NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – While the Booker T. Washington High School administration decides how to handle an assistant principal’s controversial retweet, a local chapter of NAACP has called for all staff in Norfolk Public Schools to undergo a series of culture sensitivity training.
The request comes in an effort to change attitudes and behaviors respecting all cultures in the city, Norfolk branch president Joe Dillard said in a press release.
“We have been aggressively investigating this matter and are still trying to discover the truths in this accusation,” Dillard continued.
The contentious issue dates back to June when assistant principal Amy Strickland retweeted the parody “OrNahhTweets” Twitter handle before she was employed at Booker T. Washington. The tweet was a picture of several high school students posing with their dates for prom. All the boys were black, and all the girls were white.
It was captioned “Every white girl’s father’s worst nightmare or nah?”
Strickland said Thursday the school has placed her on administrative leave. She also said she meant to forward the tweet to one of her daughters and never saw it as racist. Strickland is white. Both of her daughters went to prom with African-American dates, according to her news release.
What drew attention to the retweet was a group of students who walked out of school Nov. 17 in protest. Junior Michael LeMelle told WAVY.com he had known about it a week before the group left the school. He also said many students were passing around screenshots of the retweet on Strickland’s profile.
NAACP deemed the tweet culturally insensitive and asked Booker T. Washington to move quickly and justly in its decision of Strickland’s behavior.
“We have no desire to question Ms. Strickland’s character, however, it is a fact that Amy Strickland did re-tweet the tweet,” the release stated. “This fact alone causes her actions to be deemed inappropriate.”
Norfolk School board members told 10 On Your Side the decision will come from the school since it is a personnel issue.
Strickland’s bio on the school website says she came from I.C. Norcom High School in Portsmouth and while there was awarded 2014 City-Wide Teacher of the Year.