Racist tweet triggers outrage

NORFOLK, Virginia (WAVY) – The NAACP is demanding answers about an assistant principal’s tweet that some Norfolk, Virginia students say is racist.

Amy Strickland, the assistant principal at Booker T. Washington High School, re-tweeted a post by the parody account “OrNahhTweets” in June. The tweet was a picture of a number of high-school aged couples in prom apparel – all the males were black and all the females were white. The picture is accompanied by the caption: “Every white girl’s father’s worst nightmare.”

On Monday, a group of students at Booker T. Washington said they walked out of class in protest of the tweet, which they find offensive.

Norfolk Branch NAACP President Joe Dillard says he stands with the students, and he’s calling for action from the school’s administration.

“I’m proud of them. It’s very heroic,” Dillard says. “A lot of people now say the youth is not engaged and that action proves that’s not true. The youth are actually very engaged especially at Booker T. with that action, and I want the youth to know that we are standing behind them in their actions.”

In a statement released Tuesday, Dillard said the NAACP is holding the school’s administration accountable and his branch has launched its own investigation into the matter.

“We will not tolerate racism in this city and definitely not in the education system,” Dillard wrote.

Officials at the school will only say they are aware of the allegation stemming from the tweet and are reviewing it.

“The School Board is aware of and takes the allegations seriously. Currently, the Norfolk Public Schools administration is reviewing the matter for appropriate action,” said Dr. Kirk T. Houston Sr., Norfolk school board president.

The apparent lack of transparency is frustrating to both the Norfolk Federation of Teachers and the Norfolk chapter of the NAACP. The NAACP said it was aware of the tweet and brought it to school officials’ attention last week. The groups say they can’t believe the school still has not publicly addressed the situation.

“Booker T. is the only [Norfolk] school that is not accredited, so to have students walking out, that shows the administration we need some type of action to this assistant principal, of some magnitude, so we can get back on track with what we need to be addressing at that school,” Dillard said.

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