A Grandville roller rink is being accused of racism after posting an exclusive invite list for a 'homecoming' event that included only predominantly white districts.

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Why are people upset with Tarry Hall Roller Rink in Grandville?

An online post from Tarry Hall Roller Skating Rink advertised a 'High School Homecoming Formal' for Saturday night on September 24th. Many online noted that more diverse school districts in closer proximity, such as Grand Rapids Public Schools & Wyoming Public Schools, were left off the list despite districts over 20 miles away, like Wayland Union, being included on the invite.

Tarry Hall Roller Skating Park/Facebook
Tarry Hall Roller Skating Park/Facebook
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What school districts were allowed to attend the Tarry Hall Dance?

The districts on the list included the following schools:

  • Jenison
  • Allendale
  • Grandville
  • Hudsonville
  • Byron Center
  • Wayland
  • Zeeland
  • Unity Christian
  • South Christian
  • Calvin Christian
  • Tri-Unity Christian

How were the districts chosen for the Tarry Hall Dance in Grandville?

According to a post from Tarry Hall on Sunday afternoon, 'demographics' were not a factor in the choice of schools allowed to attend. The organizers said they invited districts that have worked with them in the past:

We invited the local schools who have supported our rink through booking events and school parties...We are a privately owned business who put on a private event for our own high school kids, their friends, and the area schools who have continued to support our rink through these challenging times. School demographics were not entered into the equation on which schools to invite.
Tarry Hall Roller Skating Park/Facebook
Tarry Hall Roller Skating Park/Facebook
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Wyoming Public Schools React To Discriminatory Party At Terry Hall Roller Rink

But not everyone thinks that the rink's explanation is good enough. Wyoming Public Schools Superintendent Craig Hoekstra released the following statement saying that Wyoming Public Schools HAS spent resources for school events at Tarry Hall and was still left off of the invite list:

...Notably, left off the list of invitees was Wyoming Public Schools and other diverse high schools in the area including East Kentwood, Godfrey-Lee, Godwin Heights, Kelloggsville and Grand Rapids Public Schools. The schools invited were all predominately white schools, some further from Tarry Hall than the schools listed above...Wyoming Public Schools has spent resources at Tarry Hall forschool skating parties and Team 21 events. Due to the seemingly discriminatory nature of this party, a response and explanation is needed from Tarry Hall in regard to who was invited and excluded from the event.

As of this time, Tarry Hall Roller Rink has issued no other response outside of the Sunday afternoon social media post.

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