Gift shop employee in New Jersey fired after asking black girls to leave shop

'I had to explain to 40 girls that they are still valuable and they’re green dollars still spends even if racist folks try to hurt them!'

Kimberley Richards
New York
Thursday 16 August 2018 00:54 BST
New Jersey
New Jersey

A New Jersey gift shop employee has reportedly been fired after a video of her telling a group of young black girls they were “not welcome” in the shop surfaced online.

Attiyya Barrett, who runs a camp called Princess to Queenz, shared an encounter online in which she claimed an unidentified gift shop employee first told a group of her young girl campers that they were not allowed in the store, located on a boardwalk of a beach, without a chaperone.

After the girls returned to the store with an adult chaperone, the employee allegedly charged again that the group was not welcome, Ms Barrett said.

“The girls ran out crying asking why they couldn’t buy something,” Ms Barrett wrote on Facebook. “The constraint I had to exhibit in front of them leaves a horrible taste in my mouth. I had to explain to 40 girls that they are still valuable and [their] green dollars still spends even if racist folks try to hurt them!”

In the video footage posted on Facebook, Ms Barrett can be heard confronting the employee asking her to recount her earlier encounter with the campers.

The employee claimed that she “didn’t think” the adult chaperone that returned to the shop with the girls was indeed a chaperone, according to the footage. The employee then reiterated what she allegedly said before that the group was “not welcome” in the shop. The now viral video has since been viewed more than three million times on Facebook.

The gift shop, Jenkinson’s Aquarium Gift Shop, did not immediately return The Independent’s request for comment.

Toby Wolf, a spokesman for Jenkinson’s told NBC that the employee has since been fired.

The company first suspended the employee as they investigated the 10 August incident further.

“This incident does not reflect the core values of the boardwalk,” Mr Wolf said. “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.”

Mr Wolf also noted the company will be conducting diversity training for its employees.

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