Black History Month lunch serves up controversy

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH)- A private school in Indianapolis is apologizing for what it calls a “misguided” attempt at celebrating Black History Month.

A “soul food” lunch at Park Tudor got everyone talking on social media. But it also opened a dialogue between the school and its students.

“When students raised that question with administrators, instead of judging, we listened,” said John Daves, Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Park Tudor.

He says it was Park Tudor students that raised questions about the appropriateness of a “Black History lunch” menu served at the school Wednesday. Some saw it as racially insensitive.  The menu included fried chicken and collard greens.

“This is a perfect teachable moment,” said Daves. “It offers us a time to reflect on how to better articulate our values in terms of diversity within, and outside of, the classroom.”

On its website Thursday, the school apologized for the  lunch menu – saying it was an “offensive and misguided attempt by the school’s food service provider, Alladin Food Management, to celebrate Black History Month.”

ONLINE EXTRA | Read the entire statement here

“Park Tudor has a history, as any school has, of making progress and making mistakes in an ongoing conversation about the value of diversity,” said Daves.

24-Hour News 8 asked viewers if they thought the school was out of line on the WISH-TV Facebook page. Within hours, hundreds posted their opinion. Click here to view some of those comments.

For Park Tudor, the issue opened up an important dialogue.

“It created an opportunity for us to talk about where Park Tudor has been, where we are now, and where we’re going,” said Daves.

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