A Georgia private school fired its principal after a racially charged remark made at commencement made national headlines.“In light of recent events, the board of directors of TNT Academy has moved to dismiss Nancy Gordeuk as principal,” chair of the board Dr. Heidi Anderson wrote to a local NAACP chapter, NBC News has learned.
Last Friday, Gordeuk dismissed attendees prematurely, before calling them back to listen to the Valedictorian’s speech. She went on to chastise people for leaving the ceremony, saying “look who’s leaving — all the black people.”
A video of the incident shows attendees leaping from their seats in outrage and videos of the event went viral soon after, prompting calls for her resignation.
Gordeuk initially apologized – blaming the devil and her own emotional state – but later defended her remark in an interview with NBC News.
“My side is I’m not a racist, I didn’t know black people was a racist term, I didn’t say the n-word or anything like that, because that’s not in my vocabulary!” she said, arguing that it was merely an observation. “I made a statement, it wasn’t a racist remark.”
Gordeuk is the founder of TNT Academy, a non-traditional school that allows students to pursue independent coursework to get an accredited degree.
“During the coming transition, we will continue to prioritize support for our most recent graduates. Moreover, we will continue our commitment to providing students with the best educational classes, transcription services, and academic credit recovery possible,” Anderson continued in her statement about Gordeuk’s dismissal.