When Drake Johnson, a black high school student from northern California, tweeted his excitement about being accepted into Harvard on April 20, he received thousands of congratulatory tweets.
But one former Texas education official gave what some viewed as a backhanded compliment that bewildered the student and his followers.
"Congrats. Were you admitted on merit or quota?" former Texas State Board of Education member George Clayton said.
As you could imagine, many on Twitter came to Johnson's defense, leaving more than 2,800 comments under Clayton's tweet that many deemed as a racial insult.
However, Johnson decided to take the high road and list a few poignant facts for Clayton to peruse.
"Thank you!," said Johnson in a responding tweet. "Valedictorian, ASB President, World Champion, good SAT, and a couple handfuls of other involvements, so I would think merit?"
While Clayton's Twitter bio lists him as a candidate for the Texas State Board of Education in 2018, a statement obtained from the board did not list him as a candidate in the upcoming election.
"George Clayton served on the board from 2010-2012," the statement said. "He announced on social media that he was going to run for the District 12 seat again in 2018 but, as far as I can tell, he never filed. He was definitely not on the Republican or Democratic March ballot."
Since then, Clayton has publicly apologized for his remarks on Twitter.
"What I said in my remarks was totally wrong and hugely insensitive," he wrote on Twitter. "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. George Clayton."
Donna Bahorich, the current chair of the Board of Education, quickly distanced the board from Clayton and his remarks when she commented and publicly congratulated Johnson.
"As Chair of the @TXSBOE, my response yesterday to Drake Johnson @_littledrizzy, a young man who is going places and deserves ONLY accolades and a big high five #youmakeusproudDrake," said Bahorich in a tweet.