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Weak and loser students': Trump parody video leads to unpaid suspensions for HS administrators

Vice principal Jay Kopas and principal Lauren Sheahan of Boulder Creek High School. (Image source: KTVK-TV video screen cap)

A principal and vice principal from an Arizona high school were given 10-day suspensions without pay over a parody video in which they portray Republican President Donald Trump and his adviser Kellyanne Conway.

Principal Lauren Sheahan and Vice Principal Jay Kopas of Boulder Creek High School in Anthem have until Thursday to appeal the ruling outlined in Feb. 8 letters from the Deer Valley Unified School District, KVOA-TV reported. The suspensions would take effect on a future date, the station added, citing the letters.

The video, created before last month's inauguration, portrays Trump and Conway in a decidedly negative way, with Kopas — as Trump — promising to "make Boulder Creek great again."

"We will build a wall around our border," he said in the clip, "and keep those moron parents and weak and loser students out. ... Before those stupid students come in, we're going to vet them and their parents. We're gonna make sure they're tough, that they can handle it. Once they're here, we're gonna track them. And they come in and they screw up, we're gonna ship 'em back ... and their lives will be a total disaster! If they're athletic, we'll break their kneecaps. Who wants those lightweights anyway? ... They are zeroes. Zeroes!"

The clip was uploaded to YouTube and made public for staff members to watch, KVOA reported, adding that the video was attached to the school's weekly newsletter. Then the media got hold of it.

The video also refers to the size of a staff member's hands, "fake news" and global warming as a "concept" created "by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."

The district's letters indicate that staff members can be disciplined for "unprofessional conduct, discourteous treatment of the public, improper political activity and being involved in misuse or unauthorized use of school property," KVOA reported.

Contract renewals for Sheahan and Kopas in 2017-18 depend on how successfully they repair relationships with parents, students or staff members who may have been offended by the clip, KVOA added, citing the letters.

Sheahan apologized after the controversy erupted, KTVK-TV reported, saying in a letter that she was "deeply sorry to anyone who was offended."

She emphasized that the "intent was to share it only with the staff and connect the satirical skit to our work ahead of the rest of the school year," KTVK noted, adding that Sheahan also indicated the clip shouldn't be seen as a political statement.

Here's a news report that aired on the issue late last month:

One last thing…
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