4 Words on NJ School's Prom Tickets Cause Problem

Cherry Hill High School East's principal apologizes for 'inappropriateness' of them
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2018 7:51 AM CDT
This April 5, 2017 image provided by Seth Kaller, Inc. shows a rare parchment copy of the Declaration of Independence, made in Washington in the 1820s for founding father James Madison.   (Seth Kaller INC. via AP)

(Newser) – Florida isn't the only state that's home to a problematic prom this year. New Jersey's Cherry Hill High School East is grabbing headlines over prom tickets that featured "inappropriate" wording. The Courier Post reports that tickets for the prom, to be held at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia this week, contained a call to "party like it's 1776"—a time in US history that not all Americans can celebrate. "We thought it would be fun to do a play on the Prince song ... because of the Constitution Center," the student body VP tells Fox 29, but not everyone found the end result so fun. "I am writing to apologize for the hurt feelings this reference caused for members of our school family," Principal Dennis Perry wrote in a letter tweeted Friday.

"I especially apologize to our African American students, who I have let down by not initially recognizing the inappropriateness of this wording," he continued. He says that going forward, "a diverse group of people" will have input on communications disseminated to the entire school. As for the tickets, new commemorative ones will be printed with the offending words removed, and Perry says students won't need to hand over a ticket to gain entry, as the school has a list of those who have purchased tickets. It's not the first racial flap at the school, which is about 6% black: The VP of the Cherry Hill African American Civic Association notes the school's production of Ragtime, which includes the N-word, caused a dust-up last year. (This Utah teen's prom dress also caused an uproar.)

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