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Investigation underway into racially charged social media posts linked to Billings school principal

Posted at 1:47 PM, Jun 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-30 20:26:01-04

BILLINGS — An investigation into "appalling" social media posts possibly attached to a Billings School District 2 principal are under investigation by the district, Superintendent Greg Upham said in a Facebook video Tuesday.

“Late last week or over the weekend a post was shared that was potentially attached to one of our principals which I am following up on. I have launched an investigation and full review of the incident and will be looking into that significantly," Upham said.

While Upham didn't reveal the identity of the individual or the content of the posts, the school district's response seems to regard posts made to a Facebook account with the username Mike Hofmann.

Other posts apparently show that Nicole Hofmann, the principal of Medicine Crow Middle School, uses Mike Hofmann's account jointly. A screenshoted post from March 15 shows Nicole would use the Mike Hofmann account to post school-related information on Facebook groups like "Medicine Crow Middle School-PARENT CONNECTION."

Again, Upham did not say specifically who was being investigated, but he said: "The information that was shared was quite appalling and as an educator, gives me an opportunity to address some of the significance of what we are seeing across our country.”

Q2 reached out to Nicole Hofmann for comment but has not heard back as of Tuesday evening. We will update with any comment if she responds.

He described how his passion for education stems from being raised by a single mother. Upham spoke a lot about parents teachers being good role models for students and how adults can work to provide equal access to education for all.

"I’ve shared it with many of you that I’m an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Tribe. I came from a single parent mom who worked very hard to do what she needed to do so we could do what we needed to do. That’s where my firm belief in education came from. For people to obtain and chase their dreams, we have to do everything possible that we can do to ensure that their needs are being met, that people are treated fairly, equally and with kindness," Upham said.

The superintendent said he is following up on the alleged posts to ensure all students feel safe when coming to school.

"As superintendent, I will do everything within my power to ensure that our kids feel safe, that they feel loved, and that they’re given the strength to move forward. I appreciate the emails that have been shared with me, the concerns. Please know that I will take the appropriate actions moving forward," Upham said.