(SYLVANIA Ga.) — The principal of a Georgia school has been fired less than a week after a video of racially charged comments at a graduation ceremony went viral, stoking outrage.
Nancy Gordeuk, principal of TNT Academy, an alternative private school with grades 7 through 12 in Stone Mountain, “has been released,” Georgia NAACP President Francys Johnson confirmed to ABC News Thursday.
The NAACP “thinks it is the right decision,” to let Gordeuk go, Johnson said, noting the NAACP was informed of the decision by the school’s board of directors.
Gordeuk provoked anger and drew national attention after the racially charged comments she made at Friday’s graduation ceremony were recorded and made the rounds through social media. During the ceremony, Gordeuk mistakenly dismissed attendees before the valedictorian could give a speech and as people began to leave the room, she called them back.
“You people are being so rude to not listen to this speech,” Gordeuk tells the audience in video recordings of the ceremony, many of which have since gone viral. “It was my fault that we missed it in the program. Look who’s leaving — all the black people.”
In an email to parents and students of the school, Gordeuk wrote: “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.”
Gordeuk apologized to parents in her email, saying, “The devil was in the house and came out from my mouth. I deeply apologize for my racist comment and hope that forgiveness is in your hearts.”
“Beyond the inappropriate remarks, the former principal attempted to legitimize the bizarre episode by claiming ‘the devil made her do it.’ The Flip Wilson defense may have worked for a comedian, but not a chief educational official charged with the overall day-to-day management of academic and school operations,” Johnson said during a news conference about the issue held at the Sylvania, Georgia, Courthouse in Screven County earlier Thursday.
The TNT Academy, Gordeuk and a school board member did not immediately respond to messages from ABC News seeking comment.
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