Kobe Bryant "deserved" his death in a Sunday, Jan 26 Calabasas, California helicopter crash. After news of that Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others had died in the crash, Camas High School Principal Liza Sejkora, in a since-deleted Facebook post, reacted by alluding to the NBA legend's rape case, stating, "Not gonna lie. Seems to me that karma caught up with a rapist today."

Her statement immediately sparked backlash, with Sejkora, who has worked at Camas High School since 2017, later deleting the post and addressing the controversy.

"You are free to judge me for the post just as I am free to judge the person the post was about," she wrote.

However, in an email to Camas High School families on Monday, Sejkora seemed to walk back on her statements, calling her response a "personal, visceral reaction" and stating that she wanted "to apologize for suggesting that a person's death is deserved. It was inappropriate and tasteless," according to ABC News.

"In education, we remind students to think before they post online, especially when feelings are inflamed," she wrote. "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."

According to The Columbian, Superintendent Jeff Snell wrote in a statement that "as school district staff, we strive to model a high standard for students." While Sejkora's post "did not meet that standard," Snell added that the district appreciated her apology and will work to "support her in rebuilding trust with the community she serves."

Although Sejkora's post caused a fierce wave of backlash, she was not the only person to face criticism for how they reacted to news of Bryant's death. Westworld actress Evan Rachel Wood faced criticism after she shared a link to a 2016 Daily Beast article about the 2003 case in which a 19-year-old woman accused Bryant of sexual assault. She also tweeted that although a "sports hero," Bryant "was also a rapist."

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Bryant denied the allegations against him and prosecutors later dropped a felony sexual assault charge at the accuser's request. In 2005, he settled a civil lawsuit with the woman and issued an apology.

Bryant, his teenage daughter, and seven others had been traveling to a Mamba Sports Academy basketball game on Jan. 26 when they encountered dense fog and crashed into a Calabasas, California hillside. There were no survivors and the crash has been ruled accidental.