An employee at the Jenkinson’s Aquarium gift shop on the Jersey Shore, who told a group of young Black girls to leave, is now out of a job.
Jenkinson’s Boardwalk management said in a press release issued on Tuesday, “as a result of this investigation, the gift shop employee has been terminated effective immediately.”
Attiyya Barrett heads a program called Princess to Queenz, which offers summer camps and tutoring programs for children. She posted a video of the incident on her Facebook page on Friday, and it’s since gone viral.
“She decides she doesn’t want the children to shop at her store because she said they have to be with a chaperone,” Barrett says in the video. “They go get the chaperone, and then she [tells] all of our girls to leave the store because she doesn’t want them there.”
Barrett then asks the employee, “What’s your reason, why”
“Because they didn’t have a chaperone,” the woman, whose name has not been released, responds.
“And when they got the chaperone, what was your reason” Barrett asks.
“I didn’t think she was a chaperone,” the woman responded.
“But what did you just say” Barrett asks.
The employee answers: “They’re not welcome in here.”
“Meanwhile, there were other white girls unattended and playing with items, and they were not asked to leave,” Barrett told ABC News.
Jenkinson’s Boardwalk initially suspended the employee at the shop located in Point Pleasant borough, N.J., which has a population of approximately 18,651 residents, and is 97.5 percent white.
Jenkinson’s media relations director Toby Wolf said, in a statement, the incident “does not reflect the core values of the boardwalk.” Wolf also said that Jenkinson’s will be “conducting a diversity training program for its employees in the very near future to avoid this type of occurrence in the future.”
The website for Jenkinson’s Boardwalk currently does not include any statements on diversity and inclusion.
Barrett told the Asbury Park Press on Tuesday that she was “ecstatic” the Jenkinson’s employee had been fired. She also said that since the incident occurred, the girls in Princess to Queenz have talked about it “almost every hour.”
“I’m so excited to go to camp tomorrow and tell them their mission was accomplished, that this woman has learned you can’t deal with children or people of color in this way,” she said.