A group of Black students walked out of Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk, Virginia on Monday in protest of a racist retweet posted by school assistant principal Amy Strickland back in June, reports ABC-13.
The tweet, originally posted by @OrNahhTweets, shows seven high school couples—all the girls are White and all the boys are Black—posing for what appears to be a prom picture, along with the caption: “Every white girl’s father’s worst nightmare.”
“Those comments should really be kept to herself,” said Michael LeMelle, a junior at Booker T. Washington.
“I could have been any one of the boys in the picture,” LeMelle continued. “And I really don’t see myself, like I said earlier, as anyone’s worst nightmare.”
LeMelle is one of approximately a dozen students who walked out with protest signs on Monday after allegedly being ignored by both their principle and Norfolk Public Schools.
“The students will even tell you, we don’t want her to be fired because everybody needs a job. Transfer her, punish her, do something to let us know it has not gone unnoticed,” said student Shakira Harris.
The Norfolk branch of the NAACP released the following statement:
Last night, the news reported that an Assistant Principal at Booker T. Washington High School, Amy Strickland, in June posted a racist tweet. Students at Booker T said that it was recently re-tweeted. “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.” Many of the students found this to be racially offensive.
The Norfolk Branch NAACP was aware of these allegations a few days ago and has launched its own investigation into the matter.
We hold the administration accountable for their actions. We will not tolerate racism in this city and definitely not in the education system. Booker T. Washington High School is a fragile school; and the last thing we need in our community are students walking out of school in protest to racist administrators.
The residence of Norfolk, the students of Norfolk and the Norfolk Branch NAACP ask for quick and just adjudication of Assistant Principal Amy Strickland’s behavior.
Joe W. Dillard, President
Norfolk Branch NAACP
Lemelle said the protest could have been avoided.
“This was the only actual way we could get someone’s attention, was to walk outside. It shouldn’t have come to this, but [the administration has] avoided all meetings and public speakings and emails, just avoided them all.”