School principal apologizes for singling out, stereotyping black - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

School principal apologizes for singling out, stereotyping black people at graduation

I was here and captured the video of this very disrespected lady calling "black people" out. Never have I ever seen a high school graduation turn for the worse. Maya Price

Posted by Brooklyn Jacobs on Friday, May 8, 2015
LILBURN, GA (CBS46) -

A principal at a school in Stone Mountain has caused an uproar after making controversial statements about black graduates at a ceremony on Friday. Now the Georgia Accrediting Commission is weighing in.

Nancy Gordeuk, the principal and founder of TNT Academy in Stone Mountain, said she accidentally skipped the valedictorian's speech in the program, and she asked the crowd that was leaving early to come back inside of the church where the ceremony was being hosted.

As she was addressing the crowd, she was recorded by a member of the audience saying, "Look at who is leaving, all of the black people."

That caused an uproar inside the hall. The video shows people in the crowd standing up and yelling in response to that remark.

The GAC released the following statement:

"The Georgia Accrediting Commission is appalled at the behavior and comments by the director of one of the GAC accredited Non-Traditional Educational Centers that aired on Atlanta media outlets this past weekend. The Georgia Accrediting Commission will be assessing the situation and conducting an appropriate investigation into alleged violations of its standards."

CBS46 was the first television station to speak with Gordeuk after the incident.

"I told my husband it didn't sound like me or feel like me even saying it."

She said she was frustrated because people were not paying attention and were about to miss a speech from the student with the highest grades. She added that the video takes her comments out of context.

"I'm sorry this is getting all blown out of proportion because just part of the video is being seen and not the whole," said Gordeuk.

She said moments before she made the remarks, a man was causing a disruption in the audience, and that caused her to become agitated to the point where she wasn't herself.

"I'd like to apologize to everyone who was in the crowd," said Gordeuk, "I'm sorry for what I said. Like I said, the devil was in the house."

Maya Price was in the audience during the graduation and said she couldn't believe what she was hearing was real. She said, “Everyone was laughing, there was smiling, there was picture-taking, so how the devil could have been inside the house, I have no clue.”

Price said she was offended by Gordeuk's conduct way before the comment about black people, and said people like her friend Brooklyn Jacobs already had their phones out and were recording in response to other remarks Gordeuk was saying to the crowd.

“She came up to the podium and was like, if your baby's crying, you need to do one of two things. You need to tape their mouth, or you need to get out because they shouldn't be here anyway," said Jacobs.

“I was shocked. And for a second, I thought I was the only one. I'm looking around and everybody's mouth is open. We're all looking the same way," said Price.

In Price's opinion, people were leaving, not because they were trying to get out early, but because they were offended by other things Gordeuk had said throughout the ceremony.

“That was just something that was unnecessary and uncalled for, because there were more than just black people who were leaving the scene,” said Price.

Gordeuk said she understands the gravity of her remarks now and she is already experiencing the consequences. She has been receiving hate mail and death threats because of the incident.

According to the school's web site, TNT Academy offers two main options for students who attend the school, which serves middle and high and high school students.Gordeuk was born and raised in the Atlanta area and has a Bachelor of Sciences degree from North Georgia College in Dahlonega.

Watch the video above. Mobile users, click here to watch the video.

Nancy Gordeuk provided CBS46 with this full written statement: 

"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 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 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-for 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 group 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."

Cindy Stewart has a child who attends the school. She says the incident immediately reminded her of a message sent by Gordeuk several months ago that struck her as being unprofessional. 

"She sent out e-mails picking on a certain community within the school," says Stewart. "I felt the email was uncalled for."

Here is the email:

TNT Academy is NOT a babysitting service for your students. Some parents (mainly the Bosnian community) are dropping off their students and leaving them for my staff to take care of. These students do not do their work, they talk and wander the halls and disturb students who are trying to work. (Elvis, this includes you)!!!!

Because these students are so disrespectful to my staff and to everyone they come in contact with (not all of you), I am going to begin closing for Lunch from 11:30 to 12:30 daily. The teachers need to be able to eat and the disruptive students need to leave the premises. If your student is not picked up by the allotted time of 11:30, I plan to charge you $5.00 every 5 minutes that I have to babysit them.

Again we will begin closing for lunch from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. If you are not picked up by 11:30 am, I will be charging you babysitting fees of $5.00 per five minute intervals. Due to your disruptive behavior and disrespectfulness - you have brought on this situation.

If you not cooperate, we will call the police.

Thank you.

Nancy

Stewart said Gordeuk should have addressed her concerns with particular parents, not the entire school.

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