CA Principal Under Fire for Anti-Nike Facebook Post Apologizes in Letter

An Orange County elementary school principal who came under fire after posting on Facebook her disgust at Nike's decision to name former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the face of their 30th anniversary "Just Do It" ad campaign has apologized for her post in a letter sent to parents.  

In a post showing a photo of a Nike T-shirt cut up into pieces, McGaugh Elementary School Principal Roni Burns-Ellis wrote "My newest rag! When Nike signs an anti-American thug to represent their brand, I will not support, wear, purchase or endorse their product.”

The post provoked an outcry by parents at the school with more than 300 people signing a petition demanding that the Los Alamitos Unified School leaders act "civilly." 

“As our country has become divided and name calling and hate has become normalized, we were particularly disheartened by her comment on Facebook yesterday,” the petition said in part.

The post has since been removed from her profile. 

On Thursday afternoon, Burns-Ellis sent a note to parents of the McGaugh school community apologizing for her Facebook post, saying that "there are many lessons to be learned from this experience." The principal went on to say that she regretted "using a word that was offensive and I apologize for any disruption this may have caused."

KFI News obtained the full letter sent to families at McGaugh Elementary School which you can read below: 

Dear McGaugh Families,

It is with a sincere heart that I apologize to the McGaugh school community for any discomfort or embarrassment I may have brought from a recent Facebook post on my personal account. It was never meant to hurt or offend anyone. In reflecting on my post, there are many lessons to be learned from this experience. I regret using a word that was offensive and I apologize for any disruption this may have caused. As leaders, we are charged with maintaining a culture where we approach differences in a diplomatic, open minded, and conscientious way.

As we are encouraging our students to be R.A.H. McGaugh, (Responsible, Aware and Honorable) I hold myself to the same expectations. I take Responsibility for my actions; I am Aware of the impact words may have; and I will treat everyone Honorably in words and actions.

I care deeply about our students, our families, the McGaugh staff, and our school community and hope this does not interfere with the great work we are doing. McGaugh is a loving and accepting community and is a wonderful place for our students to learn and thrive.

Rah, McGaugh!


Roni L. Ellis, Principal

Photo: Getty Images

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