Jenkinson’s Boardwalk fires woman who kicked out black girls
POINT PLEASANT BEACH — Jenkinson’s Boardwalk has fired a cashier who was seen on a video telling a camp leader that a group of black girls was “not welcome.”
A group of 40 girl campers from Paterson were on a trip to the Jenkinson's Aquarium on Friday when the worker at the gift shop ordered a small group of them to leave. A camp leader says the cashier told them they needed a chaperone. But when a 32-year-old chaperone returned with them to the store, the girls were still told to leave.
In a statement Tuesday, Jenkinson’s Boardwalk said the “incident does not reflect the core values of the boardwalk.” The company said they would provide a “diversity training program for its employees in the very near future to avoid this type of occurrence."
"In our 90-year history, Jenkinson’s has always been and will continue to be the place where people from all races, religions, ages, genders, and cultures are welcome. We are committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving our culture of diversity and inclusion."
The company suspended the worker, who they did not identify by name, after New Jersey 101.5 and other media reported on the video, which first appeared on Facebook. The company said they terminated the employee "effective immediately" after conducting their own investigation.
Attiyya Barrett, organizer of the Princess to Queenz mentoring program, said a few girls, ages 6 to 14, walked into the shop before the rest of the group only to be told by the woman named Linda that they couldn't come in without a chaperone.
When the group returned with an adult, the woman insisted that they were not welcome.
In the video, Barrett confronts the cashier.
Story continues below video:
"She doesn't want the children to shop in her store because they have to have be with a chaperone. They go get the chaperone and then she excludes all of our girls because she doesn't want them there. What was the reason why again," Barrett is heard asking in the video.
"Because they didn't have a chaperone," Linda responds.
"No! And when they got the chaperone what was your reason?" Barrett says
"I didn't think she was a chaperone," Linda says. "They're not welcome in here."
In an online message Tuesday, Barrett said she was praying for Linda and "happy my girls are vindicated."
Barrett earlier told New Jersey 101.5 that she had not assumed that the incident was racially motivated until the group returned a second time with a chaperone and were told "you are not welcome here."
New Jersey 101.5 was not able to find a working phone number to reach the fired cashier.
Also on New Jersey 101.5:
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.