Seniors hang N-word banner at Georgia high school; school sends e-mail apology

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By Dana Ford

CNN

ATLANTA (CNN) — Students at a school outside Atlanta were in hot water Wednesday after they reportedly hung a banner from their school’s roof that read, “N—a We Made It.”

The sign at South Forsyth High School may have been meant to celebrate graduation, but struck many as offensive.

“This morning, without our knowledge, students placed a derogatory sign with a verse from a song by Drake on our school as a senior prank,” Principal Jeff Cheney said in a note to parents, referring to the rapper Drake.

“We removed it as soon as it was brought to our attention and deeply apologize for their behavior. This is unacceptable, and I promise you that the students will receive the appropriate consequences for their actions,” the principal said.

Susan Newsome, a parent of a student at the school in Cumming, Georgia, said she first heard about the banner from the principal’s e-mail.

“South Forsyth has a very diverse population, so I was surprised and disappointed to hear that some students would think this banner was acceptable. It’s hard to know the intentions behind the actions of these students, but I can’t help but think that they knew it would cause controversy,” she said.

More than 70% of the student population at South Forsyth High School is white, while more than 10% is Hispanic, 12% is Asian and less than 5% is black, according to school statistics.

“Hopefully the actions today have initiated a lot of dinner conversation about how senior pranks should be lighthearted and clever, not mean-spirited and destructive,” Newsome added.

According to CNN affiliate WSB, the banner wasn’t the only prank seniors pulled at the school. Students also reportedly turned a hallway into a slip and slide and put a for-sale sign on Cheney’s car.

The principal told the affiliate that some pranks are fun, while others are just not acceptable.

“There’s many things I can live with, but the banner was what most offended me and our school. Even though it’s a popular song lyric that you appreciate and like doesn’t mean the whole world and our society in general are going to appreciate that,” Cheney said.

CNN’s Haimy Assefa contributed to this report.

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9 comments

    • Bob

      Matt Dowsett asks: “you think racism isn’t alive and well there”?

      A better question might be: Is one race more saintly than another?

      It’s a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

  • Angela Wellington

    While I find the use of the “N”word extremely distasteful, what can you expect when we still use the crayola coloring system to describe ourselves. Why are Caucasians still labeled white, why are those of African descent still labeled black? We no longer call those of Asian descent yellow or American Indians red as these labels are seen as derogatory. Why must the two races that stood together in the 60’s to fight against prejudice and hatred be the last to lose the hated color label?

  • Ivan

    This is not racism Drake is a black rapper they were just repeating his lyrics. Their banner did not advocate hurting or discriminating against black people. Save your fake outrage for real racism.

  • Bob

    You don’t have to be white to be racist.

    Quote by Louis Farrakhan: “The white man is our mortal enemy, and we cannot accept him. I will fight to see that vicious beast go down into the lake of fire prepared for him from the beginning, that he never rise again to give any innocent black man, woman or child the hell that he has delighted in pouring on us for 400 years.”

  • Untitled

    Really guys. My school did nothing wrong. Just because one group of people at our school said a line from a song and it’s put as wrong and dumb. Doesn’t mean you have to say all of us are. If you say that then your the stupid person. ITS A SENIOR PRANK. calm the heck down. It really should not be this big of a deal. No one was trying to hurt anyone. Why don’t you take your butt back to school and learn a thing or two because sweetheart, you are stupid. Don’t label everyone because of a group of peoples actions. ONCE AGAIN. My school is more educated than your left finger nail. Stop wasting time being an internet troll and get a life. Thanks.

    • Tom LaRochelle

      Oh, but if a group of white kids did it, as a prank, all the blacks would be looking for blood.

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