HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. – A Maryland elementary school principal whose Facebook page featured a racially charged Election Day diatribe claims his account was hacked, and he’s a victim.
Havre de Grace Elementary School Principal Ronald C. Wooden’s Facebook page featured a rant following Donald Trump’s historic election victory over Hillary Clinton that claimed Trump supporters are sexist, racist and ignorant, the Baltimore Sun reports.
“America is a joke!” it read.
The post claimed those who believe America is a democracy are “foolish” and claimed the country became “the laughing stock around the world today.”
Wooden, a black man, claims he didn’t pen the post, but refuses to discuss the situation with the Sun.
Wooden started in the district as a respected teacher at George D. Lisby Elementary School before a promotion to assistant principal at Havre de Grace that eventually led to his current position. A profile on the district’s website features a first year teacher who heaped praise on Wooden and offered insight into his teaching style.
“Ronald Wooden is the most amazing teacher I have ever seen,” second grade teacher April Inman said. “I once watched Ron crawl beneath a student’s desk to vividly explain how much room each African slave had on the ships to America – the students were riveted and will take that image with them.”
The Election Day Facebook post lectured Trump voters – 77,864 in Harford County – which the author believes are comprised of bigots and racists, and others Clinton referred to as “deplorables.” About 58 percent of area voters supported Trump.
“It tells me a lot about you,” the post on Wooden’s page read. “Words that come to mind … racist, bigotry, hatred, hypocrite … Not for me! Please don’t smile in my face and try to act like you like me. You really don’t … I’m a Black Man.”
Wooden certainly isn’t the first educator to find themselves in the spotlight over Facebook comments regarding Donald Trump and his allegedly racist supporters.
Veronica Welsh, a foreign language teacher at Smithtown High School West on Long Island, New York, was administratively reassigned after her Facebook post in September infuriated the community, News 12 reports.
“This week is Spirit Week at Smithtown HS West. It’s easy to spot which students are racist by the Trump gear they’re sporting for USA Day,” Welsh wrote.
Welsh’s account featured other questionable posts, as well.
“I feel really (expletive) when I see former students posting things on Facebook that are pro-Donald Trump. I’m sorry for failing you at Smithtown High School West. I should have done better,” she wrote.
Unlike Wooden, Welsh owned up to her comments.
Officials at Harford County Public Schools are now investigating Wooden’s Facebook post, while others are coming forward to defend him and back his story.
“We were made aware of the Facebook post,” HCPS spokeswoman Jillian Lader wrote in an email to the Baltimore Sun. “When a concern is raised regarding a social media post, we investigate and take appropriate action.”
Former Havre de Grace Mayor Wayne Dougherty said he believes Wooden, whom he’s worked with on collaborative projects in the past.
“I have great respect for Mr. Wooden; that does not sound like something he’d say at all,” Dougherty said. “I’ve always known him as a true professional and dedicated to his profession.”