PENNINGTON — A Central Jersey school issued an apology for their choice of a Black History Month lunch special.

Hopewell Valley Central High School in Pennington offered fried chicken last Thursday to students, according to

Pomptonian, the district's food vendor, intended to celebrate soul food, according to the report, and regretted that the menu could be viewed as being in poor taste.

"The director at this location never intended to do anything that would offend anyone and deeply regrets the decision and understands that it could have been taken out of context," the company told the news site.

Other items on the menu included sweet potato casserole, sauteed spinach, macaroni and cheese, and a choice of peach or apple crisp.

According to the report, Superintendent Thomas Smith issued a statement that called the menu a reinforcement of racial stereotypes.

The National Center for Education Statistics shows Valley Central's total student population of 1,249 in 2014-15 included 48 black students and 45 Hispanics. Students from Hopewell Borough, Hopewell Township and Pennington Borough attend the school.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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