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Miami Sunset Senior High Principal Out Amid Filth Allegations

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- Miami Sunset Senior High's principal has retired amid social media posts on the school's conditions.

CBS4's news partners the Miami Herald found anonymous, unauthenticated pictures of moldy drinks and cockroaches inside the school posted online.

Roach In  Miami Sunset Senior High Bathroom
(Source: Tumblr)

The pictures went viral and a Change.org petition received about one thousand signatures from people calling for the removal of Principal Dr. Lucia Cox.

Cox had been employed by Miami-Dade schools for 25 years and worked at Miami Sunset High as principal for the past 10 years.

CBS4's Travell Eiland went to her home but she refused to comment on the accusations.

Miami- Dade School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho released a statement Wednesday saying, "Recognizing the best interests of Miami Sunset Senior High School, its students, faculty, and community and standing firmly on the high standards expected at Miami-Dade County Public Schools, today we accepted the early retirement of Dr. Lucia Cox.  Restoring Sunset Senior to its optimal teaching environment is of paramount importance; therefore, a temporary leader will be assigned until a permanent appointment is approved at the next School Board meeting."

Earlier this month, the State Health Department gave an unsatisfactory rating to the school because of it's conditions.

A school district spokesperson said  inspectors came back to the school on Wednesday and the school's status was upgraded to satisfactory after school officials had worked for two weeks to bring it up to code.

There are reports that students who commented on social media about the filthy conditions were forced to apologize.

The school district responded by saying they were not stepping on students freedom of speech. The students were told to apologize for the inappropriate and vulgar language used in the posts because that language violates district policy.

Miami-Dade Schools released a statement over the concerns that students' freedom of speech had been violated saying, "Miami-Dade County Public Schools not only respects students' rights to free speech, but encourages it.  The situation at Miami Sunset Senior High School is not an issue involving freedom of speech; it is an issue involving the respectful use of social media. The students' use of profane language in a message that would be seen as offensive to anyone who read it is a violation of the School Board's Acceptable Use Policy for the Internet, which prohibits vulgarity. After students issued the message, they were asked to review the Acceptable Use Policy and write an apology letter, a request that is totally appropriate in a case like this. Students were never threatened with suspension for expressing themselves about safety conditions. And while we will continue to promote freedom of speech, we - as educators - continue to have a responsibility to instill core values, including respect, in our students."

Click here to watch Travell Eiland's report. 

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