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

Posted at 8:53 PM, May 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-14 22:53:46-04
By Dana Ford


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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