Ruth Stickel, the principal of Fairfield Elementary School in Ohio is being placed on 10 days of suspension for posting about many baseless, false conspiracy theories and problematic statements on Facebook. According to a local publication, the suspension will not be served 10 days straight, instead sporadically throughout the winter.
One of the many problematic posts she publicized on Facebook was that George Floyd, the man who was killed by a police officer kneeling on his neck, was “a criminal.” His death ignited protests around the world and gave fuel to the Black Lives Matter movement — an organization that Stickel also posted about.
The principal called the “Black Lives Matter” group a “leftist lie,” an October report from the Columbus Dispatch found. Though, ThisWeek reported that “no conclusive evidence that Ms. Stickel posted or shared such a video or words” was found by an investigator.
But the comments and posts didn’t stop there. She claimed that COVID-19 created in a lab in Wuhan, China, a conspiracy that has been shown to have no evidence. The Columbus Dispatch also reported that according to Stickel, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, should face murder charges because “his little [President Barack] Obama and Fauci lab in Wuhan is cooking something up.”
They don’t stop there and at first, she was basically given a slap on the wrist in the form of a disciplinary letter, which said that her posts “caused a disruption to the school district.” The school administration warned that if this behavior continues there will be more punishment and possibly even her termination.
When the news of Stickel’s social media outbursts broke, people began to point out the double standards in the discipline within the school district after a Black assistant principal named Damicka Bates at the nearby Tussing Elementary School was denied a promotion after she posted a photo of her daughter in front of anti-police graffiti.
A statement was later released by school officials in which they said, “”the District handled the two matters the same up to the point where one required the Board of Education to take action on a pending change of assignment that the administrator voluntarily agreed to forego.”
They continued, “As a District that values diversity, we proudly represent over 10,000 students, their families, and other stakeholders. In these two cases, unacceptable social media use caused the District to take a stance on issues that are seemingly divisive; however, justice demands that each case is considered on its own merits.”
For now, also as part of her settlement according to ThisWeek, “Stickel was required to complete 12 hours of training on racial sensitivity, diversity, and inclusion,” Insider writes.