Florida State Representative Jason Shoaf (R-Blountstown) is calling for the removal of a Leon County middle school principal after the principal posted on Facebook that parents are “getting in our way.” Shoaf’s call for action is in response to a media report about comments in a Facebook post by Sarah Hembree, the principal of Elizabeth Cobb Middle School, located in Leon County.
On Tuesday, Tallahassee Reports published a story about the Facebook post by Hembree which stated in part, “Today I say – Parents, Quit pushing for stupid bills and getting in our way … schools are going to do what’s best for your students in spite of you.”
The “Quit pushing for stupid bills” statement appears to be a reference to the Parental Rights in Education bill that was recently signed into law by Governor DeSantis.
Hembree added that teachers “want to decide what they teach in their classroom based on the needs of the students in front of them. … I am SO TIRED of being told we don’t know what we are doing or that we are messing with parents’ rights.”
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Shoaf wrote, “It’s time for this principal to go. She thinks parents are “getting in her way.” I’m calling on Superintendent Rocky Hannah to replace her immediately. It’s the parents’ job to watch out for their children … not some liberal hack lecturing us.”
On Thursday, the Chairman of the Leon County School Board, Darryl Jones, offered support for Hembree’s statements in his own Facebook post. Shown below, Jones shared Hembree’s post and wrote, “I am Darryl Jones, Chair of the Leon County School Board…and I support this message.”
Jones has yet to reply to our request for a comment.
The Leon County school district has been in the news over the last several months related to parental rights in schools.
The family of a middle school student recently filed a federal lawsuit after Leon County school officials told the family they could meet with their daughter without their permission. Governor DeSantis has used the incident as support for provisions included in the Parental Rights in Education legislation.
In addition, a recent report documented a Facebook post by a Leon County elementary school teacher that was critical of parents.
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Steve Stewart is a senior contributor at The Florida Capital Star. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “Jason Shoaf” by Jason Shoaf.