Cherry Hill High School East, Cherry Hill New Jersey high school prom, Cherry Hill Public Schools, Dennis Perry, High School Prom racial tickets, National, News, Race, Racist slur on prom tickets -

New Jersey School Under Fire for Racist Prom Tickets, ‘Party Like It’s 1776’

Cherry Hill High School East, Cherry Hill New Jersey high school prom, Cherry Hill Public Schools, Dennis Perry, High School Prom racial tickets, National, News, Race, Racist slur on prom tickets -

New Jersey School Under Fire for Racist Prom Tickets, ‘Party Like It’s 1776’

After offensive language was printed on tickets for Cherry Hill High School East senior prom being held at Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center, a New Jersey principal released a letter apologizing to Black students and other community members.

The prom tickets read “party like it’s 1776” which offended a large number of Black and minority students because slavery wasn’t abolished in New Jersey until 1846. The high school’s principal Dennis Perry posted an apology on his Twitter account to parents, students and the “East Community”.

“Today, I learned that members of our school community were offended by a statement written on our Senior Prom ticket,” Perry wrote in the letter posted on Friday. “It was insensitive and irresponsible not to appreciate that not all communities can celebrate what life was like in 1776,” he stated while referring to the slavery period in America.

The principal specifically apologized to African-American students who he ”let down by not initially recognizing the inappropriateness of this wording.” The theme for the senior prom is also based on the American Revolutionary War.

Students who already purchased tickets will not be obligated to present the “party like it’s 1776′ tickets and will receive “a commemorative Prom Ticket.”

The vice president of the Cherry Hill African American Civic Association, Danny Elmore, told the Courier Post that Cherry Hill should pay more attention to cultural diversity; another racial incident occurred last year during a school play that featured insensitive language.

“Talk about it with people before you take an action and we won’t have this happen,” said Elmore.

Lloyd Henderson who’s the president of the Camden County NAACP East chapter, commended Perry on his quick response and that the high school’s mistake was “another example that the culture at Cherry Hill East is one where the African American students’ needs are not considered along with the rest of the school. However, I do take some solace in the fact that Mr. Perry immediately recognized and acknowledged the insensitivity of the comment.”

The principal said, “I would like to thank members of our school community for their caring and thoughtful conversation while discussing this sensitive issue” and that “safeguards will be added to ensure that a diverse group of people view all information before it is distributed from the school.”


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