Virginia High School Principal Apologizes Over 'Tone Deaf' Social Media Post Following Student's Fatal Overdose

Principal Tiffany Narcisse
Principal Tiffany Narcisse Facebook/Twitter

The principal of Justice High School in Fairfax County drew criticism after a photo she posted to social media following the death of a student.

On Monday night, a student from the school died from an overdose, as reported by local news outlet WJLA.

'Tone Deaf and Narcissistic'

In the wake of the student's death, Principal Tiffany Narcisse shared an image of herself standing in the school hallway with a caption that read, "Losing a student is never easy for a building principal. Still smiling. Still standing. Still leading. Still teaching, learning, and growing."

The post has since been deleted but popular Twitter account @LibsofTikTok shared a screenshot of the tweet, calling the post a "tone deaf and narcissistic response" to the student's death.

The account also noted that students who were outraged by the post, hung up images of the tweet around the school.

"This is so tone deaf," wrote one user. "No one is smiling and learning and growing when a student passes away from a drug overdose. This is the opposite of a response you would want from your principal. And she made it about herself. Horrible."

"She really thought to herself, "you know what would really cheer people up, definitely a selfie of me...," commented another.

"A student passed away, anyway here's a picture of me," opined a third user in the comments.

School District, Principal Narcisse Issue Apology

Fairfax County Public Schools, along with Principal Narcisse, have since issued the entire school community an apology following the backlash.

Dr. Michelle Reid, with FCPS, released the following statement obtained by WUSA in response to the backlash:

"Justice High School recently suffered a devastating loss and we continue to grieve alongside the family of this young person who will be deeply missed.

Principal Narcisse made me aware of her social media post that drew significant criticism. In response to that criticism, she had since removed the post.

I subsequently spoke with Principal Narcisse, and I understand both the intent and the impact of the post as she explained it. I have addressed my concerns with her, and made clear my leadership expectations moving forward.

The role of a school principal is increasingly complex and as humans, we make mistakes. We also process grief in different ways. Extending grace to one another during difficult times builds a stronger community. We appreciate your grace at this time."

Reid says Principal Narcisse has her full support and shared the following message that she sent families:

"Dear Justice HS Community,

As we prepare to take time away for our winter break, I hope that we will stay connected and continue to check in on each other as we process last week's tragic loss of a student that has touched so many of us.

I want to take a moment to address a social media post I made last week. While my intent was to uplift our community, I now realize that instead it caused hurt and harmed the school community. For that, I am truly sorry.

I continue to be in contact with the student's family, and they have appreciated the community's outreach and support. It has meant a great deal to them during this difficult time. We will continue to be a support for them in the days and weeks ahead.

If your child needs support during the break, the CrisisLink Regional Hotline can be reached at 703-527-4077 or text "NEEDHELP" to 85511.

As a listening leader, my door is always open for conversations about ways to make our community stronger. Thank you for your support.


Tiffany I. Narcisse, Principal"