A principal in Upstate New York was removed from her post after she complained on social media about the community’s “conservative, MAGA hat-wearing culture.”
The Oswego County board of education decided to remove Sandy Creek High School principal Emily Wemmer and replace her with Maureen Shiel, who previously served as principal for 20 years before retiring in 2016, the Watertown Daily Times reports.
Sandy Creek Superintendent Kyle Faulkner confirmed the change on Tuesday, though he declined to discuss the “personnel matter.”
Wemmer also declined The Post Standard’s invitation to discuss the comments she posted to Facebook last month that led to her ouster.
“This is a VERY conservative, traditional area. I have learned myself that men feel totally entitled to manhandle women whenever. Girls are also expected to be passive. If I don’t teach my girls anything else I hope it is that they can live independently and choose of (sic) they want to be in a relationship or not,” Wemmer wrote in one post.
In another, she alleged “fathers of students will often try to intimidate me physically. Even some male students will try the intimidation BS.” Wemmer claimed “I’ve been asked if I’m a lesbian or married as if those are the only possibilities for a woman.”
Wemmer wrote that she planned to revise the student dress code because “my girls do no need to wear burkhas to keep the boys from looking at them” and complained that change is “hard when you’re fighting against an intrenched (sic) conservative, MAGA-hat-wearing culture.
“I’m working on one student at a time at this point!” the principal posted.
Wemmer posted a statement to the district’s website after parents complained about the posts, which she alleged were misinterpreted. Her intent, she said, was to empower female students.
“I allowed my personal political beliefs to overshadow that message, which ultimately is that I care deeply for the welfare and success of Sandy Creek students,” she wrote.
Wemmer also alleged the comments were initially made in a private conversation, but her account was hacked and the discussion made public.
“Recently I experienced a security breach in several of my private online accounts. In addition to having my debit card number stolen, and other information used in an attempt to divert my direct-deposit paycheck to another bank account, my Facebook privacy settings were compromised,” she wrote.
“Conversations with friends and family who have no connection to Sandy Creek, conversations which were always intended to be private, became available publicly to anyone who chose to search the internet for my name. I have since deleted all of my social media accounts and have learned a valuable lesson about identity theft in the digital world.”
Wemmer and Faulkner issued a prepared joint statement to the school community on Wednesday clarifying that Wemmer was not fired from the district, but rather “continues to be employed as an administrator doing valuable and important work …”
Wemmer was initially hired by the Sandy Creek district in 2017 after working as an English teacher in the Albion Central School District.