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Pickerington principal loses promotion due to social media post

Columbus Dispatch |

The Pickerington school district reversed an assistant principal’s promotion to principal after a photo of her daughter posing near anti-police graffiti ignited controversy on social media earlier this month.

The post from Bates’ personal Facebook page, which included profanity, has since been removed.

In a public apology earlier this month, Bates said the photo appeared to be cropped in a preview before she posted it to Instagram and Facebook, so she didn’t see the derogatory statement.

“The statement does not reflect the views of myself or my family,” she said. “We did not write those words and we do not agree with those words.”

Pickerington Board of Education policy says the board can regulate use of social media by employees, including on personal accounts, under certain circumstances.

“Care must be taken to maintain an atmosphere of professionalism consistent with the behavior expected of school employees,” the policy states. “Your profile … should not have a negative impact on your ability to maintain the respect of colleagues, parents, and students.”