Former Educator Says ‘Hateful Comment’ to Teen Was ‘Out of Character’ But His Tweet History Says Otherwise
A Trump-supporting educator in hot water for chiding a Texas teen accepted to Harvard University has “apologized” for his actions — sort of.
High school senior Drake Johnson gleefully announced his acceptance to the Ivy League school this week, posting photos of himself sporting a Harvard U sweatshirt on his social media. George Clayton, a former member of the Texas Board of Education, rained on the Harvard-bound teen’s parade, however, tweeting, “Congrats. Were you admitted on merit or quota.”
Johnson, who told the Dallas Morning News he plans to run for president someday, didn’t let Clayton get under his skin and instead took the high road.
Thank you! Valedictorian, ASB President, World Champion, good SAT, and a couple handfuls of other involvements, so I would think merit?
— Drake Johnson (@_littledrizzy) April 20, 2018
The former Texas official was slammed for his comments, sparking thousands of angry responses and criticisms. “Sad that someone who labels himself an educator would offer only spite, jealousy and envy to a talent college bound student – wow,” wrote one person. Another added, George Clayton, that was disgusting and moronic and evil, and you owe Mr. Johnson an apology. @_littledrizzy you are a class act and I hope you enjoy yourself at Harvard. – signed, an alum.”
Clayton has since apologized for the misstep, tweeting in response to the piece ran by Dallas Morning News instead of directly to Johnson, “What I said in my remarks was totally wrong and hugely insensitive. My shame hangs heavy in my heart … It was totally out of character for me to make such a hateful comment. I am, of course humbled by my words and sincerely sorry for them.”
However, a report by New Civil Rights Movement revealed Clayton has a history of chastising college-bound students of color, particularly those headed to prestigious universities. In March, he launched a similar attack on a young woman named Hannah Ponce, who was accepted to Brown University.
“Are you qualified? Or was this a quota decision?” Clayton wrote.
He attacked another student named Nelly who’s heading to Brown. And again against Chelsea who proudly displayed her acceptance letters to Duke University, the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, and Vanderbilt University earlier this month. The attack was similar, “merit or quota?”
17 years in the making! pic.twitter.com/TsBkPxrNuM
— chelsea (@chelseafrank_) April 2, 2018
When another student named Codey Babineuax happily announced his acceptance to Princeton, Clayton replied, “Were you admitted on merit or on quota regulations? If merit, great job — congratulations. If on a quota number, work hard, make the best of it and thank the merit applicant you replaced.”
Clayton’s Twitter account has since been suspended.
As for Johnson, the teen said he plans to study government and political science at Harvard. He was also accepted to 10 other universities, including Brown and Cornell.