NORFOLK, Va.– Three days after some students at Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk walked out of class in protest over a re-tweet they deemed racially-insensitive found on a school’s assistant principal Twitter page, the school leader responded.
The statement, attributed to assistant principal Amy Strickland, was posted online by WAVY.com.
“The ‘tweet’ appeared to me at the time to have been an attempt at good natured humor concerning mixed race couples attending a high school prom,” the statement explained. “Because I have two daughters who in fact did attend proms with African-American dates, I casually forwarded the ‘tweet’ last June to one of those daughters.”
“The ‘retweet’ from last June has now resurfaced and become the object of intense media criticism and calls for my dismissal from Booker T. Washington on grounds of racism. I certainly did not interpret the ‘tweet’ as racist when I forwarded it to my daughter last June,” the statement continued. “I have devoted years of my life to educating students in a predominantly African-American school and was named ‘Teacher of the Year’ for the predominantly African-American Portsmouth school system last year.”
“Media reports suggesting that I am racially prejudiced are one thousand percent false, as my record and my many students, colleagues, friends, and family members who are African American can and, if necessary, will attest. I deeply apologize to anyone I have inadvertently offended,” the statement concluded.
Earlier this week, the Norfolk School Board said it would review the matter and would not confirm whether the assistant principal was the person who sent the tweet.
“The School Board is aware and takes the allegations seriously,” Norfolk School Board Chairman Dr. Kirk T. Houston Sr. told WVEC.com. “The Norfolk Public Schools administration is reviewing the matter for appropriate action.”