The founder and director of an Atlanta private school has apologized for her racial outburst during the school’s graduation on Friday. TNT Academy director Nancy Gordeuk blamed “the devil” for the words that came out of her mouth.
Video footage of Gordeuk’s tirade has been uploaded online and viewed thousands of times via social media and news websites. In the video, she is shown standing at the podium while berating a “rude” audience. She targeted one person in particular, calling that person a “coward.”
Some audience members then began to leave the venue, prompting Gordeuk to say, “Look who’s leaving -- all the black people.” The crowd reacted angrily. Some of them appeared to approach the podium, while most lined up to exit.
One high school student narrated the events leading to the incident. Donte Lambert told Atlanta's WXIA-TV it all started when Gordeuk dismissed the crowd at first, forgetting the valedictorian had prepared a speech. When she told everyone to come back, one parent didn’t want to. He told his child to leave as well. That was when Gordeuk began her tirade.
Following the incident, some parents have called for Gordeuk's resignation, even though Gordeuk is the owner of TNT Academy, a private, nontraditional school initially founded to help homeschooled students get a diploma. According to one student, the tuition is over $3,000 a year. Students also paid $300 for the graduation ceremony.
In a lengthy apology to parents, Gordeuk asked for forgiveness. “The devil was in the house and came out from my mouth,” she wrote, admitting that the incident was a terrible mistake on her part. “I deeply apologize for my racist comment and hope that forgiveness is in your hearts.”
She explained that an unknown man walked up to the front of the audience and videotaped the students and the audience. He was apparently causing disruption to the ceremony. When security was asked to remove the man, the audience began booing. She was frustrated with how the event had turned out, inadvertently allowing her emotions to get the better of her, she wrote. She was also confused why the audience condoned the man’s actions.
Nevertheless, Gordeuk apologized for the “actions of the few” and for her “emotional, uncalled-for generalization of the black persons in attendance.” The Georgia Accreditation Commission, which oversees such schools, said an investigation would begin only after a complaint by a teacher, parent or student.
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