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Rocky Hanna: Apalachee Elementary assistant principal's Facebook post was not racially motivated

Posted at 12:36 PM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-03 15:27:14-04

LEON COUNTY, Fla.(WTXL) — After news broke that an assistant principal at an Leon County Elementary School was reassigned to another school after being investigated for a Facebook post that drew numerous complaints, Superintendent Rocky Hanna took to Facebook Thursday to set the record straight.

The district reassigned Nikki Bradley, assistant principal at Apalachee Elementary School to Killearn Lakes Elementary after complaints of an inappropriate social media post she made last week.

In screenshot of her Facebook page shared with ABC 27, the post read:

For a while now I have felt like the Ringmaster of the ****show. Today has done me in! I do not want to be the ringmaster, someone come get the monkeys and all the circus friends.

#exhausted #goawaycovid #imgoingtobed

According to data from the Florida Department of Education, the student population at Apalachee Elementary is a predominately African-American.

In addition to being reassigned, the district Bradley was demoted from her position as assistant principal and a formal letter of reprimand has been added to her personnel file.

After investigating, the district determined that the social media post was not meant to be divisive or racially motivated.

Dina Mcallister, the Assistant Superintendent of Labor and Employee Relations, joined Hanna in the Facebook live stream, saying that Bradley's comments were made before school had begun.

"We understand the severity of words can be hurtful," she said.

McAllister said a formal apology is forthcoming on Bradley's behalf.

"If we for one second thought she was trying to refer to circus animals as people, she would have been immediately fired, plain and simple," Hanna said. "We have no reason to believe it was racially motivated but it was insensitive, it was wrong and we have taken action."

You can watch the full video below.