ROCKPORT, Maine — The assistant principal of Camden Hills Regional High School has issued an apology for posting a Facebook message some people found offensive.
“The only terrorists we need to fear are the domestic white ‘Christian’ men with easy access to guns,” Piet Lammert wrote on his personal Facebook page Nov. 28, the day after a deadly shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. The post has since been deleted.
Five-Town Community School District Superintendent Maria Libby said Wednesday she received telephone calls and emails from concerned parents and others about Lammert’s comments.
“As superintendent, I have looked into the issue and am taking appropriate action,” Libby said. “As you know, I am unable to share the details because it is a personnel issue. I will say that I know Piet, and he is someone who genuinely accepts all people. The Five-Town CSD is committed to providing an atmosphere open to all students, families and staff and has a well-earned reputation for doing so.”
When reached Friday, Lammert said he posted an apology on his Facebook page that morning and would be sharing the statement in an email to parents.
“With true humility, I write to apologize for the offensive statement that I recently posted on Facebook,” he said in the Facebook post. “I did not intend this statement literally when I wrote it — it was an exaggeration — but soon after realized that it was unintentionally hurtful, offensive, and divisive at a time when more than ever we need compassion and understanding.
“Had I simply written what I meant, the post would have reflected my urgent distress at the epidemic of mass violence in our country, which more recent events have proven to span all social groups. Ironically, in my effort to point out that we run the risk of simplifying the problem by singling out a particular ethnic group, I did exactly that to the group to which I belong. It was careless and rash,” he wrote.
“Having devoted the bulk of my career — approaching two decades — to the five town community, I am truly heartbroken to realize that I have damaged relationships that mean so much to me by virtue of a careless statement. I am writing in hopes that those I offended will provide me the opportunity to rebuild those relationships and, in time, forgive me,” he said.
By midday Friday, his apology had received likes from 37 of his 922 Facebook friends, including one woman who said she had been offended by the original post.