Well, it was certainly a graduation to remember, but unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons. What should have been a celebratory occasion quickly turned into something ugly when a racist remark was made by, of all people, the high school's director.
Video captured the whole thing, which is nothing short of appalling. The graduation for seniors at TNT Academy in Atlanta was effectively ruined, after school director and founder, Nancy Gordeuk, first accidentally ended the ceremony before the valedictorian made his speech. When she explained that she had forgotten about the student's speech and asked parents and students to stay, some continued to funnel out. She commented, "Look who's leaving, all the black people!"
As you can imagine, the offensive remark was not well-received, as students and parents are seen getting up to leave.
The school director did apologize in an email to the families, but her apology was pretty half-baked, as she blamed "the devil" for making her say it. Right.
She wrote: "A terrible mistake on my part of the graduation ceremony on Friday night. 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."
She also blamed someone who was recording the ceremony and told NBC News, "I didn't know 'black people' was a racist term. I didn't say the N-word or anything like that 'cause that isn't in my vocabulary."
She added, "People always think the worst, you know. You say the word 'black,' you know. Was I supposed to say African-American? Were they all born in Africa? No, they're Americans."
The director further explained, "When I looked up, all I saw was black families leaving, and thus the comment."
Something tells us enrollment in this school may suffer a bit.