A Jersey Shore shopkeeper was fired after a video went viral of her telling a group of young black girls from Clifton and Paterson that they weren’t welcome in the store.
Jenkinson’s of Point Pleasant initially suspended the unidentified employee pending an investigation then announced Tuesday that she'd been let go.
The incident "does not reflect the core values of the boardwalk," said Toby Wolf, Jenkinson's media relations director.
"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," Wolf said. "We are committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving our culture of diversity and inclusion.
"Jenkinson’s will also be conducting a diversity training program for its employees in the very near future to avoid this type of occurrence in the future."
The children are in a special all-girls summer camp that gives them “a safe place to adjust, to self-express and to basically just do girl stuff,” said coordinator Attiyaa Barrett.
Now in its fourth year, the "Princess to Queenz" program allows the girls to choose a field trip destination each week.
“Some of the girls said they’d never been to the Shore,” Barrett told Daily Voice. “Another said how much fun it was and how they should go.”
Together, they raised $1,400 through a GoFundMe campaign, collections and donations from a couple of parents who paid for their daughters plus one.
They chartered their own bus for the 90-minute ride and “were singing the whole way,” Barrett said.
The 40 girls, nine chaperones and two parents who came in their own cars walked along the Point Pleasant boardwalk and ate lunch on the beach.
Then they went to Jenkinson’s Aquarium.
“On the way out of the aquarium, you have to through the gift shop to get out,” Barrett said. “A lot of the girls already asked before we went in could we buy stuff to take home, so I said ‘Of course’.”
Seven girls stayed in the shop and began looking around. One is seven, the others 12, 13 and 14.
Barrett was already at the top of the exit stairs when she said she heard the unidentified shopkeeper tell them: “You can’t be in here without a chaperone.”
So the girls came out and got one, then headed back inside.
“Then I hear screaming,” Barrett told Daily Voice. “I hear the woman say, ‘Didn’t I say you’re not welcome here?’
STORY CONTINUES HERE: Black Clifton, Paterson Girls Chased From Jersey Shore Shop
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