[Vision2020] School director makes racial comments during graduation

Paul Rumelhart paul.rumelhart at gmail.com
Mon May 11 19:03:30 PDT 2015

Principals are human, too.  Or, at least, I think they are.

If I were the parent of one of the black students at their school, I would
be thinking much the same thing I'm thinking now.  "Why should I care about
this, again?"

As for your sidebar, I don't believe I've ever claimed that I wasn't
human.  Neither have I suggested that you be stopped in any way from giving
your opinion, nor that we should unleash the twitter-verse on your ass for
having expressed it.


On Mon, May 11, 2015 at 6:41 PM, Tom Hansen <thansen at moscow.com> wrote:

> Mr. Rumelhart -
> In case you overlooked it, Nancy Gordeuk (who made the statement "Look
> who's leaving, all the black people," at a high school graduation) is the
> principal of that school.
> If you were a parent of one of a black student attending that school,
> would you still be so supportive as you claim?
> Sidebar:  I will remind you of your irrevocable support for the first
> amendment when you feel offended by comments of mine.  Thanks.
> Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .
> "Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
> http://www.MoscowCares.com <http://www.moscowcares.com/>
> Tom Hansen
> Moscow, Idaho
> "There's room at the top they are telling you still.
> But first you must learn how to smile as you kill,
> If you want to be like the folks on the hill."
> - John Lennon
> On May 11, 2015, at 18:27, Paul Rumelhart <paul.rumelhart at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> You mean to tell me, seriously, that there is at least one person in the
> deep south that is at least mildly racist?  I'm shocked.  Nay, stunned!  Of
> course we should create a "firestorm" and make her life a living hell.
> Nobody cares, but I'm going to yet again reiterate my thoughts on this.  I
> believe in free speech.  As in the inalienable right we have to speak our
> minds.  I value that higher than the wish to live in a world where nobody
> will say anything bad against anyone else for fear of being the next viral
> victim.  She said something stupid, she apologized, she claimed she said
> something because of her emotional state that she shouldn't have.  Isn't
> that where it should end?  Hell, I wouldn't care if she said "screw you
> all, I stand by what I said!".  I don't know her, but if I did it would be
> one piece of information about her that I would never have known if she had
> cow-towed to the common group-think.  Isn't it better to make this known
> rather than hide it from everyone?
> And yes, I do think that there should be limits to free speech - but the
> bar should be much higher than suggesting that members of one racial group
> might want to leave a graduation ceremony earlier than another racial
> group.  Much, much higher.  Like, badgering someone relentlessly to commit
> suicide or telling them that their brakes are fine when they know they are
> about to fail higher.
> I want the world to be a better place where everyone loves everyone else,
> too.  I'll be overjoyed if it ever ends up that way.  Publicly shaming
> behaviour as trivial as this is not the way to get there, and it's
> definitely not worth the chilling effect it might produce.
> The really ironic thing is that I think she was wrong to try to remove the
> person who was filming with their tablet in the first place.
> Just my opinion.  Mr. Hansen, please feel free to skip your reflexive
> personal, combative response.  If you want to, of course.
> Paul
> On Mon, May 11, 2015 at 5:53 PM, Tom Hansen <thansen at moscow.com> wrote:
>> Courtesy of *11-Alive* (Atlanta, Georgia) at:
>> http://www.11alive.com/story/news/local/stone-mountain/2015/05/10/tnt-academy-director-racial-comments/27079341/#
>> -------------------------------------
>> School director makes racial comments during graduation
>> STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. – A small Atlanta-area private school is at the
>> center of a national firestorm after the school's director made a racially
>> charged statement.
>> During the graduation ceremony for TNT Academy Friday night, Nancy
>> Gordeuk, the founder and director of the school, said, "Look who's leaving,
>> all the black people!"
>> One of the graduates, Donte Lambert, said it all started when Gordeuk
>> dismissed everyone early.
>> "She forgot the final speech, so she dismissed us all at first. Then she
>> told everyone to come back. One parent got mad and he told his child to
>> come on," Lambert said.
>> Gordeuk later apologized to the parents via email, saying she let her
>> emotions get the best of her.
>> "A terrible mistake on my part of the graduation ceremony on Friday
>> night," Gordeuk wrote. "The devil was in the house and came out from my
>> mouth. I deeply apologize for my racist comment and hope that forgiveness
>> "She needs to get out of that field of being a teacher or a motivator.
>> She doesn't need to be in that field at all," said Shakel Forman, Donte's
>> mother.
>> The school is a private, non-traditional school founded for
>> home-schoolers hoping to get an accredited degree.
>> The Georgia Accreditation Commission said in a statement that a teacher,
>> parent or student must file a complaint in order for an investigation to
>> begin.
>> 11Alive stopped by Gordeuk's house on Saturday, but her husband said she
>> was too emotionally drained to speak with us.
>> Gordeuk says she was frustrated in part because an unknown person walked
>> to the front of the auditorium and began recording the graduation ceremony.
>> After asking him to sit down, she later called security. She says she let
>> her emotions get the best of her.
>> Many people in the audience recorded the video, which has since gone
>> viral.
>> Lambert tells us he doesn't harbor any resentment. He's looking forward
>> to moving on.
>> "I just want to think the positive side of it," Lambert said. "My family
>> came out to support me and we made the best of the situation."
>> Gordeuk's full statement read:
>> A terrible mistake on my part was 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 in in your
>> hearts. We all make mistakes and anyone who knows me realizes that I try my
>> hardest to work with the students for them to obtain their goal of a high
>> school diploma.
>> I do not think I have discriminated against any family in the school. I
>> just pray you will realize I am a human and make mistakes just like
>> everyone else does and be willing to forgive and move forward instead of
>> concentrating on the bad of the situation.
>> 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 o 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 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 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
>> groups 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.
>> --------------------
>> Video
>> http://youtu.be/EwHuQxBDGfU
>> -------------------------------------
>> Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .
>> "Moscow Cares"
>> http://www.MoscowCares.com <http://www.moscowcares.com/>
>> Tom Hansen
>> Moscow, Idaho
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