Racial Slur Displayed on Side of School as Senior Prank


Screenshot from Fox 5 News

Principal of South Forsyth High School Jeff Cheney explains the mishap as well as the photographs documenting the senior prank.

On Wednesday, May 14, South Forsyth High School’s graduating class of 2014 celebrated their last few days of high school with their senior prank. This prank included creating a makeshift slip and slide in the exterior hallways of the school building, advertising the principal’s car to be sold, and most controversially, displaying a racial slur on a banner that was hung on the side of the school.

The banner, which included the racial slur along with the phrase “we made it”, was quickly shared by students with cell phones on hand, leading to its national attention and popularity among social media outlets.

Jeff Cheney, principal of South Forsyth High School, said that video surveillance shows students hanging the banner with some sort of apparatus at three a.m. the morning of the event. Around nine a.m. when administration got word of the prank, action was taken within minutes and staff members quickly moved to the building displaying the banner to take it down. However, of the two staff members who climbed to the top of the building, one was photographed by the crowd of students grounded beneath them with his arms raised. This photo, which is the most heavily circulated among social media, misrepresents the teacher as cheering on the banner, but Cheney claims that the staff member only acted in such a manner because the students below him began to cheer.

“The kids were cheering him because he was up on the roof,” he said. “They’re not used to seeing staff up on the roof.”

Cheney says that students involved in the unveiling of the sign will face some sort of disciplinary action, but it is too early to be sure of what the consequences will be.

“We do know and understand — in talking with several students and trying to get to the bottom of things — that it is a very diverse group of students that were involved in creating and displaying the banner.”

“Our society at large might not view just as part of a popular song lyric, that that could be offensive to people in general,” said Principal Cheney. “And it was to offensive and something certainly I don’t want to perpetuate on our campus.”

For now, the investigation continues as disciplinary action is decided upon.