Park Tudor High School apologized earlier today, Thursday, Feb. 27, over a school lunch menu that was viewed as reinforcing negative stereotypes in African-American culture.
The "soul food bar" menu, as reported on the school's official website, was to serve fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and collard greens during lunch hours on Wednesday, Feb. 26, and was touted as way for students of the mostly white private school to "Celebrate Black History Month".
However, as soon as users of social media saw the website, the tweets poured in about the racially intolerant menu. With many users seeing the menu mishap as an example of a more global issue in private schools: the lack of diversity and diversity education.
While the outraged tweets were mostly directed at the students and administrators of Park Tudor, school officials noted that the food service contractors that serve Park Tudor created the menu; not the students.
Still, school spokeswoman, Cathy Chapelle, called the menu "misguided" and sought to use the incident as a learning experience for the students:
“We are very committed to promoting diversity at Park Tudor," Chapelle said in a statement released to the press earlier today, "and this incident has sparked important dialog within our school community. We believe that an effective learning environment includes an appreciation for diversity. We expect each member of our community to understand and value various perspectives, to identify and overcome stereotypes and prejudices, to strive for equity and justice within the school and the community at large, and to value the differences among families and individuals and all they have to offer and contribute.”
What is so puzzling to many about the incident as well, is that it comes just weeks after a school in North Carolina was blasted by the public for creating and promoting virtually the same menu.