SOUTH FORSYTH — The South Forsyth High School class of 2014 graduated Tuesday night, including the three members officials say were responsible for a May 14 senior prank that involved the use of a racial slur.
Officials determined that the male students had placed a large banner on an exterior wall of the school, which included a racial slur and the words “we made it,” quoting a lyric from a popular rap song by Drake.
The banner, which had been set up about 3 a.m. May 14, was unveiled about six hours later. It was taken down within minutes.
After the incident, Principal Jeff Cheney said the seniors had embraced “we made it” as their class theme.
While the three students were able to participate in the school’s commencement at the Gwinnett Arena, they missed several of their last days of school.
“The male seniors that participated in the creation and placement of the inappropriate banner at South Forsyth High School received five days of out-of-school suspension,” said Jennifer Caracciolo, spokeswoman for the school system.
Cheney had previously said his plan was to move forward with disciplinary consequences based on the disruption at South and the “wrong image that it portrays about our school.”
Administrators reviewed security surveillance video in their investigation.
Cheney had said the banner was taken down immediately because a “derogatory term is just not appropriate on our campus no matter what the context is.”
While the banner was only on display for a few minutes, it quickly gained attention through social media websites after students, who are allowed to have their cell phones on campus, took — and shared — photos of it.
One image, which was heavily circulated on various websites, showed a staff member holding his arms up on the roof. According to Cheney, the staff member was removing the banner, not cheering it.