Students in Norfolk, Va. staged a noontime walkout on Monday in protest of the actions of one of the high school’s top faculty members. A racist and offensive tweet from an assistant principal was at the heart of the show of solidarity.
Booker T. Washington High School students are reacting to a photo that assistant principal Amy Strickland retweeted over the summer. The photo, captioned “Every white girl’s father’s worst nightmare,” features a group of young white women and their Black male prom dates. The photo was retweeted from a parody Twitter account, and the original photo has not been sourced.
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“Those comments should really be kept to herself,” said Michael LeMelle, a junior at Booker T. Washington.
Students said Assistant Principal Amy Strickland retweeted a picture and caption in June that many of them find offensive.
The tweet was originally posted by the parody account “OrNahhTweets.” It shows a picture of seven couples in prom clothing, all the young men are black and all the young women are white. The caption reads: “Every white girl’s father’s worst nightmare.” It’s not clear where the picture originated.
“I could have been any one of the boys in the picture,” LeMelle said. “And I really don’t see myself, like I said earlier, as anyone’s worst nightmare.”
LeMelle is part of a group of students not keeping quiet about the tweet. He said he found out about it more than a week ago when his friend showed him a screenshot of the tweet.
The group of around 15 students have called on principal Adrian Day to act against Strickland, and want to hear her explanation for posting the tweet. WAVY reporters followed up with the Norfolk Public Schools board and other officials, and they are handling the situation as an internal personnel matter but did say they had no knowledge of the tweet prior.
Strickland has been recognized as an outstanding teacher, winning the 2014 City Wide Teacher Of The Year award prior to her latest position.
Watch WAVY-TV’s report below.