Florida State Representative Jason Shoaf (R) 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. 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.
Patrick Christopher Evans, Florida raised but such little understanding of the south and our people. Before you assume any more racist actions you might want to look up the 2020 Census Demographic Data Map Viewer and check out race break down by zip code. I think you will find that the south is vastly more integrated than the north. Northern zip codes are much more segregated than southern ones, yet we are the racists?
Hembree needs to be remove from her job and the same with the school board chairman that supported her actions. All parents, citizens need to actively participate in running our local government!
You have to go back to before Bill Montford’s time for me to not know the superintendent outside of the office. Bill was a typical Democrat in that he never saw a tax hike he didn’t like Jackie Pons was well known around town primary due to his skill hitting a softball. Somehow that skill made him qualified to be the superintendent. Rocky is just power hungry. I kinda supported him over Jackie, but looking back that was a mistake. Jackie did some questionable things while in office, but I think he was trying to work around the system to get things done.
That’s nearly 25 years of leadership in our schools that have left us where we are. We need new blood in that office.
If that woman got anywhere near my child she would have a problem. The entire school board needs to go. They are an odious group of imbeciles as evidenced by their nonstop drama.
Less than half the students at Cobb can read at a satisfactory level!
Fire that stupid woman now!
…Please add the school board member who is doxing; faces no consequences or removal as of yet… They are out of control…
When I was 14 years old, a school administrator falsely accused me of wrongdoing. My mother came to my rescue.
Parents are not going to butt out. School personnel that want parents to get out of the way, are up to no good.
Thank God I no longer have children or grandchildren in Leon County schools. In my opinion, Rocky Hanna is a disaster as a school superintendent.
@ Civilized even though he was not your biological that man was a hell of a Dad for sticking up for you in the face of the adversity he walked into on that dark day in your 14 year old life. Thank the old Vet if he’s still with us. Go to his grave and honor him with a prayer of he has passed. Thank you for what you wrote. My dad stood up for me in a simmilar situation with the school at the same age you were.
When I was 14 years old, there was an arson at Leon high School. I didn’t even know it happened before the school’s sheriff put me in a car and took me to the sheriff’s office by the Thomasville Whataburger. I was just a kid and nervous as hell. I had no idea what they brought me there for. When we arrived they took me straight into an interrogation room and proceeded to tell me that they knew I started that fire. I was kind of in shock and willing to do anything at the time the proof that I didn’t do that. Which of course was their game plan and so I agreed to take a polygraph test not realizing how it worked or even why they are asking me these weird questions unrelated to the event. It was exactly as you’ve seen in the Humphrey Bogart movies or that era to be more specific. A gray room, a lamp in my face and two guys and gray suits with guilty stairs and silence. They eventually got to the direct questions and I said no I did not, “just a yes or no”was repeated to me quite frequently. That’s something else I didn’t understand, but to make this very long story a little bit shorter the end result was that the polygraph test indicated that I was trying to deceive them and with all the other information they had, which of course was supposed to be in that file folder his finger was on, they were certain that I did in fact start that fire and followed that up with the standard harshest penalty fear mongering and admitting the accusation leniency as a much better alternative. I kept telling him I didn’t do it and that’s when they threatened to call my father, sorry parents I think it’s what they said, and eventually they did reach my father as my mother wasn’t actually the primary contact. My father is very strict, did two or three tours in nam, took me for crew cuts instead of trims, wasn’t a timeout kind of guy and he was my stepfather so we didn’t have that baby connection, and after hearing about his family Life years later, didn’t have a clue how to raise children. That’s a pretty long story in itself, so just call it that and move on after my father arrived, the deputies greeted him with sirs and the social distance of a Ally in this campaign. They called my father in another office so I wasn’t aware of the conversation and it initially looked like I was completely effed no matter what I said here. But this isn’t how it was the proceed at all. My 6 ft 6, 275 lb, 6% body fat stepfather (from the tour de France bicycle ride everyday from wakulla county to the State offices and back again before we moved to Tallahassee) was beat red and seriously pissed off. The good news is he wasn’t looking at me. The officers quickly realized their mistake when that social distance turned into mere inches face to face. My father didn’t yell he bellowed and when he started bellowing who’s in charge here and poking the man in front of him with his baseball glove-sized hands, trust me this didn’t feel good at all, I was greatly relieved that hollow bone sound echoing in the room wasn’t coming from me. On the flip side, the now shaking sheriff was not relieved at all. The point of the story is this. Teachers, principles, affiliated law enforcement officers providing for that school and pretty much everyone else in that system cannot be trusted with making the right decisions for your children since they are simply there to keep order and admonish the children if they get out of line. The system had no problem whatsoever taking a 14-year-old kid to a sheriff’s office, drilling him like he had multiple felonies and phrasing things in ways to convince that kid’s parents that their child needed to be put juvenile detention to await the court date. They actually caught the kid that did it sometime later, or at least that’s what a friend of mine said, but these one-on-one meetings without parental consent may seem like a simple discussion in the office about spitting paper balls and other students, but I can tell you firsthand that there is a much larger range of what this allows them to do. These are grown men and women with ideologies and prejudices of their own. The most common to me seem to be the kids are just troublemakers and aren’t worth the time to listen to, and even if they did listen to your kid, it’s probably a lie anyway so let’s just punish him just a case. You should already have a problem with a teachers free reign agenda and if you don’t then you’re probably like my parents who let anyone and everyone teach their kid for you. There’s a name(s) for it, your kids out of school substitute parents “the internet”will tell you that they are all synonymous with s*****, worthless, deadbeat and actually there’s quite a long list. A few years ago, back in the Jeb Bush days, the judicial system was handing out years for joints and blow, even if it was just an experimental thing in college and barely covered your pinky nail. Luckily he was a s***** parent too and his daughter got caught up in the system, so the drug charge sentencing rules were instantly reduced. Hang tight folks, self-centered is the norm for politicians, so it won’t be long before a politician’s kid ends up in a gray room with two gray suits a lamp and a polygraph test.
Good for him! And please include the elementary school teacher Ms. Unicorn!
@Patrick Christopher Evans:
Are you saying the entire Big Bend is racist? And you claim that’s honesty?
Shame, shame. That entire comment should never have been posted on here.
AMEN!!! Get rid of Hembree AND LEWIS BLESSING!! What an embarrassment to Leon County Schools!!
Thank you, Fl. State Rep. Jason Shoaf, for speaking in support of parents and, thereby, protection of children.
Also, what Snidely said.
For those who want to know more about a public employee’s First Amendment right to speak on public issues: https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/925/public-employees
I dont know if its appropriate to fire someone for comments they made in their personal life. Certainly this will make doing her job in a professional manner more difficult since the people may not trust her. In a private company this would be easy, in a public school with multiple admin levels, its a little more sensitive. As always, the solution here is stop sending your kids to public schools.
Thank you Florida State Rep. Jason Shoaf.
PS: Ohio born, Florida raised.
The entire “big bend” area of Florida presents one face to entice citizens while hiding their real racist actions behind their “religious face”. An honest assement from an honest “Floridian”.
Thank you for speaking out for the few but loyal voting conservatives trapped on this small blue island of liberal majority voters here in the Leon County/Tallahassee area.
Most conservative politicions write us off as the idiot County which is getting what the idiots voted for when things like the recent School Board situation hit the news.
And of course the numbers of conservative votes a politicion will ever get from Leon County are small. But you Rep. Shoaf prove you got our backs and our votes. You are a true man of principal and courage to speak out against what your voters have suffered from for so long. You have proven its much more than votes that motivates an honest man such as yourself to rise up against the tyranny of the majority. Thank you Sir.