A video clip of a graduation gone wrong went viral over the weekend after a White principal made what many onlookers felt were racist remarks.
TNT Academy founder Nancy Gordeuk made the comments Friday evening (May 8, 2015) during the school’s graduation ceremony as she tried to calm the crowd after accidentally ending the program before the class valedictorian could give his speech.
In doing so, Gordeuk created chaos as she verbally noted that it was ‘all the Black people’ who were being disruptive by leaving.
“You people are being so rude to not listen to this speech,” Gordeuk tells the audience, according to video recordings of the ceremony posted to social media.
“It was my fault that we missed it in the program. Look who’s leaving — all the black people.”
The statement caused the audience to erupt in disgrace and several graduates appear to walk off the stage in protest.
Watch raw footage of the incident + the principal’s explanation for her racist remark below…
Jada Gibson attended the ceremony in support of her cousin, who was among the graduating class, and posted a snippet of the video above via twitter.
“It’s just very sad,” Jada Gibson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Saturday.
She said each of the school’s 48 graduates had to pay between $250 and $300 for the ceremony, which she said was marred throughout by Gordeuk’s comments — including, Gibson said, an aside about a crying baby that should have its mouth taped shut.
Gordeuk, the Principal and founder of TNT Academy, spoke with several news stations after the video went viral and states that she did not mean any harm with her comment, but was merely verbalizing what she saw, she states:
“It’s just that’s where I looked…the man that came up front was black,” Gordeuk told the station. “I guess I was frustrated at him for interrupting this speech for this student.”
Gordeuk also reportedly sent students and families an email Saturday apologizing for the ceremony.
TNT Academy is a private school located in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and is what’s known in school circles as a nontraditional education center. It offers classes and independent study for seventh- through 12th-graders and also provides credit recovery for public school students who have failed a class at their regular school. The school is accredited through the Georgia Accrediting Commission.
With all that’s going on in the world, it’s hard to dismiss this as just an ‘unfortunate’ comment. Racism is real boys and girls and situations like these aren’t new, they’re just being brought to the surface more quickly thanks to social media.