A Christian high school issued an apology for its Black History Month lunch consisting of fried chicken and collard greens after students complained that the meal was racist, according to WOOD TV8.
Grand Rapids Christian High School in Michigan offered the lunch Tuesday, giving students mac and cheese, cornbread and banana pudding, in addition to fried chicken and collard greens, according to WOOD TV8. Superintendent Tom DeJonge was forced to issue an apology after students called the lunch “racist,” saying the school had been trying to serve an “authentic Soul Food lunch,” according to an email sent to parents Wednesday. (RELATED: New York Middle School Celebrates Black History Month With ‘Inexcusably Insensitive’ Meal)
“(We) recognize that the initial publication of the meal had a negative impact on our community, and for this we are sorry,” DeJonge said in the apology. “As a staff, we humbly commit to continuing to learn and grow in this area as we seek to produce culturally competent students who are prepared for lives of service to Christ. We are committed to continuing to meet with and listen to our staff and students as we seek to build and further strengthen an environment that is welcoming to all.”
DeJonge also said in the school’s statement that they had consulted an “executive chef, Xaviar Jamarillo,” to create the meal for students and notified parents that the meal recognizing Black History Month would be taking place on Feb. 7, according to the apology. Students did not take to the meal, even after the school explained that it was trying to encourage an inclusive environment to “celebrate a variety of cultures.”
DeJonge promised the school would consider how the “stereotypes” fail to “create the sense of inclusiveness, belonging and culture we espouse to achieve as a Christian school community,” and that students should feel able to voice their concerns to administrators, who will do better to “always be on alert,” according to the apology.
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