UPDATED: Cobb Middle School Principal Relieved of Administrative Duties

UPDATED: Cobb Middle School Principal Relieved of Administrative Duties


Chris Petley, the LCS Communications Coordinator, in a text message to TR, said that LCS officials were at Cobb Middle School today to look into allegations by parents and that Principal Hembree was not at school. He also said that Superintendent Rocky Hanna was at the school to talk to parents and teachers.

Also, Petley – who previously said he did not know why Hembree was out today – told TR she took a personal day.

Petley’s statements on Hembree are not consistent with multiple independent sources who told TR Hembree was on administrative leave.

Petley said that no decision has been made with regards to any administrators.


Chris Petley, the LCS Communications Coordinator, has told Tallahassee Reports that Superintendent Rocky Hanna met at Cobb Middle School today to address the investigation. He also said that Principal Hembree was not at school today, but said he does not know why.

Petley told TR that Hembree had not been relieved of her duties at the school. TR asked if Hembree was suspended and has yet to receive a response.


Days after the Leon County School (LCS) Board attorney acknowledged the existence of an investigation into administrative actions at Cobb Middle School, multiple sources have told TR that Cobb Middle School Principal, Sarah Hembree, has been removed.

Sources confirm that Superintendent Rocky Hanna took the action today. 

The investigation came to light after a parent of a Cobb Middle School student addressed the LCS Board at the April 23rd LCS Board meeting held at Pineview Elementary School.

Ms. Chaquita Wesley, during the citizen comment section of the agenda, provided a handout to the Board members and began her remarks by saying she was at the meeting to speak because she was not getting any response to emails she was sending to Board officials.

Wesley stated “that my daughter with dozens of other students had their school choice revoked not because of attendance but because of the principal and assistant principal’s personal views on their race.”

Other sources have indicated that Ms. Hembree was not the only administrator removed from the school.

This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.

23 Responses to "UPDATED: Cobb Middle School Principal Relieved of Administrative Duties"

  1. It is interesting that a group of “journalists” who bashes other, more established news outlets for not reporting facts fairly still has not corrected the misinformation on this story. No administrator from Cobb has been relieved of his/her duties, yet the headline remains unchanged. What would be said of the Democrat if it similarly had an erroneous headline for more than a week?

  2. Sarah has the insider information on the misdeeds of Rocky Hanna when he was the czar of Leon High. No doubt she threatened to turn on Rocky after finding our Rocky was going to suspend her. Rocky quickly reversed course, Chris Petley mishandled the communication because Rocky is irrational and Chris Petley like most are afraid of Rocky. A man that put in place and acted on a “hit list’ gets everyone to do what he wants or they could be next. Fear and intimidation is the Hanna way.

  3. NO WHERE does it say that Rocky or the School Board relieved Her of her Duties or even Suspended her……… All you have is “here say” from a few Third Party People. Come on TR, you can do better than that, at least FIX the Headline.

  4. Why is school choice even under the jurisdiction of Prinicpals? It should be done at the county level. The Principals of course have skin in the game and are not going to be unbiased. It’s basically a conflict of interest.

  5. … “four percent of the 324 students reassigned to Cobb Middle School have had their school choice privileges revoked this year.”

    #1: PRIVILEGES – not a gaurentee. Act a fool and you should have your PRIVILEGES revoked.

    #2: Four percent of 324 students at one school!! THAT’S A PROBLEM. Especially because the 324 seats are from parents that are paying for private schools or other means due to the current atmosphere at Cobb!


    1. You can pull all the numbers you want, the facts are students were removed without due process. Your #teamHembre is an endorsement of a process of cleansing/student removal. Hanna has a known “hit list” so does Hembree and her Assistant Principal Wilder. No room in public education for elitists and those who makeup rules as they. Public school is public I am sorry that you feel like an entitled person to pick and choose students as the best of best. A sad day for Leon County Schools.

  6. Chances are, the affected students did not follow the school policy, and needed to go back to the school for which they are zoned. Simple. As. That.

  7. I went to Cobb for 3 Years and never met the Principal or the VP for that matter. I did meet the School Nurse once though, when I split my Chin Open and needed 12 Stitches……..LOL.

  8. Where do you get your statistics? FakeNews.com? Last year it was 55% African Americans and now it is 55%. So therefore…NO, it is not just assumed that most people who behave poorly, or score well, are going to be black. Sure, it’s not ALL about race, but according to these statistics, it is abour 50% of the time. Don’t just throw “90%” out here because you are trying to bounce back from the other comments with actually proven statistics. Maybe math wasn’t your strong point. Here’s some reading for you. https://data.tallahassee.com/school/leon/elizabeth-cobb-middle-school/370032/

  9. Sarah Hembree is a clone of Rocky Hanna. Her thoughts and actions are his thoughts and actions. My nephew went to Leon High, he would tell us Rocky often made disparaging remarks about students but he left his door wide open for all to hear. Rocky Hanna set a debacle in motion naming Sarah Hembree as a Principal. Maybe, just maybe, Sarah Hembree will become a whistleblower telling the professional ethics board what she knows about Rocky’s actions when he was at Leon High. Rocky is probably worried Sarah will turn on him. When she puts pen to paper about what he has done in an affidavit Kathleen Rodgers and Gwen Graham will not be able to save him.

