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Florida principal removed for online comment in support of McKinney officer

McKinney Police Cpl. Eric Casebolt resigned after pulling his gun on a group of teenagers at a pool party in June 2015. A witness uploaded this video of the incident to YouTube. Editor's Note: This video has been edited. (Video: Courtesy of Brandon Brooks)

A Florida high school principal has been removed from his post for defending a white Texas police officer filmed manhandling and pulling a gun on a group of black teens at a pool party.

North Miami Senior High School Principal Alberto Iber had posted the comment on a Miami Herald report, according to the paper: “He did nothing wrong,” Iber said of McKinney Police Cpl. Eric Casebol. “He was afraid for his life. I commend him for his actions.”

Iber’s brief comment was removed a few hours later, but community members had already begun circulating screen-grabs, the Herald reported.

The school district issued a statement Wednesday announcing Iber’s removal and said that district employees “are required to conduct themselves, both personally and professionally, in a manner that represents the school district’s core values.”

[McKinney police officer resigns following ‘indefensible’ actions at pool party]

“Judgment is the currency of honesty,” Miami-Dade superintendent Alberto Carvalho said in a statement. “Insensitivity — intentional or perceived — is both unacceptable and inconsistent with our policies, but more importantly with our expectation of common sense behavior that elevates the dignity and humanity of all, beginning with children.”

Iber remains an employee of the Miami-Dade County Public School system and has been reassigned from a school to an administrative office, a system spokeswoman said.

The commenting function on the Herald’s Web site appears to be synced with Facebook; when Iber posted his comment, it appeared under his Facebook profile picture, name and occupation.

On Tuesday, Iber said he had intended to post the comment anonymously, the Herald reported. “I regret that I posted the comment as it apparently became newsworthy and has apparently upset people,’’ Iber said. “That was not my intention in any way.”

The attorney for Texas teenager Dajerria Becton, who was taped being slammed into the ground at a pool party by a police officer, says the case is far from over despite the officer’s recent voluntary resignation. (Video: Reuters)

“I support law enforcement, and also the community and students that I serve as the proud principal of North Miami Senior High,’’ he added. “The comment I posted was simply made as the result of a short video that I watched and my personal opinion.”

Others posted comments in response to Iber on the original Herald story, pointing out that his high school has a large population of black students. More than half of North Miami’s residents are African American, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

[As protesters descend on McKinney, conflicting narratives emerge]

This isn’t the first time an educator has come under fire for online comments on national stories about race and policing.

Last month, Duke University condemned politics professor Jerry Hough for a six-paragraph comment on a New York Times editorial about riots in Baltimore and “intractable” poverty. Hough compared African Americans to Asian Americans, and wrote the latter “didn’t feel sorry for themselves, but worked doubly hard.”

“Every Asian student has a very simple old American first name that symbolizes their desire for integration,” Hough wrote. “Virtually every black has a strange new name that symbolizes their lack of desire for integration.”

“The comments were noxious, offensive, and have no place in civil discourse,” said Michael Schoenfeld, Duke’s vice president for public affairs and government affairs.

Hough had already been on academic leave.


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