A New Jersey high school principal has apologized to those offended by prom tickets that suggested students “party like it’s 1776” at their senior prom.
Principal Dennis Perry said in a letter to the Cherry Hill High School community that he wanted to “to apologize for the hurt feelings this reference caused for members of our school family,” the Courier Post reported.
Please read this letter of apology to the East Community. pic.twitter.com/BnokMF0n9Q
— Dr. Dennis Perry (@drperryateast) May 18, 2018
“It was insensitive and irresponsible not to appreciate that not all communities can celebrate what life was like in 1776,” Perry wrote.
In particular, Perry wanted to apologize to black students “who I have let down by not initially recognizing the inappropriateness of this wording.”
Prom attendees will not have to present their tickets and will instead receive commemorative tickets without the “inappropriate” language on it.
Danny Elmore, vice president of the Cherry Hill African American Civic Association, said that Perry handled the situation properly but said that more cultural diversity awareness is needed.
“The intent was a good intent,” he said. “However, for some Americans, 1776 itself was not a good time.”
Lloyd Henderson, president of the NAACP Camden County East chapter, applauded Perry’s quick response to address the language on the tickets, but said that this is “another example” where “the African American students’ needs are not considered along with the rest of the school.”
Perry said going forward, the school will “ensure that a diverse group of people view all information before it is distributed from the school.”