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

Story highlights

  • The sign at South Forsyth High School struck many as offensive
  • School officials quickly took it down
  • Principal promises to hold those responsible+ accountable
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.