A Harvard-bound biracial high school senior was stunned when he was trolled online by a former Texas State Board of Education employee who asked if he got in by ‘merit or quota’.
Drake Johnson, 18, proudly took to Twitter to say ‘It’s official, I’m Harvard bound #Harvard2022’ on Wednesday.
However what his announcement was belittled by George Clayton, a former employee with the Texas Board of Education, who insinuated the California teenager got into the school because he fulfilled a race quota.
‘Congrats. Were you admitted on merit or quota?’ Clayton wrote on Twitter Friday.
18-year-old Drake Johnson (left) announced he was Harvard-bound on Wednesday but was soon after trolled by former Texas educator George Clayton (right) who asked if he was admitted by ‘merit or quota?’
Johnson proudly shared his acceptance on Twitter Wednesday saying: ‘It’s official, I’m Harvard bound #Harvard2022’
Controversial: Clayton responded saying: ‘Congrats. Were you admitted on merit or quota?’
The Marina, California teenager swiftly responded with a list of his accomplishments to prove that he got into the Ivy League by merit and not to fill a race quota
The question confused the Marina, California teenager as it hinted that his race won him a seat at the prestigious university, rather than his accomplishments.
Speaking on seeing the tweet, Johnson said he wanted to prove Clayton wrong.
‘I wanted some subtle way to prove him wrong, but not be aggressive. I thought that was the best way to civilly defuse the situation and clearly show I was accepted on merit,’ he said to Dallas News.
Johnson responded saying: ‘Thank you! Valedictorian, ASB President, World Champion, good SAT, and a couple handfuls of other involvements, so I would think merit?’
The senior was not only his student body’s president but he was also a champion cheerleader, National Honor Society member, and the president of two clubs at his school.
His credentials didn’t just catch the eye of Harvard, he received a total of 10 acceptance letters including offers from Brown, Dartmouth, Cornell and UCLA.
Clayton’s racism-laced comment ignited a firestorm on Twitter.
‘Drake: I’m a college prof. I was about to sink to Mr. Clayton’s level and tweet something vile to him after reading about his cruelty to you. But your civil and mature response stopped me. Wishing you unlimited good things. You’re quite a guy,’ Twitter user Steve Gorelick wrote.
‘I agree; your mature response stopped me from tweeting something I’d regret. I wish you well in the future; you’ve obviously worked hard, and you deserve EVERY great thing that is ahead of you! Thank you for being you!’ another user wrote.
The teen swiftly replied with a list of his accomplishments spanning being class president, valedictorian, and a cheerleading champion, pictured above in cheer uniform
Clayton’s racist comment stirred controversy online, leading many to applaud Johnson’s mature reponse
Another teenager revealed she too was trolled by Clayton who asked ‘merit or quota?’
Moving on: Johnson said Clayton’s comment was ‘ignorant and suggestively hurtful’
Other students of color responded to the message saying the Clayton bombarded them with the same ‘merit or quota’ message as well.
‘Funny, he said the same to me about my acceptance to Brown… It’s not like I’ve spent the past 4 years working my a** off to manage my academics, cheer, and extracurriculars right? I don’t know you personally, but I know YOU worked for this and DEFINITELY earned it,’ user Hannah Ponce wrote.
Johnson responded saying: ‘Thank you! Despite ignorant and suggestively hurtful comments like these, I know we’ll both still thrive’.
Riled up Twitter users began to flag Clayton’s tweet to the Texas Board of Education, where he used to work and where he is a candidate to rejoin the board in 2018, according to his Twitter page.
‘Hey @TXSBOE I just thought I would bring this to your attention. One of your candidates for the Texas State Board thinks it’s ok to tweet ignorant things to successful people of color. Is this what you would like to have representing your board of education?!’ one Twitter user wrote.
Twitter users brought the racist tweet to the attention of the Texas Board of Education, where Clayton was formerly employed
The chair of the board responded congratulating Johnson on his merit-earned Harvard admission
Other Texas teachers applauded Johnson as well and reprimanded Clayton for the comment
Members of the board proceeded to priase Johnson for his merit-earned acceptance.
‘As a former member of the @TXSBOE I applaud your accomplishment. Academics and extra curricular balance is what will ensure a bright future for you and the USA. Well done,’ Thomas Ratliff wrote.
‘As Chair of the @TXSBOE BIG CONGRATS to you, Drake! Well done!! My only complaint is you won’t be headed to Texas!’ Donna Bahorich said.
Johnson’s mother said she did not know how Clayton found her son’s tweet which she interpreted as racist.
‘Why do you care, and why are you asking that particular question to a kid who is clearly of some type of mixed race? That is just so frustrating,’ she said.
‘He’s this kid who really thinks about what he’s doing and saying. He knows how hard he works to get where he’s at. He wants people to understand that that’s why he’s getting what he’s getting, nothing’s being handed to him,’ she added.
According to Clayton’s Twitter page he previous worked on the Texas Board of Education where he held the District 12 seat from 2010 to 2012.
On his page he claims to be running for a spot on the board again, but there is no record of him filing for candidacy, according to Dallas News.
Clayton declined to comment on the matter saying that he has retired from public life and no longer speaks to press.