College prep school apologizes for serving fried chicken to 'celebrate' Black History Month – and blames Black employee
A private Catholic college-preparatory high school for boys is apologizing after announcing it would be serving fried chicken to "celebrate" Black History Month. In its apology, it blamed an African American food service employee for the meal choice.
“In honor of Black History Month, one way we will celebrate is by highlighting a traditional meal each week that is a staple in Southern Black history. Today’s lunch is fried chicken,” Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood, Massachusetts told students on Tuesday, MassLive reports.
Students called out school officials, asking them to issue an apology.
Senior class student body vice president Michael Earls urged the administration to "first acknowledge that their ignorance perpetuated a racist stereotype and issue a formal apology," WCVB reports.
“Honestly, I think it’s just a big stereotype. It could be seen as a little racist,” Xaverian senior Liam Baker said. “It’s the first day of Black History Month. They couldn’t have come up with a better thing than fried chicken for African cuisine? It doesn’t really make much sense.”
"It's over-hyped. We eat chicken every single day for school," Xaverian senior Oliver Waddleton added. "We're learning more about Black history. It's something that every single school should do."
WCVB adds that "Xaverian school officials said the effort was an attempt to educate students about Black history and culture, and that the meal was chosen by an African American food service employee."
"Regrettably, our message was poorly communicated resulting in some perceiving it as the propagation of a negative stereotype," the school said in a statement. "We are saddened by this outcome. Going forward, we will strive to ensure that all members of our community understand the significance of our efforts to celebrate Black History Month."