Nancy Gordeuk, principal and founder of the TNT Academy out of Stone Mountain, Georgia has come under intense criticism following a racist remark she made during graduation ceremonies on Friday.
Video of her outbursts were posted to YouTube by a member in attendance. In the following clip Gordeuk is attempting to get people’s attention after she mistakenly dismissed the audience before the valedictorian’s speech:
The video starts with Gordeuk calling a man who had been conspicuously taking pictures or video a “goober” and a “coward.”
“Look who’s leaving — all the black people.”
After that comment the place erupted as folks are seen leaving the church where the ceremony took place en masse.
A local station caught up with Gordeuk after and she said, “It’s just that’s where I looked…the man that came up front was black. I guess I was frustrated at him for interrupting this speech for this student.” She told a different outlet, CBS 46, that, “I’m sorry this has gotten all blown out of proportion because just part of the video is being seen.” Adding, “I’m sorry for what I said. Like I said, the devil was in the house.”
Making matters worse, if that’s possible, Nancy’s son Travis thought it would be a good idea to challenge everybody who was speaking ill of his mother to a physical confrontation by using his own racist jargon (and including his address) via Facebook:
After having time to think about it a bit – Nancy Gordeuk released the following response as shared via FOX Atlanta:
To address the incident at the graduation ceremony of May 8. Please keep the facts in perspective. An unknown man at the beginning of a speech decided to walk up to the front of the audience with his tablet, videotaping the audience and the students causing disruption to the audience and disrespect to the ceremony and its participants. When disregarding the request to please sit down, the security was asked to remove the man. At that point, booing of the request commenced. Frustrated with the prospect of ruining the once- in – a –lifetime ceremony the graduates have worked so hard for, my emotions got the best of me and that is when I blurted out “you people are being so rude to not listen to this speech (valedictorian). It was my fault that we missed the speech in the program. I look to the left where the man was and all I saw was a mass of people leaving and I said Look who’s leaving, all the black people. At that point, members of the audience began to leave.
The facts are the rude booing from my perspective facing the audience condoning the actions of this man, are coming from the younger people in the audience. What if ten or twenty persons came and started videotaping the audience in the middle of a speech. Is that disrespect to the person trying to make his speech? Or does that mean everyone can just do as they please?
I sincerely apologize to all the persons in attendance at the ceremony for the actions of the few causing the disturbance and for my emotional, un-called generalization of the black persons in attendance. I deeply apologize for my actions made in the emotional state of trying to let this last student finish his speech.
I take a personal interest in the success of every student that comes through our doors without regard to their race, religion or ethnicity. My main concern for each is to provide them with an education and high school diploma to be able to continue on the pathway toward adulthood to become a successful member of society.
You will find many, many parents of all races, religions and ethnic groups that have been serviced by our school and are very appreciative of our efforts on the behalf of their students. This same group of students had the same support we have given to every other graduating class.
It is very easy to judge someone, however, we all make mistakes, as we are only human.
Again, I deeply apologize for my offensive comment in the heat of my emotional state in trying to achieve respect for a student to be able to speak.
Via AJC here’s how her school is described, “TNT Academy, based in Stone Mountain, is private 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.”
Many are now calling for Nancy’s school to lose its accreditation. What do you think should happen?