  10. Due to the social makeup at Cobb Middle School there is approximately a 90% chance that any action taken against a student will be against a black student as 90% of the students are black. If a student misbehaves and gets punished there’s a 90% chance it’s a black student. If a student Aces the state exam there’s a 90% chance it was a black student. If a student Saves a Life there’s a 90% chance it was a black student. If a student gets removed from the school choice program there’s a 90% chance it was a black student. It’s not ALL about race people That’s the demographics that the school is made up of.

    1. Cobb is around 55% black. It sounds like the Board knows there is a problem and is trying to do something and Rocky is running interference for his colleague. Hence the contradiction between Petley and the school board attorney’s public responses.

  11. Our son was accepted into the Magnet Program at Cobb in April 2018, but Ms Hembree told us he was un-accepted in August, a week before school started. I called Alva Striplin and State Sen. Montfort about it. Suddenly they admitted their ‘mistake’ and accepted him. Amazing.
    Our son is mixed race, I’m sure that had nothing to do with the ‘mistake.’
    Good riddance.

  12. When I read REVOKED students school choice, my assumption was that students who attended this year were not approved to return next year. We don’t know what reason they were granted school choice. Cobb is a Magnet School and many Magnet students are from out of the school district. I would say that if she didn’t have a very good reason for revoking their school choice, then she needs to be dismissed and I pray that they will not let her go work in the district office. However, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. As a Cobb parent I’ve had multiple issues with this principal. Even though my boys are graduating Cobb this year, I really hope they bring in another principal who understands the population the way Mrs. Fitzjerald did. She was an AWESOME principal for Cobb and great to my sons and I the 5 years I had a child there under her.

  13. So will Hembree’s daughter also be rezoned as swiftly as the “at risk” students she made sure left the school for the same occurrences as their non-melanated counterparts? Because I’m sure she’s not zoned for Cobb

  14. When applying for ‘hardship’ (out of the zone where the child lives) school assignment, I know for a fact that ‘race’ is nowhere to be found in the application. If ‘hardship’ assignment, to a school of choice, is what is being talked about here, the ‘race’ of the child is not known…even after being admitted. The parents involved seem to indicate that the child had been admitted and then somehow was removed after that (see the word ‘revoked’). Was there perhaps some information on the school choice application that may have been omitted, in error, or maybe…even falsified? Secondly, what are our school board members thinking, by not being responsive to multiple requests from the parents? Don’t they know the best time to talk to a parent (especially a mad one) is at the beginning of something like this? Get each of these student’s school choice applications, review them, and then go from there.

    1. Franklin, you don’t need to add Race if you put include your Home Address. Sad to say but, 98% of the Time, you can guess the Race by what Street they live on and a lot of the time just from their First Name.

  15. Wait for it:
    Let’s see if Rocky deals out the most harsh punishment the School Board has.
    That would be once again the transfer of the offending employee to the Pensacola Street office with a fatty pay raise but to be buried under layer upon layer of bureaucracy so the public never hears about the offending administrater ever again.
    Well that’s how Rocky has handled such problems in the past.

  16. Why does the Headline say “Cobb Middle School Principal Relieved of Administrative Duties”, when nothing like that is said in the Article?

    Chris Petley, the LCS Communications Coordinator is who makes these matters worse, just tell the people the damn TRUTH from the beginning, stop trying to sugar coat it.

    1. Chris Petley doesn’t sugar coat information, he actually falsifies information at the request of Rocky Hanna. A short time ago Rocky Hanna said he did not circulate the notebook to state and federal authorities and media outlets, Chris Petley echoedthat. The truth is in the Hank Coxe report Rocky admitted that he circulated the book, he alone circulated the notebook to every media outlet in Tallahassee, every law enforcement agency and the department of education. Rocky also admitted he made the whole thing up. Chris Petley falsifies information. Our school board is asleep at the wheel, they allow Chris Petley to spew off misinformation that misleads the general public, and worse yet they refuse to hold Rocky Hana accountable for the ethics violations he is committed.

      Why was there no check and balance after Miss Hembree decided to remove students from her school? Shouldn’t a supervisor sign off on those things? Leon County Schools home of nepotism, cronism and numerous ethics violations.

  17. At the root of this action is a culture of discrimination and disdain for at-risk student brought forth by the leadership of Rocky Hanna and his scheming Assistant Superintendents. As Superintendent, Rocky’s first action was to bring grief and sleepiness night to parents of disabled students when he moved their school without meeting with parents.

    To the teachers, students and families at Cobb, you deserve better. To the citizens of Leon County have we had enough of Rocky Hanna to demand a recall or an investigation by the Florida Department of Education into the reign of error and terror of Rocky Hanna?

    Rocky you started with a notebook, then you brought forth a mysterious man who used a fake name and doctored photos to further dirty up the former Superintendent, as soon as you became Superintendent you enacted a “hit list”, you have inflated graduation rates, you have promoted 6 of your undercover political operatives to Assistant Superintendent positions making over $100,000 each without having to interview, you have ensured that our teachers are the 46th lowest paid in Florida while you bring back your buddy Tom Inserra on a no compete consulting contract, you have not turned yourself or your file over to professional practices at the Department of Education for them to review your dating a teacher you supervised and evaluated then forcing her to transfer not to mention breaking the Educator Code of Ethics for your false claims in a notebook that was debunked by the school board attorney and the U.S. Attorney.

    Perhaps the Commissioner of the Department of Education or members of Legislature will read Tallahassee Reports who will them begin an investigation.

  18. I wonder if there are other principals doing the same thing. Usually school administrators follow the practices of others. Also, why did a parent have to point this out? We have been told by Mark that Hanna has a house full of Asst. Supt. What do they do if not supervising principals.

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